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Albania kicks off the 2019 season with “Ktheju tokës”

by | Dec 23, 2018

Albania kicks off the 2019 season with “Ktheju tokës”

by | Dec 23, 2018 | Eurovision, Featured

The 2019 on-season began in earnest tonight with the final of Festivali i Këngës, the Albanian preselection for the Eurovision Song Contest and the traditional pre-Christmas (or sometimes during-Christmas!) treat for ESC fans everywhere.

As true enthuasists of the days we fondly refer to as “FiKmas”, we had gathered in our #esc chat to watch the two semi-final shows on Thursday and Friday – but tonight’s grand final was when it really counted, as the first entry for ESC 2019 was selected.

Following a jury vote that resulted in a head-to-head fight for first place, that entry will be “Ktheju tokës” by Jonida Maliqi.

Our chat had a different favourite – “Me jetë” by Klinti Çollaku, which averaged 7.76 points out of ten – but we were reasonably fond of the winner too, giving it an average score of 7.33 and ranking it third on the night. Congratulations to Jonida!

We’ve talked about it on our social media already, but we can’t end this piece without a word about our press centre colleague and dear friend Daniel Gould, who passed away suddenly last week. Andrew has written a lovely tribute to him over at Sofabet, and we can only echo his sentiments and his sense of shock at the news. As the new season begins, it seems inconceivable that Daniel won’t be around to analyse it in the witty and informed style he had made his own. He will be hugely missed by the ESC fan community and things simply won’t be the same without him.

Nevertheless, the wheels of the ESC machine keep on turning, and so we welcome Albania to the 2019 line-up – and quietly wonder what Daniel would have made of Jonida Maliqi’s qualification chances in Tel Aviv.

You can listen to the freshly selected Albanian entry here:

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