Jury Darling Jonida Maliqi trusts in the Albanian language

Eurovision 2019 is the year of jury darlings. No less than 9 times this preselection season, a song won without the support of the televoters. ESCDaily introduces them all to you in the build-up to Tel Aviv, moving on with Jonida Maliqi from Albania.

One of the most classical national finals in the field is Festivali i Këngës in Albania. This year it took place on December 22nd, and Jonida Maliqi took the Eurovision ticket. She won the Albanian national final with a score of 228 points, while runner-up Lidia Lufi scored 219 points. These points, however, were all given out by professional jurors.

Albania, like Belarus, decided to keep their national final on a 100% jury vote. Televoting was not possible during Festivali i Këngës. Therefore, no matter who would win, the Albanian entry would always have to perform in Eurovision without any indication of what the home audience thought about their song.

“Ktheju tokës” (Albania, Eurovision 2019)

The vivacious ballad “Ktheju tokës” is a strong composition, accompanied by good vocals and the chance to impress with a few longer notes towards the end. The song has traditional influences and includes flutes and other ethnic instrumentation. The complete package fits, and could be appealing for juries not only in Albania but also in the rest of Europe.

Whether televoters will like it as well, remains to be seen. Jonida Maliqi will not only have to sing well, but also connect to people more than she did in her live performances so far. The language could be a barrier here, especially if the Albanian delegation does not manage to tell the story of their song through visual presentation.


The alternative: Lidia Lufi – Rrëfehem

Lidia Lufi finished second in Albania’s national final, but we will never know which song would have won the televote. Do you think Albania should have chosen differently?