Tonight we saw the second national final of the Eurovision 2023 season come to an official close. A total of 21 finalists took to the stage in Tirana’s Palace of Congresses for Festivali i Këngës 61 and represent their country in Liverpool this coming May. Five of the ten emerging artists from the semi-finals were eliminated after the second night.

The night would see the artists perform in the following order:

  1. 2 Farm – “Atomike”
  2. Serxhio Hajdini – “Vështirë”
  3. Gjergj Kaçinari – “Dje”
  4. Alban Kondi & Lorela Karoshi – “Melodi”
  5. Vanesa Sono – “Aroma jonë
  6. Elsa Lila – “Evita”
  7. Erma Mici – “Kozmosi i dashurisë”
  8. Franc Koruni – “Në pritje”
  9. Gent Hoxha – “Ajër”
  10. Petrit Çarkaxhiu – “Emri yt mirësi”
  11. Melodajna Mancaku – “Gjysma e zemrës sime”
  12. Manjola Nallbani – “Dua”
  13. Urban Band – “Në çdo hap”
  14. Enxhi Nasufi – “Burrë”
  15. Rovena Dilo – “Motit”
  16. Fifi – “Stop”
  17. Rezearta Smaja – “N’Eden”
  18. Evi Reçi – “Ma kthe”
  19. Fabian Basha – “Një gotë”
  20. Albina & Familja Kelmendi – “Duje”
  21. LYNX – “Nëse ke besim”

FiK 61 featured a small jury of music professionals, who awarded the Young and alternative group award to Erma Mici, and the career award to Rovena Dilo. The jury also agreed that the following artists represented the top three of the festival:

  1. Elsa Lila
  2. Albina & Familja Kelmendi
  3. 2 Farm

However, in an unprecedented move, RTSH introduced a televote-only system to decide would receive the ticket to Eurovision. This means that despite winning Festivali i Këngës 61, Elsa Lila would not automatically fly the Albanian flag in Liverpool. The SMS televoting was open for all four nights of the Festival and residents of both Albania and Kosovo were eligible to vote. The last time FiK utilized a public voting system was during the 55th festival, and it only accounted for 7.7% of the final result.

Following massive chants from the crowd celebrating both Elsa and Albina, it was announced that Albina Kelmendi had won the public televote and will serve as Albania’s next Eurovision participant. She will compete in one of the two semi-finals on either May 10th or 12th with her song “Duje”.

Do #YOU agree with the winner of Festivali i Këngës 61? Let us know on social media @ESCUnited, on our discord, or on our forum page!

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