As with every year, Albania is one of the very first countries to pick up their song and artist for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon. RTSH, the national broadcaster of the country, after confirming their Eurovision participation, is now getting ready for their national selection show Festivali i Këngës, which is going to be held for the 56th time in December.
The broadcaster is about to open song submissions and has published a press release to invite all the interested singers and songwriters.
Rules regarding the process
Every valid song submission must include:
- The candidate song recorded on a CD, along with its orchestration.
- The lyrics of the song
- Photographs of the singer of group if he/she participates for the first time in the show
- The completed handwritten form, which will be provided by RTSH will include the names of all the authors of the song
The broadcaster will be receiving the applications from 2 to 10 November at Radio Tirana. The process will be open from 9:00 to 14:00 CET.
According to RTSH, any song cannot be released before its submission, even after 1 September, as defined by the EBU regulation and cannot be longer than 4 minutes. The delivered recording of the song must be sung by the artist that will be performing at the show, if selected by the committee.
All participants have to over 16 years old. Each lead artist or composer is able to take part with only one song or co-authorship. On the contrary, an orchestra or lyricist can participate with up to two songs, including co-authorship.
RTSH also underlines that all authors and artists involved in each participating song must be Albanian citizens.
Should an application not meet the above requirements, it will be automatically exempt from the selection process.
A special committee of music experts appointed by RTSH is going to decide which songs will take part in the upcoming competition in December.
Albania at Eurovision
Albania firstly took part at the contest in 2004. The country has always been choosing their Eurovision entrant to be the winner of their annual national competition Festivali i Këngës. The country made a successful debut, finishing in 7th place with Anjeza Shahini and her entry The image of you.
However, their best result came 8 years later, in 2012, when Rona Nishliu made a very strong and extraordinary performance of her Albanian song Suus, which had been discussed a lot. Rona, with her deep voice, made Albania proud and enter the Top 5 for the very first time, coming 5th with 146 points.
These have been the only Top 10 placings for Albania so far. In 2017, the country was represented by the former American Idol participant Lindita and her ballad song World, which won Festivali i Këngës last year under the title Botë and written in Albanian lyrics. However, she didn’t make it to the final, as she finished 14th with 76 points at the first semi-final.