Only a matter of minutes remaining until the start of the final of the grand Albanian music festival, Festivali i Këngës 56, which will determine the country’s representative for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. But who would you like to see in Lisbon this coming May? Let’s look at the results!
This week, we’ve seen a total of 22 acts competing for the right to be crowned the winner of the 56th edition of the Festivali i Këngës (FiK) competition, with fans from across the continent and beyond tuning in to watch the event over the past 2 evenings.
From the 22 semi-finalists, only 14 acts managed to qualify to tonight’s FiK final: 8 artists qualified from the first semi-final, whilst the remaining 6 finalists were selected from semi-final 2.
Since the finalist confirmation, we here at ESCToday have been asking for your opinion as to who you would like to see representing the country of Albania at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. Here are your favourites of tonight’s final!
Fan favourites of the FiK 56 final
Voting opened late last night following the Albanian national broadcaster’s, RTSH, confirmation of the 14 finalists. The final competitors were determined via a specialist jury, who will also determine tonight’s winner.
According to our ESCToday fan vote, here are your favourites from tonight’s final!
- Rezarta Smaja & Luiz Ejlli – Ra një yll (39.15%)
- Eugent Bushpepa – Mall (16.75%)
- Inis Neziri – Piedestal (15.87%)
- Orgesa Zaimi – Ngrije zërin (7.41%)
- Artemisa Mithi – E dua botën (4.76%)
- Mariza Ikonomi – Unë (3.7%)
- Manjola Nallbani – I njëjti qiell (3.17%)
- Grupi Na & Festina Mezini – Tjetër jetë (2.12%)
- Denisa Gjezo – Zemër ku je (1.59%)
- Redon Makashi – Egziston (1.59%)
- Voltan Prodani – E pamundur (1.41%)
- Bojken Lako – Sytë e shpirtit (1.23%)
- Tiri – Orë e ndalur (0.71%)
- Elton Deda – Fjalët (0.53%)
Winning our vote by quite a huge gap are Rezarta Smaja and former Albanian Eurovision representative, Luiz Ejlli, who are competing in FiK 56 with their entry Ra një yll.
According to YouTube, the Albanian duo have received the fifth highest number of views since their entry was released via RTSH’s official channel, accumulating over 30,000 views as of the publication of this article.
Second in our fan vote poll is Eugent Bushpepa, competing with his entry Mall. Bringing a different genre of music to FiK, Bushpepa has been one of the clear fan favourites since his entry was made public, with many fans from across Albania and beyond hoping to see the singer win the festival.
YouTube views also go in Bushpepa’s favour: Mall currently has the highest amount of views from all of the published FiK 56 entries, currently having over 61,000 views via the channel.
With Albania having selected 4 strong female vocalists in recent years, could 2018 see a change in style for the nation at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon?
Finishing third in our poll is Inis Neziri, who wowed viewers last night in the second semi-final of the festival with a vocally stunning performance of her competing entry, Piedestal.
Producing what has been described as a flawless vocal performance in last night’s show, Neziri has recently shot to the forefront and become an even stronger favourite than previously expected.
According to current YouTube stats, Neziri currently has the second highest number of accumulated views since the upload of her entry, with views set to rise from the 49,000 already garnered.
YouTube Top 5
Whilst YouTube views do not necessarily predict the final outcome of the festival itself, it does give an indication of which artists and entries have achieved the most interest from fans, both nationally and internationally.
Currently, the Top 5 most-viewed entries of the FiK 56 final are as follows:
- Eugent Bushpepa – Mall (61,499)
- Inis Neziri – Piedestal (49,113)
- Tiri – Orë e ndalur (37,764)
- Redon Makashi – Egziston (36,535)
- Rezarta Smaja & Luiz Ejlli – Ra një yll (30,829)
Whether the YouTube views will give an indication of the final outcome will be seen this evening. However with the jury set to determine tonight’s winner, could we be set to see a surprise in the FiK 56 final?