More details have emerged about Festivali i Këngës 62, Albania’s upcoming music festival and national final process … including a disappointing shake up in this year’s line up for Eurovision fans.

PeterPan Quartet

Earlier today, at a press conference held by FiK62 artistic director Bojken Lako, Albanian broadcaster RTSH announced that two artists previously announced to be competing at this year’s contest, Samanta Karavella and Kejsi Tola, have withdrawn. The pair have been replaced by entries from Tirana-based Punk-Folk band PeterPan Quartet and singer Irma Lepori. The titles of their entries will be revealed at a later date.

The news of Kejsi Tola’s withdraw is a disappointment to fans eager to see the 31-year old singer-songwriter return to the Eurovision universe. She represented Albania at the 2009 contest in Moscow, performing the song “Carry Me in Your Dreams” with a very memorable staging package. (See below.) She placed 17th. Chart-topper Samanta Karavella previously competed at the 2011/2012 edition of FiK, placing 4th. No reason was provided for the pair’s withdrawal.

Broadcaster RTSH will be running FiK 62 from December 19-22. The full list of competing entries was released last month. The winner will be determined via a 50/50 split between jury and televote scores. Albania is making a triumphant return to next year’s Eurovision Song Contest after a strong showing at the contest in May. Though Albina & Familja Kelmendi only placed 22nd in the Grand Final with their song ‘Duje’, the group did pick up 12 points in the semi-final televote from both Slovenia and Rest of the World and 12 points from the Swiss televote in the final. That’s the most number of 12 points Albania had received since the 2019 contest.

Are you disappointed about these withdrawals? Do you know who ‘Irma Lepori’ is? She’s an Internet ghost. Sound off in the comments below, in our forum, or on social media @ESCUnited.

Source: Eurovoix

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