Festivali i Këngës

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Festivali i Këngës is an Albanian song contest, organised by the Albanian national broadcaster Radio Televizioni Shqiptar (RTSH). Various singing presentations have been used throughout its history, beginning with radio-only performances in the first few years, live interpretation, playback, remakes and even duets featuring other singers. The winners have traditionally been selected by a jury; however, other voting methods have also been applied, such as televoting or regional juries. At times, the head juror has carried twice the voting power of other jurors. Since 2003 it has been used to select Albania's entry for the international Eurovision Song Contest.

The contest has developed over time, from its humble beginnings of neutral themes in its entries to a tool for the governing Communist Party of Albania in promoting its ideals. The 1972 contest became a turning point for the contest, in which dictator Enver Hoxha prosecuted the organisers of Festivali i Këngës 11 after they were declared "enemies of the public" for accusations of endangering the country with "immoral aspects" in the songs and their performances. Afterwards the ruling Communist Party imposed many sanctions on the contest's creativity, with a strict censorship on anything deemed inappropriate by the government.

After the fall of communism in Albania in 1991 the contest was again allowed to diversify the themes of its entries, with many competing and winning songs featuring current developments, such as immigration/travel and religion (both illegal under the communist regime). One of the most distinguished trademarks of the entries competing in Festivali I Kenges remains the strength in lyrics.

Until 1999 Festivali i Këngës was the biggest music event in Albania, however its popularity began to waver after the introduction of other competitions such as Top Fest and Kënga Magjike, which began to produce higher ratings. However with Albania's introduction in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004, Festivali i Këngës once again became the center of attention after Anjeza Shahini, winner of Albanian Idol, won the contest in 2003.

The incentive of winning a chance to compete at the Eurovision Song Contest was followed by great controversies such as a lack of transparency between 2003 and 2006 to allegations of jury bias, fraud and even racism, as was the case in 2007. The contest has however gradually started to regain its reputation of excellence after a series of positive changes made in recent years, including improvements in technology and presentation, more carefully chosen and diverse jurors, especially international jurors related to Eurovision, an increased role and quality of the RTSH Orchestra with the contribution of expert composers, as well as generally accepted and uncontested final results. A combination of jury and televote is still widely requested by fans of the show noting that an increased chance of winning the public vote will compel more commercial artists to participate, further increasing the potential for an optimal entry and result at ESC.

Theme[edit]

Many themes have been used for the opening and closing of Festivali i Këngës. These are the lyrics of the current theme of the festival:


  • Vitet shkojnë, rrjedhin një nga një, lind një fjalë, bëhet melodi, në çdo zemër kur ti ndalon, një mik të ri takon, mirësevjen ti festa jonë
eng. The years pass, they flow one by one, a word is born, it becomes a melody, in each heart when you stop, you meet a new friend, we welcome you, our celebration
  • Në çdo dhjetor troket, ti këngës i jep jetë, me ritmin tënd jetojmë, mik i shtrenjtë
eng. You knock every December, giving life to the song, we live with your rhythm, dear friend
  • Tek çdo njeri jeton, motivi jot gjithmonë, ti këngën mos e ndal, të dua (të dua)
eng. In every person lives, eternally your theme, don't ever stop the music, I love you (I love you)
  • Vitet shkojnë, rrjedhin një nga një, lind një fjalë, bëhet melodi, në çdo zemër kur ti ndalon, një mik të ri takon, mirësevjen ti festa jonë
eng. The years pass, they flow one by one, a word is born, it becomes a melody, in each heart when you stop, you meet a new friend, we welcome you, our celebration
  • Vitet shkojnë, rrjedhin një nga një, lind një fjalë, bëhet melodi, në çdo zemër kur ti ndalon, një mik të ri takon, mirësevjen ti festa jonë
eng. The years pass, they flow one by one, a word is born, it becomes a melody, in each heart when you stop, you meet a new friend, we welcome you, our celebration
  • Në çdo zemër kur ti ndalon, një mik të ri takon. Mirësevjen, festa jonë!
eng. In each heart when you stop, you meet a new friend. Welcome, our celebration!


