Tonight was the first night of three in the Festivali i Këngës series, and the show certainly did not dissapoint. Due to COVID-19 restrictions the contest was hosted outside at the Sheshi Italia in Tirana, Albania. Tonights show was pre-recorded prior to airing to reduce the number of people present on set at a time, and tomorrow’s show will also be pre-recorded.

It’s important to note that Manjola Nallbani did not appear in tonight’s show because of her COVID-19 diagnosis, and was forced to pull out of the competition all together. This means that only 25 artists and entries took to the stage to perform the studio versions of their songs. It appears that artists will perform an accoustic version of their FiK entry for semi-final 2 tomorrow. Sadly, the traditional FiK orchestra was not called upon for this years competition.

The show itself had it’s fair share of suprises, from Jonida riding into the taping on a white horse, Franc sporting a mask with his song title printed on it, backing dancers in socks, dancers tied up with rope, and of course the endless advert breaks.

The running order was as follows:

  1. Enxhi Nasufi “Njësoj”
  2. Franc Koruni – “E morën botën”
  3. Gigliola Haveriku – “E lirë”
  4. Orgesa Zaimi – “Valixhja e kujtimeve”
  5. Erik Lloshi – “Jo”
  6. Viktor Tahiraj – “Nënë”
  7. Agim Poshka – “Vendi im”
  8. Kastro Zizo – “Vallja e jetës”
  9. Wendi Mancaku – “Vesi i shpirti tim”
  10. Gjergj Kaçinari – “Më jep jetë”
  11. Era Rusi – “Zjarri im”
  12. Devis Xherahu – “Peng”
  13. Stefan Marena – “Meteor”
  14. Rosela Gjylbegu – “Vashëzo”
  15. Sardi Strugaj – “Kam me t’ba me kajt”
  16. Xhesika Polo – “Më mbron”
  17. Florent Abrashi – “Vajzë”
  18. Fatos Shabani – “Ty”
  19. Anxhela Peristeri – “Karma”
  20. Evi Reçi – “Tjerr”
  21. Inis Neziri – “Pendesë”
  22. Klint Çollaku – “Do t’ia dal”
  23. Festina Mejzini – “Kush je ti dashuri”
  24. Kamela Islamaj – “Kujtimet s’kanë formë”
  25. Mirud – “Nëse vdes”

Overall the show moved at an impressive pace for a usual FIK semi-final – wrapping up in nearly 2.5 hours. For those who are not aware, a normal semi-final usually features only 12-13 acts and takes the same amount of time.

Also present in between performances were many of the latest winners of Festivali i Këngës and Eurovision artists such as Jonida Maliqi (2019), Lindita (2017),  Eneda Tarifa (2016),  Elhaida Dani (2015), Kesji Tola (2009), and Hersi Matmuja (2014).

Despite the pre-taping, the show was entertaining, and each of the artists served us a wonderful night of entertainment. According to Twitter it seems that Anxhela Peristeri, Era Rusi, Inis Neziri, and Sardi Strugaj made the most buzz tonight – however there were some positive reactions and comments for Xhesika Polo and Kamela Kamela Islamaj’s performances as well. While the artists already know who has been called back for the final, we will not know the official list until sometime tomorrow.

Overall the first night of FIK 59 was a great start to the national final season despite the current state of affairs. Tomorrow the artists will return to the stage to perform their FIK entries as accoustic covers, so make sure you tune in!

What did #YOU think of the first night of Festivali i Këngës? Let us know in the comments, on social media, or on our forum!

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