Preview: Albania in Eurovision 2015

In this new rubric at ESC Daily, we will take a look at next year’s Eurovision Song Contest. What can we expect from each participating country? In today’s preview we will feature the plans in Albania.

What do we know?

It has been a long standing tradition since Albania first participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004 that the Albanian representative is selected through the popular Festivali i Këngës which happens in December each year. The Albanian broadcaster RTSH have confirmed that 2015 will be no exception. The final of the Festivali i Këngës will take place this year on the 28th of December with two semi final evenings planned for the 26th and the 27th. This will also uphold the yearly tradition of Albania being one of the first countries to select their Eurovision entry some five months before the contest takes place.

Possible Names?

The list of artists participating in the Albanian selection for 2015 were revealed on the 30th of October 2014, the full list goes:

  1. Jozefina Simoni
  2. Gjergj Leka
  3. Marsela Çibukaj
  4. Lindita Halimi
  5. Rezarta Smaja
  6. Mjellma Berisha
  7. Revolt Klan
  8. Julian Gjojdeshi
  9. Erga Halilaj
  10. Kozma Dushi
  11. Xhejn & Enxhi Kumrija
  12. Ana Gramo
  13. Agim Poshka
  14. Florent Abrashi & Sigi Bastri
  15. Bojken Lako
  16. Kelly
  17. Venera Lumani
  18. Emi Bogdo
  19. Klajdi Musabelliu
  20. Besiana Mehmeti & Shkodran Tolaj
  21. Andos Sinani
  22. Offchestra
  23. Elhaida Dani
  24. Altin Goci
  25. Saimir Braho
  26. Grupi Aurora
  27. Besa Krasniqi
  28. Enver Petrovci

The list includes many returning participants who have previously been to the Festivali i Këngës in recent years. The most notable contestant this year is Elhaida Dani who won the Albanian version of the hit TV show Star Academy in 2009 then later went on to win the Italian version of The Voice in 2012. A huge superstar in her own right, she could prove to be a very strong competitor for Albania. Florian Kondi, who sadly passed away at age 35 this November, has written ‘Vetëm ti’ (‘Only you’), a song for Rezarta Smaja which she is scheduled to perform at Festivali i Këngës 53 this December.

Chances at Eurovision

Typically Albania’s fortunes at Eurovision can be mixed, they have had some hits and some misses, however after a couple of years of not making the final and some big names being pulled in for the national final this year, Albania could be on to something this year. The deciding factor of course will be the quality of the songs and the winning artist, but with the songs still unrevealed, it is difficult to judge before FiK starts.