History[edit]

Palace of Congresses, the venue where Festivali i Këngës has been held for the last 2 decades

Impressive Record[edit]

Festivali i Këngës, began on December 21, 1962 in the ILA Venue in Tirana, Albania. 20 songs competed in its semifinal round, but only 12 made it through to the final. The first winner of Festivali i Këngës was the legendary Vaçe Zela with her famous song "Fëmija I Parë" (The First Child). Vaçe Zela is the singer with the most victories in FIK history to date, an impressive 11 times.

Singers with consecutive wins include:

Harsh Censorship[edit]

Before 1972, the songs had a neutral nature, covering many topics of life. However, after Festivali i Këngës 11, dictator Enver Hoxha intervened by imprisoning the main organisers of the show and unjustly accused them of consipiring against the country and corrupting its youth.[1][2] The contest dwelled in a period of extreme pressure and censorship. The songs were highly monitored and the topics were generally related to the country's development and even the government. This oppression continued all the way until 1984 when the dictator died. The following year, the change in lyrics was very abrupt, and censorship was not as strict.

The Winds Of Change[edit]

With the fall of dictatorship during the 1990s, Festivali i Këngës had a temporary boost in both quality and diversity. The winning songs reflected the status of the country at the time. The 1991 winner "Ardit Gjebrea - Jon" and the 1992 winner Osman Mula's song "Aleksandër Gjoka, Manjola Nallbani & Viktor Tahiraj - Pesha E Fatit" were both songs with an "immigration/freedom" theme, which was the reality at the time in Albania as well. During this period, the contest was also introduced to the word God for the first time. Prior to that, religion was illegal in Albania and the word God was not allowed to be pronounced in public. The participation of Albanian singers from outside the borders was also an addition to the history of the festival in this decade. Before that, the country was in a period of isolation.

Troubled Times[edit]

In 1996, the stage of Festivali i Këngës welcomed newcomer Elsa Lila in a performance that deeply touched the hearts of the public with the clarity of her voice. She won the contest with "Pyes Lotin" in 1996 and pulled off another victory the following year with "Larg Urrejtjes" in 1997. These songs were also a mirror to the country's difficult reality in those years after the collapse of the pyramid schemes, an event which wreaked havoc all throughout Albania. Despite the difficult times, Festivali i Këngës never stopped its broadcast and went ahead as scheduled in the final weeks of December every year since its start.

In 1998, Albërie Hadërgjonaj became the first Kosovar-Albanian singer to win the contest with the ballad "Mirësia Dhe E Vërteta". The song had a humanitarian anti-war message and is often referred to as a song for Kosovo, relating to the 1998–1999 war.

Cool Off[edit]

By the year 2000, Festivali i Këngës had lost many of its admirers to the competition of Kënga Magjike, a similar song contest taking place in the Fall, as well as Top Fest, which started a few years later as a reality series on Top Channel leading to a big Spring finale. However, another talented newcomer touched the stage of FIK in 2003, idol winner Anjeza Shahini. She had recently won the "Ethet e së Premtes Mbrëma" talent show a few months prior to competing in FIK and the public was highly impressed with her voice and her charming stage presence.

Eurovision Era[edit]

Anjeza Shahini won the 42nd edition of Festivali i Këngës as expected, placing hopeful professional singer Mariza Ikonomi in second place. Mariza boycotted the stage when the results were announced in sign of disappointment. Much was at stake in this edition since the winner would be the first ever representative of Albania in Eurovision. Anjeza went on to sing at the Eurovision Song Contest 2004, landing herself in a respectable 7th place with the song "The Image Of You".

Albania continued its Eurovision journey with memorable entries and performances by both established and recently discovered musicians, sometimes succeeding to qualify for the finals. Its best result to date has been by Kosovar-Albanian singer Rona Nishliu with the highly appraised performance of her vocally intensive song "Suus", ranking 2nd in the semi-finals and 5th in the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Hosts[edit]

