Albania: Read back our liveblog of the FiK 55 Final

In the next few hours, Albania will be first nation to choose its Eurovision 2017 participant ánd song in the final of Festivali i Këngës 55. You don’t have to miss anything and follow our liveblog by editor Sadie Trent here!

Fourteen songs, but just one winner for Kiev. The disclaimer is that in recent years, Albania has decided to change their song later in the season. We will have to wait and see if that will be the case again in 2017…

In tonight’s final, the winner will be determined via a combined jury-public vote, with members of the public being able to register to vote online via the RTSH website. The final is being held in Tirana at The Palace of Congresses.

ESCDaily’s Sadie Trent will watch the final of Festivali i Këngës live for you. It will start at 20:30 CET. Join her and watch the show through THIS livestream, and / or catch up through our live commentary below. The newest update always appears on top!

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I have been Sadie Trent. It has been a pleasure doing my first liveblog for you all. Good night, Bon Soir.

00:49 – And the winner is… Lindita Halimi 

As predicted by the juries, Linditia won the vote, and will be flying the Albanian flag in Kiev next May. She will be singing her song Botë.

00:33 – Voting recommences

Lindita Halimi still holds the lead, with 71 points, after the next batch of votes. We are still to receive the public voting. The voting duration was very short this year. Not as long as some National finals, and definitely not as long as it is in the Eurovision Grand Final.

00:17 – Jury voting results

Currently in the process of getting the jury votes, while we are in a commercial break. Lindita Halimi with Bote is the current leader. But will she maintain that lead?

00:10 – Voting over

Voting is now over, and the interval act was the female host, while the votes were being counted and verified. Now the male host is entertaining the in house crowds whilst we all await the results.

23:38 – That is a wrap for the competing finalists

14 songs later we are finished. Almost. Just the voting and the winners announcements to go. The song that wins will be the song the winner takes to Kiev in May, but whether it be in English, Albanian or a mixture of both, it remains to be seen.

23:22 – Genc Salihu – Këtu

A very emotional performance. He needs to poor more emotion into the performance. The song was a ballad type song, but a bit quicker in temp then your typical ballad. The production values would need to be improved by a huge margin if this were to win and represent Albania.

23:29 – Orges Toçe – Shi diamantësh

Started with a few light cords, and then the heavier chords kicked in almost straight after. Vocals need a lot of work as they were not strong at all, compared to others. A non winner for sure.

23:25 – LYNX – Sot

The costumes to the song look very out of place. Different from the other songs we have heard this evening. This cannot be defined to 1 genre as it can fall into a mixture, such as rock, ballad and pop. Excellent vocals, would need a little bit of minor tweaking other then that it is perfect as it is. LYNX is having which is what it is all about at the end of the day. Heavy rock beat to end the song on a high.

23:19 –  Yll Limani – Shiu

Strong male vocals. Yll is very smartly dressed, and means business. A typical male ballad which suits his voice perfectly. In typical Eurovision style, it changes key towards the end.

23:07 – A short duet between the host Ledina Celo and an unknown male singer. Ledina represented Albania in 2005 at Eurovision, they sang a collection of songs together.

22:57 – Edea Demaliaj – Besoj në ëndrra

Edea was introduced by the Albanian 2016 entry, Eneda Tarifa. Very strong vocals. The song reminds me of Besoj, that was Albania’s entry to the 2016 JESC. Very strong, the heavy beats draw you in to the song right from the beginning, which can prove to be an advantage, as this stays the same all throughout the song, so it grans people’s attention. Very strong contender indeed.

22:52 – Rezarta Smaja – Pse prite gjatë

Simple back dress. Not the sort of sound I was expecting. The song would match several types of genres. This is what I would call ‘Old school big band’ style. Meaning you have the trombone and trumpet playing together a lot of the time, but in a modern context. This is really different, and it is really good. Will take some beating I think, because the vocals are excellent too.

22:49 – Flaka Krelani – Osiris

Very strong vocals again from Flaka. Another example where the voice, costume and track adds to the production value. Nice and simple, and no dancing about the stage needed.

