Albania: Read back the liveblog of semi final 1

Albania is on the way to decide their representative for Kiev through national music competition Festivali i Këngës. Today we saw the first semifinal, followed be the second semifinal tomorrow and the Grand Final on Friday. Twelve entries will compete at each semifinal with altogether only fourteen qualifying for the Grand Final.

This year it marks the 55th edition of Albanian music competition Festivali i Këngës. However, it is the 14th time that Albanians are choosing their representative through this music competition since their debut in 2004. This year the competing acts are reduced to 24 from 30 of last year.

The qualifying 14 acts for the final will be determined by professional jury (8 songs), media jury (3 songs) and public jury (3 songs).

ESC Daily will liveblog all three live shows. The show tonight was rather difficult to follow as the Albanian livestream did not work well for everyone. On top of that, there were no results to comment on – results from both semi finals will be revealed together tomorrow evening. However, if you wanna read a few small comments on the songs and performances, feel free to read back on all the action below:

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You can watch the show live by clicking on this link and / or follow our live commentary below with newest updates appearing on top:

23:00 – End of the show!
We have seen all the twelve participants! The remaining twelve will sing tomorrow and only after the jury will make up the decision on fourteen qualifying songs. Thank you for following our liveblog! Don’t forget to come back to ESCDaily tomorrow again to follow a live commentary on the second semifinal.

22:52 – 12. LYNX – Sot

LYNX is last to perform tonight delivering another rock song but heavier than the previous one. Distortion on microphone and guitars, and the guitar musical intervals are rather long. Different from the others at least.

 22:45 – 11. Orges Toçe – Shi diamantësh

Orges performs a pop-rock composition, slightly filmical, decent vocals although a hardly recognizable build-up.
22.30 – 10. Franc Koruni – Macka

Frank comes with a black hat and performs a musical-esk up-tempo big band song, theatrical in its arrangement accompanied by a guy playing accordeon on stage. His vocals are flat but decent.
22:25 – 09. Yll Limani – Shiu

Yll Limani performes a ballad that is a little bit more modernly orchestrated, almost like a 90s boyband song. Vocals are good until he needs to get the higher ones in the chorus – those are simply too high for him.

22:13 – Humor time in Albania

The man is talking quite a long time. From laughing audience we can guess that he is making good jokes.

22:08 – 08. Neki Emra – Dashuri dhe urrejtje

Neki performs another ballad, a rather classical one, especially because of the classically educated female backing singer. Backing vocals make it almost sound gothic but no strings to back that up. His backdrop is  red & black.

22:00 – 07. Edea Demaliaj – Besoj në ëndrra

Edena comes with a melodramatic ballad which is very suitable for the orchestra setting. She has red hair and a green sparkly dress. She started with shaky vocals which remained so until the end.

21-48  – First half is over

And now it’s time for hosts to speak to the singers in the green room – although it looks more purple than green.

21-40 – 06 Festina Mejzini – Atje lart

Festina is the first one to have two separate musicians close to her on stage apart from the orchestra. One is a flutist (flute has important influence on this composition) and the other is a percussionist. Backdrop displays a blue autumn forest. As for outfits, Festina is back to black.

21-26 –05. Xhesika Polo – Eva jam unë

Xhesika comes in a long beige dress breaking the black outfit rule. She performs a typical power ballad, but with disappointing vocals.

21:29 – 04. Erlind Zeraliu – Dhimbja e gëzmit

After a short commercial we are back to live with Erlind taking the stage. He delivers his song very seriously and as for his outfits it seems this is a rule for this contest to appear all in black.

21:25 – 03. Genc Salihu – Këtu

The third comes Genc. During this peroformace the livestream was struggling a lot, we could not see anything from it unfortunately.

21:18 – 02. Xhejni Lito – Pritja

Xhejni comes the second. We have to confess the live stream is not working well and we missed the majority of her performance. From what we could see her vocals do not seem very good and she is all in black like Flaka was.

21:12 – 01. Flaka Krelani – Osiris

Flaka is starting the show. Her vocals seem alright, her outfit is all black, almost navy-costume. Song is a bit slower than the one from last year, when she turned into a fan favorite.

21:08 –  Ledina Çelo and Kasem Hoxha – the hosts of the show

The show is hosted by Ledina Çelo and Kasem Hoxha live from the Palace of Congresses in Tirana.

21:05 – The actual start of the show!

After the recap of previous winners the show kicks off with a live orchestra.

20:38- Time to remember old winners!

The Albanians are starting the show with a recap of old winners.

20:25 – We are starting our liveblog!

The line-up for tonight’s show is the following:

1. Flaka Krelani – Osiris
2. Xhejni Lito  Pritja 
3. Genc Salihu – Këtu 
4. Erlind Zeraliu 
– Dhimbja e gëzmit 

5. Xhesika Polo – Eva jam unë
6. Festina Mejzini 
– Atje lart
7. Edea Demaliaj 
– Besoj në ëndrra
8. Neki Emra 
– Dashuri dhe urrejtje 
9. Yll Limani 
– Shiu 
10. Franc Koruni 
– Macka
11. Orges Toçe 
– Shi diamantësh
12. LYNX 
– Sot