Year Edition Hosts Venue Director
1962 Festivali i Këngës 01 Margarita Xhepa & Luigj Gurakuqi Jr. ILA Venue Luigj Gurakuqi Jr.
1963 Festivali i Këngës 02 Vera Zheji & Skifter Këlliçi ILA Venue Luigj Gurakuqi Jr.
1964 Festivali i Këngës 03 Drita Bardhi & Vangjel Heba ILA Venue Luigj Gurakuqi Jr.
1965 Festivali i Këngës 04 Drita Bardhi & Bujar Kapexhiu ILA Venue Luigj Gurakuqi Jr.
1966 Festivali i Këngës 05 Drita Bardhi & Bujar Kapexhiu ILA Venue  ?
1967 Festivali i Këngës 06 Albert Minga & Drita Bardhi ILA Venue  ?
1968 Festivali i Këngës 07 Drita Bardhi & Roland Trebicka ILA Venue  ?
1969 Festivali i Këngës 08 Elisabeta Vasili & Kiço Fotiadhi National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania Albert Minga
1970 Festivali i Këngës 09 Adriana Fishta & Mevlan Shanaj National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania Albert Minga
1971 Festivali i Këngës 10 Edi Luarasi & Viktor Zhusti National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania Mihallaq Luarasi
1972 Festivali i Këngës 11 Edi Luarasi & Bujar Kapexhiu National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania Mihallaq Luarasi
1973 Festivali i Këngës 12 Flutura Çangu & Pandi Siku National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania Albert Minga
1974 Festivali i Këngës 13 Arta Dade & Esat Teliti National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania Albert Minga
1975 Festivali i Këngës 14 Rezarta Malaj & Kastriot Caushi National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania Mevlan Shanaj
1976 Festivali i Këngës 15 Rezana Celiku & Ilir Bibolli National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania Albert Minga & Osman Mula
1977 Festivali i Këngës 16 Zerina Kuke & Ilir Bibolli National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania Osman Mula
1978 Festivali i Këngës 17 Zerina Kuke & Ndriçim Xhepa National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania Osman Mula
1979 Festivali i Këngës 18 Mimoza Tafaj & Pirro Kita National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania Osman Mula
1980 Festivali i Këngës 19 Silvana Braçe & Dhimitër Gjoka National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania Osman Mula
1981 Festivali i Këngës 20 Ndriçim Xhepa & Anisa Markajan National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania Osman Mula
1982 Festivali i Këngës 21 Dhimiter Gjoka & Dhurata Kasmi National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania Osman Mula
1983 Festivali i Këngës 22 Ndriçim Xhepa & Matilda Makoçi National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania Osman Mula
1984 Festivali i Këngës 23 Elvira Diamanti & Artan Imami National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania Albert Minga
1985 Festivali i Këngës 24 Yllka Mujo National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania Vera Grabocka
1986 Festivali i Këngës 25 Ema Ndoja National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania Vera Grabocka
1987 Festivali i Këngës 26 Silvana Braçe National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania Vera Grabocka
1988 Festivali i Këngës 27 Ina Gjika National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania Vera Grabocka
1989 Festivali i Këngës 28 Luiza Xhuvani Palace of Congresses Vera Grabocka
1990 Festivali i Këngës 29 Leon Menkshi & Kristi Rrapo Palace of Congresses Osman Mula
1991 Festivali i Këngës 30 Leon Menkshi, Ema Andrea & Rudina Magjistari Palace of Congresses Vera Grabocka
1992 Festivali i Këngës 31 Dritan Boriçi, Fjoralba Shehu, Sokol Balza & Rudina Magjistari Palace of Congresses Leonard Gjata
1993 Festivali i Këngës 32 Silvana Braçe, Ndriçim Xhepa & Juela Meçani Palace of Congresses Leonard Gjata & Mishel Koçiu
1994 Festivali i Këngës 33 Reiz Çiço & Doris Petrela Palace of Congresses Vera Grabocka & Mishel Koçiu
1995 Festivali i Këngës 34 Reiz Çiço & Doris Petrela Palace of Congresses Osman Mula
1996 Festivali i Këngës 35 Ardit Gjebrea, Valbona Çoba & Rudina Magjistari Palace of Congresses Osman Mula
1997 Festivali i Këngës 36 Adi Krasta, Vilma Papajani, Hygerta Sako & Monika Zguro Palace of Congresses Leonard Gjata
1998 Festivali i Këngës 37 Gazmend Gjoka, Inis Gjoni, Hygerta Sako & Luigj Gurakuqi Jr. Palace of Congresses Petrit Bozo
1999 Festivali i Këngës 38 Adi Krasta, Inis Gjoni, Hygerta Sako & Klodiana Maliqi Palace of Congresses Petrit Bozo
2000 Festivali i Këngës 39 Erion Mustafaraj & Ornela Bregu Palace of Congresses Leonard Gjata
2001 Festivali i Këngës 40 Alban Dudushi & Ornela Bregu Palace of Congresses Leonard Gjata
2002 Festivali i Këngës 41 Adi Krasta & Ann Francis Vata Palace of Congresses Pali Kuke
2003 Festivali i Këngës 42 Adi Krasta & Ledina Çelo Palace of Congresses Pali Kuke
2004 Festivali i Këngës 43 Leon Menkshi & Hueyda El Saied Palace of Congresses Pali Kuke
2005 Festivali i Këngës 44 Soni Malaj & Drini Zeqo Palace of Congresses Leonard Gjata
2006 Festivali i Këngës 45 Adi Krasta, Vesa Luma & Ermela Teli Palace of Congresses Pali Kuke
2007 Festivali i Këngës 46 Elsa Lila & Pirro Çako Palace of Congresses Pali Kuke
2008 Festivali i Këngës 47 Elsa Lila, Julian Deda & Gentian Zenelaj Palace of Congresses Pali Kuke
2009 Festivali i Këngës 48 Alban Skënderaj & Miriam Cani Palace of Congresses Osman Mula
2010 Festivali i Këngës 49 Jonida Maliqi, Josif Gjipali & Mirela Naska Palace of Congresses Bojken Lako
2011 Festivali i Këngës 50 Hygerta Sako, Enkeleida Zeko & Nik Xhelilaj Palace of Congresses Martin Leka
2012 Festivali i Këngës 51 Enkel Demi & Floriana Garo Palace of Congresses Petrit Beçi
2013 Festivali i Këngës 52 Enkel Demi, Xhesika Berberi, Marinela Meta & Klea Huta Palace of Congresses Petrit Bozo
2014 Festivali i Këngës 53 Turjan Hyska, Floriana Garo & Liberta Spahiu Palace of Congresses Bledi Laço