22:41 – Jury members being asked for their views

Overall the Jury members have a very positive view on the participants so fat now we are half way through. All agreeing that some have what it takes to qualify and some do not. They hope that the right person will be picked through the public vote this evening.

22:36 – Lindita Halimi – Botë

Deep beginning to the song, very strong vocals. Great backing vocals, they compliment the performer extremely well. The song would need a slight revamp, but the vocals are matching the song and backing vocalists perfectly. The performer is wearing a long length Purple dress, which is almost skin tight from the hips down, and that compliments everything perfectly. This is a great all round performance.

22:31 – Dilan Reka – Mos harro

Very much a cross between Dima Bilan and Sergey Lazarev. However the visuals, could not be further from that. Dilan needs to make use of the stage space. With a song like this, and crazy visuals similar to what Sergey Lazarev, this would solidify Albania in the top 10. Should this win, the production value needs to be increased by as much as it takes. This song matches crazy visuals. That is what is missing from this performance. Other then that, great vocals. The vocals need to match the production in order for it to make sense.

22:14 – Interval Act

It is great that Albania Split up the performers, so people are not bombarded with so many songs at once.

22:05 – Fabiola Agalliu & Agnesa Çavolli – Shkon e vjen

2 Females, who voices really compliment reach other. Remind me of Nu:Angels from the Ukrainian national final in 2016. Again this is another song, when revamped could up its production value. Very fun. Black and pink seems to be the theme here. A combination of English and Albanian. This does also benefit from the live Orchestra. The bridge and verses done slowly, and the quick chorus really makes this song stand out as it builds in anticipation. This will do really well.

22:01 – Xuxi – Metropol

The chorus is catchy. The Tune does not really compliment the voice and composition of the song though. Some improvements to be made there if this was to win. This would not qualify to the Grand Final in Kiev. Xuxi could make more use of the stage space available by bringing in performers and making this into a bigger production value song. That would work really well.

21:56 – Xhesika Polo – Eva jam unë.

Very strong vocals from Xhesika. A rock ballad would do well at Eurovision, as the vocals match the song well. Gold dress matches her skin tone and hair very well so everything about this whole production compliments each other. We have had a rock winner, we have had several ballad winners, but not a rock ballad winner. This is a 100% finalist for me and a definite top 20 placing for Albania.

21:51 – Lorela – Me Ty

Very unique style of voice. The song starts of slow then builds up to the chorus. Very young but unique vocals. Lorela is wearing a Black dress, but at Eurovision this would be likely to change, as most costumes do from National Final to Eurovision. The song is very well sing though. This song works well with the live Orchestra. That is what Eurovision needs to bring back, as many songs like this would benefit hugely from it. The song has a mix of beats which all work well together, a bit of generic ballad beat, but with the live drummer, all those work well together, and showcase the singers strengths.

21:47 – Franc Koruni “Macka”

Very upbeat song. Middle of the road vocals, these vocals would not give Albania the qualification at Eurovision they want. Very old style with the live orchestra. If you were not to look at him, you would think you were listening to Serhat again. Bit of rapping, which never usually goes down well at Eurovision.

21:27 – Tribute to Vaçe Zela

A lone female singer with guitar. Very strong vocals. The song has a very spanish flamenco feel to it. This lone singer was an 11 times winner of FiK, Vaçe Zela, who sadly left us in 2014.

21:26 – A lot of technical difficulties to get us started tonight. Problems for all the European streams. We are still waiting for the first competing song. Until then, some adverts for some Albanian films.

20:30 CET – The lineup for tonight

Welcome to our liveblog! The 14 finalists of tonight are:

Flaka Krelani “Osiris”
Genc Salihu “Këtu”
Xhesika Polo “Eva jam unë”
Edea Demaliaj “Besoj në ëndrra”
Yll Limani “Shiu”
Franc Koruni “Macka”
Orges Toçe “Shi diamantësh”
LYNX “Sot”
Lorela “Me ty”
Fabiola Agalliu & Agnesa Çavolli “Shkon e vjen”
Rezarta Smaja “Pse prite gjatë”
Dilan Reka “Mos harro”
XUXI “Metropol”
Lindita Halimi “Botë”