As we reported before, the Festivali i Kënges will take place on 19th, 20th and 21st December.
Today we can bring you all the names of this year�s participants. Besides that, the new format of the three shows has been made public as well.
The biggest names on the participants list are Rovena Dilo and Luiz Ejlli. Dilo won the contest already in 2000 and is currently one of Albania’s best selling artists. Luiz Ejlli won the Festivali i Kënges in 2006 and therefore represented his country in the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest. This year he will try his luck again in duet with singer Juliana Pasha.All rumours about a possible return of 2004 Eurovision Song Contest participant Anjeza Sahini appeared to be false. However, the songwriter behind her entry, The image of you, has submitted another song this year. Edmond Zhulali is responsible for the song of Kejsi Tola, last years winner of the Albanian ‘Idol’.
The Albanian broadcaster decided to use another format this year after all the criticism towards the system of recent years. First of all, there will be only 20 participants in this year's edition. All singers will sing their songs during the first show on 19th December. On the second evening, the songs will be performed by other famous Albanian artists. All 20 songs will proceed to the final on 21st December and will be performed again by its original artists. Then a jury consisting of seven people will vote and decide who will be the 47th winner of the Festivali i Kënges.The shows will be hosted again by Elsa Lila (who won the contest twice herself) along with two comedians, Julian Deda and Gentian Zenelaj. Director of the Festivali i Kënges will be Pali Kuke again, accompanied by artistic director Pirro Cako.
The full list of participants (composers in brackets):
- Rovena Dilo & Gent Bushpepa (Armend Rexhepagiç)
- Grupi “West Side Family”(Dr. Flori)
- Endri dhe Stefi(Josif Minga)
- Juliana Pasha and Luiz Ejlli(Shpëtim Saraçi)
- Soni Malaj(Florian Mumajesi)
- Kejsi Tola(Edmond Zhulali)
- Dorina Garuci(Dorian Nini)
- Marjeta Billo(Adrian Hila)
- Evis Mula (Luan Zhegu)
- Kujtim Prodani (Kujtim Prodani)
- Era Rusi (Arsen Nasi & Bledar Skënderi)
- Julian Lekoçaj(Julian Lekoçaj)
- Besa Kokëdhima(Alban Male)
- Agim Poshka(Agim Poshka)
- Grupi “Burn” (Group Burn)
- Vedat Ademi(Kledi Bahiti)
- Bledi Polena(Sokol Marsi)
- Shpat Kasapi (Gent Myftaraj)
- Erga Halili (Kristi Popa)
- Adelina Thaçi(Alfred Kaçinari)
Get to know the participants (by Gil Laufer)
As every year, we can find big names in the festival:
Rovena Dilo is a well known honored Albanian artist. She took part in several editions of the festival, and so afr, her most successful entry was Ante I Tokes Sime in 2000, which brought her the first place.
Group West Side Family is a hip-hop group that includes Albanian motives in their songs. Dr Flori, a member of the group, and the composer of the song, wrote the albanian entry in 2006, Zjarre ftothe, which failed to qualify to the final.
Juliana Pasha and Luiz Ejlli, two famous albanian artists, will sing together in a duet. Juliana had reached the third place in last year's festival, while Luiz came second in 2005, and represented Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest2006 after he won the festival the following year. Their song is written by Shpëtim Saraçi who wrote several festivali entries, including Mira Konçi's two winning songs (1994 and 2002).
Soni Malaj is a famous artist in Albania. She took part in the 2005 edition of the festival but failed to qualify to the final. In the following year later she hosted it with Drini Zeqo. Last year, she reached the second place in the Kenga Magjike song festival with the song Fluturimi 3470.
Evis Mula is the granddauther of Avni Mula, an Albanian composer who gave Alberie Hadergjonaj the first place in Festivali I Kenges 1998, and she is the daughter of Osman Mula, the composer of many Festivali songs in the 1990s, including the winner of 1992 by Manjola Nallbani. She took part in the contest during the last years, her most successful entry was E dua këngën, the third place of 2006. Ahead of Eviswas Era Rusi, who finished second back then, will take part this year too.
Kujtim Prodani had a song in the contest every year since Albania joined the eurovision, and after a break of one year he will come back to the contest this time, with an own-composed song.Besides the famous artists we can find more composers who wrote songs for the festival as Alfred Kaçinari (Miriam Cani – Shko, Anjeza Shahini – Pse ndal) Kristi (Mariza Ikonomi & Erion Korini – Edhe fati qan), Luan Zhegu, who took part in the festival in 1995 along with Ledina Çelo, and Adrian Hila, who is responsible for 3 of the Albanian Entries of ESC (2005, 2007& 2008)
Many thanks to Gafurr Sahiti for his contribution to this article.