Winners[edit]

Year Edition Artists, (w) = Winning Version Song English Translation Music (m) / Lyrics (l)
1962 FIK 01 Vaçe Zela (w), Qemal Kërtusha "Fëmija i parë" The first child Abdulla Grimci (m) / Dionis Bubani (l)
1963 FIK 02 Nikoleta Shoshi (w), Rita Vako "Flakë e borë" Flames and snow Tish Daija (m) / Llazar Siliqi (l)
1964 FIK 03 Vaçe Zela (w), Nikolin Gjergji "Sot jam 20 vjeç" 1 Today I turned 20 years old Llazar Morcka (m) / Dionis Bubani (l)
Vaçe Zela (w), Klotilda Shantoja "Dritaren kërkoj" I look for the window Tonin Harapi (m) / Llazar Siliqi (l)
1965 FIK 04 Tonin Tërshana (w), Rita Vako "Të dua o det" I love you oh sea Tonin Harapi (m) / Mark Gurakuqi (l)
1966 FIK 05 Vaçe Zela (w), Ramiz Kovaçi "Shqiponja e lirë" The free eagle Pjetër Gaci (m) / Ismail Kadare (l)
1967 FIK 06 Vaçe Zela (w), Gaqo Çako "Këngë për Shkurte Vatën" A song for Shkurte Vata Ferdinand Deda (m) / Ruzhdi Pulaha (l)
1968 FIK 07 Vaçe Zela (w), Ramiz Kovaçi "Mësuesit hero" The teachers, heroes Limoz Dizdari (m) / Dritero Agolli (l)
1969 FIK 08 David Tukiçi (w), Rozeta Doraci "Dhuratë për ditëlindje" Birthday present Nikolla Zoraqi (m) / Fatos Arapi (l)
1970 FIK 09 Vaçe Zela (w), Liljana Kondakçi "Mesnatë" Midnight Shpëtim Kushta (m) / Fatos Arapi (l)
Gaqo Çako (w), Ema Qazimi "Shtëpia ku lindi partia" 2 The house where the party was born Nikolla Zoraqi (m) / Agim Shehu (l)
1971 FIK 10 Sherif Merdani (w), Tonin Tërshana "Kënga e nënës" The mother's song Agim Prodani (m) / Agim Shehu (l)
1972 FIK 11 Tonin Tërshana "Erdhi pranvera" Spring has come Pjetër Gaci (m) / Fatos Arapi (l)
1973 FIK 12 Vaçe Zela (w), Ema Qazimi "Gjurmët e arta" The golden footprints Kujtim Laro (m) / Lirim Deda (l)
1974 FIK 13 Alida Hisku (w), Petrit Dobjani, Valentina Gjoni "Vajzat e fshatit tim" The girls of my village Enver Shëngjergji (m) / Zhuliana Jorganxhi (l)
1975 FIK 14 Alida Hisku (w), Ema Qazimi "Buka e duarve tona" The bread of our hands Kujtim Laro (m) / Xhevahir Spahiu (l)
1976 FIK 15 Vaçe Zela (w), Avni Mula "Nënë moj do pres gërshetin" Hey mother I'll cut my ponytail Avni Mula (m) / Hysni Milloshi (l)
1977 FIK 16 Vaçe Zela (w), Shpresa Spaho "Gonxhe në pemën e lirisë" A bud in the tree of freedom Limoz Dizdari (m) / Robert Shvarc & Zhuliana Jorganxhi (l)
1978 FIK 17 Gaqo Çako (w), Ema Qazimi & Liljana Kondakçi "Këputa një gjethe dafine" I cut a bay leaf Limoz Dizdari (m) / Xhevahir Spahiu (l)
1979 FIK 18 Zeliha Sina & Liljana Kondakçi (w), Aferdita (Laçi) Zonja "Festë ka sot Shqipëria" Albania has a celebration today Agim Prodani (m) / Zhuliana Jorganxhi (l)
1980 FIK 19 Vaçe Zela (w), Myfarete Laze "Shoqet tona ilegale" Our illegal friends Agim Prodani (m) / Zhuliana Jorganxhi (l)
1981 FIK 20 Ema Qazimi (w), Liljana Kondakçi "Krenari e brezave" Pride of the generations Feim Ibrahimi (m) / Gjoke Beci (l)
1982 FIK 21 Marina Grabovari (w), Luan Zhegu "Një djep në barrikadë" A cradle in a barricade Avni Mula (m) / Hysni Milloshi (l)
1983 FIK 22 Tonin Tërshana (w), Liljana Kondakçi "Vajzë moj, lule moj" Hey girl, hey flower Luan Zhegu (m) / Adelina Balashi (l)
