Tonight Eurovision 2020 got its first song! The Albanian selection process Festivali i Kenges hosted its final earlier this evening. The song competition, now in its 58th year crowned Arilena Ara as the winner. She will go on to represent Albania in Rotterdam with the song ‘Shaj’.
Earlier this week 20 acts competed over two semi final shows and twelve of these advanced to tonight’s final. The final was hosted by Alketa Vejsiu in Tirana’s Pallati i Kongreseve.
Each of the finalists took it in turn to perform again and an international jury made up of three music industry professionals (Dimitris Kontopoulos, Christer Björkman and Felix Bergsson) decided the winner.
The running order was as follows:
1. Valon Shehu- ‘Kutia e Pandorës’
2. Sara Bajraktari- ‘Ajër’ (third place)
3. Robert Berisha- ‘Ajo nuk është unë’
4. Tiri Gjoci- ‘Me gotën bosh’
5. Bojken Lako- ‘Malaseen’
6. Arilena Ara- ‘Shaj’ (Winner)
7. Gena- ‘Shqiponja e lirë’
8. Kamela Islamaj- ‘Më ngjyros’
9. Albërie Hadërgjonaj- ‘Ku ta gjej dikë ta dua’
10. Elvana Gjata- ‘Me tana’ (second place)
11. Olta Boka- ‘Botë për dy’
12. Era Rusi- ‘Eja merre’
Also performing on the night were special guests Italian singer Giusy Ferreri and the Eurovision 2018 runner up Eleni Foureira. Eleni treated the audience to a medley of her latest hits including the songs ‘Loquita’, ‘Tomame’ and ‘El Ritmo’, she also reprised her Eurovision 2019 interval performance with a cover of Verka Serduchka’s ‘Lasha Tumbai’ and she added in elements of Haddaway’s ‘What is Love?’, Madonna’s ‘Like a Prayer’, the Eurythmics’ ‘Sweet Dreams’ and finished her set with her Eurovision track ‘Fuego’.
But all eyes were on the big finale. Who would win the song competition and represent Albania at Eurovision 2020. That honour went to Arilena Ara’s song ‘Shaj’. Check out the winning song: