Kënga Magjike (Magical Song in English) is a major musical event in Albania. Throughout its history, different broadcasters have been credited with the production and airing of this event, including RTSH, Klan TV, TVA, RTV NRG (Albania) and RTV21, RTK (Kosovo), as well as many radio stations.
Kënga Magjike was created by singer, composer, host and organizer Ardit Gjebrea and began airing in 1999. It usually airs on the November of each year, with a few exceptions. In 2005, a new format of presenting the songs was introduced. Each song was broadcast one month prior to the semi finals and the final in a special edition called "Duke Pritur Kënga Magjike..."; "(Awaiting Kënga Magjike...)", giving the viewers a chance to vote for the songs that would pass on to the semi finals through phone, text or online in the official website: http://www.kengamagjike.com. A jury is also used when determining which song makes it to the next stage.
While the contest is criticised for the use of playback in the delivery of each song in the competition, it has been praised for the diversity of music it has brought to the public. The biggest achievement of Kënga Magjike is the great mixture of singers and bands from Albania with those in neighboring countries, a large portion coming from Kosovo as well as other areas. Kënga Magjike has also been the stage for many comebacks of famous Albanian singers who reside in other countries, as well as artists which have contributed to the music industry in the past. Songs from this contest have resulted in many hits for Albanians throughout the world.
Compared to its main competitors, Kënga Magjike is considered to feature a more bubble-gum type of music than Top Fest, a reality-style song contest on Top Channel heavy on alternative and rock music, while not being dominated by power-ballads and strong-themed songs like the ones appearing in Festivali I Këngës.
The main host of Kënga Magjike has always been Ardit Gjebrea. Sometimes he has hosted the show alone, while in other occasions there has been a female co-host, such as Natalia Estrada (2001 & 2002) and Brigitte Nielsen (2003). There has always been a jury which determines most of the prizes that are awarded to the singers. In the beginning, the jury was used to determine the classification of the songs, however this system was changed to allow the singers to vote for each other and determine the winners themselves.
- The singer with the most victories for the moment is Irma Libohova, having won 2 contests:
- In 2003, the jury was made up only of females, a first in the history of Albanian festivals.
- In 2004, the contest was held in Kosovo for the first time. It is referred to as the 2004 edition, even though it happened in January 2005.
- In 2009, the voting results revealed that the 1st place and the 2nd place have a difference of only 5 points.In the previous years the difference between the 1st and 2nd place, were usually 60 points or more
- In 2010 & 2011,the voting was direct-voting,so the partipitants showed their votes openly.
- In 1999, When Adelina Ismajli performed with her Song ,,F*** the Government", She taked the Last Place From the competition, Because it was the most controversial Song of the Year.
- In 2004, there was a bomb threat that delayed the contest for one and a half hours. Luckily the threat turned out to be fake and only brought more attention to the event.
- In 2010, Linda Halimi,Nora Istrefi & Big D were disqualified because of being late for the rehearseals.
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