1984 FIK 23 Gëzim Çela & Nertila Koka (w), Bashkim Alibali "Çel si gonxhe dashuria" Love sprouts like a bud Vladimir Kotani (m) / Arben Duka (l)
1985 FIK 24 Parashqevi Simaku "Në moshën e rinisë" In the age of youth Vladimir Kotani (m) / Arben Duka (l)
1986 FIK 25 Nertila Koka "Dy gëzime në një ditë" Two joys in one day David Tukiçi (m) / Gjoke Beci (l)
1987 FIK 26 Irma Libohova & Eranda Libohova "Nuk e harroj" I won't forget him Agim Krajka (m) / Arben Duka (l)
1988 FIK 27 Parashqevi Simaku "E duam lumturinë" We want happiness Pirro Çako (m) / Agim Doçi (l)
1989 FIK 28 Frederik Ndoci, Manjola Nallbani & Julia Ndoci "Toka e diellit" The land of the sun Aleksander Peçi (m) / Xhevahir Spahiu (l)
1990 FIK 29 Anita Bitri "Askush s'do ta besojë" Nobody will believe it Flamur Shehu (m) / Jorgo Papingji (l)
1991 FIK 30 Ardit Gjebrea "Jon" Jon Ardit Gjebrea (m) / Xhankarlo Milone & Zhuliana Jorganxhi (l)
1992 FIK 31 Aleksandër Gjoka, Manjola Nallbani & Viktor Tahiraj "Pesha e fatit" The weight of fate Osman Mula (m) / Alqi Boshnjaku (l)
1993 FIK 32 Manjola Nallbani "Kur e humba një dashuri" When I lost a love Vladimir Kotani (m) / Jorgo Papingji (l)
1994 FIK 33 Mira Konçi "Të sotmen jeto" Live for today Shpëtim Saraçi (m) / Alqi Boshnjaku (l)
1995 FIK 34 Ardit Gjebrea "Eja" Come Ardit Gjebrea (m) / Xhevahir Spahiu (l)
1996 FIK 35 Elsa Lila "Pyes lotin" I ask the tear Valentin Veizi (m) / Enrjeta Sina (l)
1997 FIK 36 Elsa Lila "Larg urrejtjes" Away from the hatred Valentin Veizi (m) / Alqi Boshnjaku (l)
1998 FIK 37 Albërie Hadërgjonaj "Mirësia dhe e vërteta" Goodness and truth Luan Zhegu (m) / Arben Duka (l)
1999 FIK 38 Aurela Gaçe "S'jam tribu" I'm not a tribute Adrian Hila (m) / Jorgo Papingji (l)
2000 FIK 39 Rovena Dilo "Ante i tokës sime" Anthem of my land Ardit Gjebrea (m) / Rovena Dilo (l)
2001 FIK 40 Aurela Gaçe "Jetoj" I live Adrian Hila (m) / Jorgo Papingji (l)
2002 FIK 41 Mira Konçi "Brënda vetes më merr" Take me inside of yourself Shpëtim Saraçi (m) / Pandi Laço (l)
2003 FIK 42 Anjeza Shahini "Imazhi yt" The image of you Edmond Zhulali (m) / Agim Doçi (l)
2004 FIK 43 Ledina Çelo "Nesër shkoj" Tomorrow I go Adrian Hila (m) / Pandi Laço (l)
2005 FIK 44 Luiz Ejlli "Zjarr e ftohtë" Fire and cold Klodian Qafoku (m) / Floran Kondi (Dr. Flori) (l)
2006 FIK 45 Frederik & Aida Ndoci "Balada e gurit" The ballad of the stone Adrian Hila (m) / Pandi Laço (l)
2007 FIK 46 Olta Boka "Zemrën e lamë peng" We pledged our hearts Adrian Hila (m) / Pandi Laço (l)
2008 FIK 47 Kejsi Tola "Më merr në ëndërr" Carry me in your dreams Edmond Zhulali (m) / Agim Doçi (l)
2009 FIK 48 Juliana Pasha "Nuk mundem pa ty" I can't without you Ardit Gjebrea (m) / Pirro Çako (l)
2010 FIK 49 Aurela Gaçe "Kënga ime" My song Shpëtim Saraçi (m) / Sokol Marsi (l)
2011 FIK 50 Rona Nishliu "Suus" Personal Florent Boshnjaku (m) / Rona Nishliu (l)
2012 FIK 51 Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko "Identitet" Identity Bledar Sejko (m) / Eda Sejko (l)
2013 FIK 52 Herciana Matmuja "Zemërimi i një nate" One night's anger Genti Lako (m) / Jorgo Papingji (l)
2014 FIK 53 Elhaida Dani "Diell" Sun Aldo Shllaku (m) / Viola Trebicka & Sokol Marsi (l)

1 In 1964, the official winner was the song "Margjelo", however this entry was disqualified after it was discovered that it had been heard by the public prior to the official dates of the festival. The default winner became the second ranked entry "Dritaren kërkoj" (I look for the window) performed by Vaçe Zela, but RTSH later awarded a symbolic first prize to Vaçe Zela's "Sot jam 20 vjeç" (Today I turned 20 years old) also.
2 In 1970, two songs were awarded the first place; "Mesnatë" (Midnight) by Vaçe Zela and "Shtëpia ku lindi partia" (The house where the party was born) by Gaqo Çako.

Recurring Winners[edit]

  • Some artists have won Festivali i Këngës more than once:
Artist Victories Years
Vaçe Zela 11 1962, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1968
1970, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1980
Tonin Tërshana 3 1965, 1972, 1983
Manjola Nallbani 3 1989, 1992, 1993
Aurela Gaçe 3 1999, 2001, 2011
Gaqo Çako 2 1970, 1978
Alida Hisku 2 1974, 1975
Nertila Koka 2 1984, 1986
Parashqevi Simaku 2 1985, 1988
Frederik Ndoci 2 1989, 2006
Ardit Gjebrea 2 1991, 1995
Mira Konçi 2 1994, 2002
Elsa Lila 2 1996, 1997

Eurovision Results[edit]

ESC FIK Artist Song Language Semi Final Final
2004 42 Anjeza Shahini "The Image of You" English 4 / 22 7 / 24
2005 43 Ledina Çelo "Tomorrow I Go" English 16 / 24
2006 44 Luiz Ejlli "Zjarr e ftohtë" Albanian 14 / 23 DNQ
2007 45 Frederik Ndoci "Hear My Plea" Albanian & English 17 / 28 DNQ
2008 46 Olta Boka "Zemrën e lamë peng" Albanian 9 / 19 17 / 25
2009 47 Kejsi Tola "Carry Me in Your Dreams" English 7 / 19 17 / 25
2010 48 Juliana Pasha "It's All About You" English 6 / 17 16 / 25
2011 49 Aurela Gaçe "Feel the Passion" English & Albanian 14 / 19 DNQ
2012 50 Rona Nishliu "Suus" Albanian 2 / 18 5 / 26
2013 51 Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko "Identitet" Albanian 15 / 17 DNQ
2014 52 Hersi "One Night's Anger" English 15 / 16 DNQ
2015 53 Elhaida Dani "Diell" Albanian TBA TBA

Trivia[edit]

  • In the early editions of Festivali i Këngës, each song would be interpreted two or three times by different singers. However, only one of the versions sung would be declared the winner.
  • In 1980, it has been rumoured that the government intervened in the selection of the winner, giving the victory to "Shoqet tona ilegale" (Our illegal friends) by Vaçe Zela instead of "Njerëzit e agimeve" (People of the mornings) by Alida Hisku. While the first is a song honoring undercover friendships among partisans during the time of the national liberation of Albania from Nazi forces, the latter makes strong references to intellectual awakening and enlightenment ideas, as evidenced by its lyrics: "The generations have long dreamed of an awakening like this, with the sun in their hearts, with the light in their eyes, among mornings of fire, new generations grow, they plant like the wheat, new days to come"; concepts deemed strongly in contrast with the philosophy of Enver Hoxha's dictatorship.
  • In 1987, it was said that Kozma Dushi with the song "Lot me ty o djalë" (Hey boy we cry with you) was set to be declared the winner, however minutes before the jury made their decision, the wife of the country's ruler, Nexhmije Hoxha, declared that she did not want that song to win, so another song was chosen to win.
  • In 1994, Mariza Ikonomi became the youngest singer to compete in the festival at the age of 12, in a duet with Françesk Radi and their song "Telefonatë zemrash" (Phone call of the hearts).
  • In 1995, the song "E Doni Dashurinë" (Do you want love) by Luan Zhegu & Ledina Çelo was reported to be the most applauded song in Festivali i Këngës history to date, a total applause time of 7 minutes and 11 seconds.
  • In 1997, Alma Bektashi had a wardrobe malfunction on stage when her dress fell off, revealing her breast. The cameras managed to avoid the incident, however the audience received a full view of the incident.
  • In 1998 the first Kosovar-Albanian singer, Albërie Hadërgjonaj with the song "Mirësia dhe e vërteta" (Goodness and truth), was declared the winner.
  • In 1999, the song "Apokalipsi" (The Apocalypse) by Irma & Eranda Libohova was claimed to be the real winner instead of Aurela Gaçe's "S'jam tribu" (I'm not a tribute).
  • In 2004, Ledina Çelo became the center of attention when it was rumored that she had not done any stage praeparantion before her performance at the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 in Kiev, Ukraine.

Scandals[edit]

  • In 1963, Besnik Taraveshi was the first singer to be prosecuted by the Communist Dictatorship, ahead of many to come throughout the history of the festival. This was due to his interpretation and mispronunciation of a word in the song "Djaloshi dhe shiu".
  • In 1964, head of the jury Llazar Siliqi decided that no first place will be awarded, due to the low quality of the songs. Instead, "Dritaren kërkoj" by Vaçe Zela was awarded second place, and two other songs awarded third place.
  • In 1972, paranoid Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha deemed the organisers of Festivali i Këngës 11 to be "Enemies of The People", a name given to all the subjects who he considered a danger to the country. Unluckily, many of them were prosecuted after being accused of endangering the country's mentality by introducing an immoral aspect to the show, and plotting against the government by influencing the Albanian youth at the time. RTSH general director at the time Todi Lubonja, together with the festival's director Mihal Luarasi and singer Sherif Merdani were sentenced and would remain imprisoned for sixteen years until 1989, while many of the others involved were banned from working in television and/or were deported to remote Albanian cities.[1][2] The claims were out of context and these punishments were used as an example and a statement for future organisers. There is a whole book dedicated to this event: Festivali i Njëmbëdhjetë (The 11th Festival), written by Skifter Këlliçi.
  • In 1999, Irma & Eranda Libohova protested against the jury by leaving the Palace of Congresses when it was announced that their song had come in 2nd place.
  • In 2003, the same scenario happened, this time with singer Mariza Ikonomi, who was eager to represent Albania for the first time in the Eurovision Song Contest. She lost to Anjeza Shahini.
  • In 2004, the producers of the song "Nesër shkoj" filed a lawsuit against Ledina Çelo because she had signed contracts with a phone company without previously consulting them. She was also accused of not attending the conferences set up the producers and that she had not rehearsed the song enough. The suit was dropped within the week that it was filed.
  • In 2006, Greta Koçi was so disappointed from her 5th placing with the song "Eja zemër" that she burst out in tears, while her mother faced off the festival's 7 member jury with allegations of corruption and incompetence.
  • In 2007, Blero dropped out of the competition, claiming that he was asked for a large amount of money in exchange of a victory by an anonymous caller. He also claimed that the first three positions were already decided by the organizers prior to the event. The jury and the festival administration replied in a press statement that it was Blero who had asked for the first prize by sending an SMS which stated that he would withdraw if his victory was not guaranteed.
  • Also in 2007, Manjola Nallbani accused the festival authorities that they had sabotaged her song. Her voice was not heard at all in the hall, instead the public only heard the orchestra and the playback. This was confirmed by the general director of the festival Zamira Koleci. Nallbani declared that she would no longer participate in this event and called certain organizers mafiosos.
  • The 2007 edition also provoked a huge public reaction and massive press attention after the song of "Jeta kërkon dashuri" by Flaka Krelani and Doruntina Disha placed second, prompting corruption accusations about the jury, namely Gjergj Xhuvani and Alban Skënderaj. These two judges did not give any points to this song, while four judges awarded it maximum points and Rudina Magjistari awarded it the second highest points. General Director Zamira Koleci in a press interview called the two judges "gangsters and racists" after their boycott of the song from the Kosovo Albanian singers. Edmond Zhulali, composer of the song and artistic director of FIK, submitted a request to the RTSH council for the jury's votes to be disqualified. The council however turned down this request after 2 hours of debate.
  • In 2013, an alleged change in the contractual agreement between the festival and Kosovo model Diellza Kolgeci, the previously assigned female host for FIK 52, led to Diellza withdrawing from her hosting duties just days before the live show. She stated that the original terms of her contract included the costs of lodging and other amenities for her personal assistant, however the modified version did not include such expenses, citing a suspicious lack of funds in the festival's budget following a change of directors. The festival responded to the controversy by airing a satirical ad featuring male host Enkel Demi appearing upset at the news of Diellza's withdrawal, and three replacement female hosts, model Marinela Meta, Miss Albania 2011 Xhesika Berberi, and actress Klea Huta. The girls cheer him up by saying that they would be more than willing to co-host the show with him and that they can't wait for the rehearsals to begin. In response, Diellza utilized some prominent newspapers in Albania to state that it would be impossible to replace her, as well as to clarify that she would not be willing to compromise her values over one show. She said that if enough notice had been given to her about the changes in the contract, she could easily book 10,000 hotel rooms for her assistant through her large base of connections. She expressed respect for the festival's history however, despite her disagreements with the current staff. Meanwhile, Enkel appeared to have a humorous take on Diellza's high standards, saying that his diet had been affected by her presence, referring to her demands for lean meats covered in lemon juice.

Twin Contests[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Të gjithë të ndëshkuarit e Festivalit të 11-të.(All the prosecuted after the 11th festival)". Transcribed article by Skifter Këlliçi (in Albanian). Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Ja "kokat e prera" në art e kulturë, pas Festivalit të 11-të". Transcribed article by Skifter Këlliçi (in Albanian). Retrieved 1 July 2011. 

External links[edit]