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Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest

Member stationRTSH
National selection events
Participation summary
Appearances16 (9 finals)
First appearance2004
Best result5th: 2012
Worst result17th SF: 2007
External links
Albania's page at
Song contest current event.png For the most recent participation see
Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest 2020

Albania has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 16 times since its debut in 2004. The Albanian broadcaster, Radio Televizioni Shqiptar (RTSH), has been the organiser of the Albanian Eurovision entry since the country's debut in the contest and has used the long-standing Albanian song contest, Festivali i Këngës, to select the Albanian Eurovision entry.

In 2004, Albania's first entry at Eurovision, Anjeza Shahini, finished seventh in the final. This remained the country's best result in the contest until 2012, when Rona Nishliu placed fifth.


RTSH first showed interest in the Eurovision Song Contest 2002 and in 2003, applying for the latter year's contest. However three more countries also applied to enter the contest for the first time, and Albania was not allowed to compete, but had to wait another year before entering.[1]

The first Albanian entrant to the Eurovision Song Contest was decided through the long-standing Albanian song contest, Festivali i Këngës. The winner of Festivali I Këngës 42 went on to represent Albania in its first Eurovision Song Contest. The winner was Anjeza Shahini with the song "Imazhi yt" (Your reflection). This was translated into English, and performed at Eurovision as "The Image of You". She qualified for the final, coming fourth, and received 106 points in the final, coming 7th of 24 countries competing. This placing allowed Albania to skip the semi-final of the 2005 contest, automatically qualifying for the final.

The Albanian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 was again selected through Festivali I Këngës. The winner of Festivali I Këngës 43 was Ledina Çelo with "Nesër shkoj" (Tomorrow I will leave), translated as "Tomorrow I Go" in English. Çelo could not replicate Shahini's 7th place, receiving only 53 points and coming 16th.

The winner of Festivali I Këngës 44 was Luiz Ejlli with "Zjarr e ftohtë" (Fire and cold); however the song was not translated into English for Eurovision, and was the first Albanian entry to Eurovision to be sung in Albanian. In the semi-final of the 2006 contest he received 58 points, coming 14th of 23 in his semi-final and failing to qualify for the final.

The 2007 entry was Frederik Ndoci with "Hear My Plea", performed at Festivali I Këngës 45 as "Balada e gurit" (The stone ballad). The song was performed at Eurovision in both English and Albanian. In the semi-final of the 2007 contest he received 49 points, placing 17th of 28 in his semi-final and failing to qualify for the final.

The winner of Festivali I Këngës 46 was "Zemrën e lamë peng" (Hearts trapped in time) by Olta Boka. However the result of the juries that selected the winner was controversial and rumours arose that the final two judges intentionally awarded high marks to Boka in order to avoid sending the runners-up, Flaka Krelani and Doruntina Disha, to the contest. Press reactions in Albania were not happy with the decision, and RTSH announced that they would investigate into alleged cheating by the final two judges to award their points.[2][3] Despite this, Olta Boka's victory remained, and she sang for Albania at the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 in Belgrade, Serbia. She qualified for the final, coming 9th in a field of 19 in the second semi-final, and in the final she received 55 points, coming equal 17th in a field of 25.

Albania was the first country to select both their artist and publicly present their song for Eurovision 2009. The winner was again selected by Festivali I Këngës. The winner of Festivali I Këngës 47 was Kejsi Tola with the song "Më merr në ëndërr" (Take me in your dreams), which was composed by the composers of Albania's first entry Edmond Zhulali and Agim Doçi.[4] The song was performed in English as "Carry Me in Your Dreams".[5] Albania finished 7th out of 19 in the 2nd semifinal with 73 points, thus qualifying for the final. In the final, where both jury and televoting were used, Albania scored 48 points, finishing 17th in a field of 25. However, had only televoting been used Albania would have placed 11th in the contest. Conversely if only jury voting had been used Albania would have placed 23rd.[6]


The winner of Festivali I Këngës 48 was decided on 27 December, with Juliana Pasha winning over former winner Anjeza Shahini. She represented Albania at Eurovision 2010 in Oslo with the song "It's All about You".[7][8] The song was a typical up-tempo composition, and has been compared to Christina Aguilera's "Keeps Gettin' Better"[9] and Britney Spears' "Womanizer".[10] Albania came 6th in the first semi-final with 76 points, thus qualifying for the final. In the final, Juliana finished 16th with 62 points which included 12 points from Macedonia.

The Albanian participant for the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest was chosen in Festivali i Këngës 49 in December 2010. The winner of 2011's Festival of Song was Aurela Gaçe, winning for the third time after 10 years. Her song was named "Kënga ime" ("My Song") and it was translated into English with the name "Feel the Passion", published in March 12, 2011, during a show called "Historia nis këtu" ("The story begins here") in RTSH. Albania participated in Semi-Final 1 against 18 other countries, fighting for a place in the grand final in May 14. However they missed out on qualification for the final for the first time in 4 years, coming 14th.

Albania competed in the 2012 competition with the song "Suus", which was performed by Rona Nishliu. The song got through to the final, coming in 5th place overall with 146 points. Rona Nishliu from Kosovo achieved a record result for Albania.[11]

Albania competed in the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Identitet" which was performed by Adrian Lulgjuraj and Bledar Sejko. This song was chosen as the winner through the Festivali i Këngës. The results depended on the jury voting only. Among the experts in the jury was the Italian Head of Delegation at the Eurovision Song Contest, Nicola Caligiore, who greeted and gave the points in English for all the viewers from the webcast.[12] Albania came 14th in the second semi-final of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö and did not make it into the grand final.

On December 28, 2013, Herciana Matmuja won Festivali i Këngës 52 (the 52nd national final of Albania) and was therefore chosen to represent Albania in Eurovision 2014 with her song 'Zemërimi i një nate'.[13] In the time before Eurovision 2014 she recorded both English and Albanian versions of this song.[14] On March 16 she released the final version of 'One Night's anger' for Eurovision 2014.[15] Albania failed to qualify for the second year in a row.

On 28 December 2014, Elhaida Dani won Festivali i Këngës 53 with the song "Diell", and this represented Albania at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015.[16] On 23 February 2015 it was announced that the songwriters had decided to withdraw the song and Dani would perform something else at Eurovision.[17] The following day it was revealed that Dani would perform "I'm Alive".[18]

On 27 December 2015 Eneda Tarifa won Festivali i Këngës 54 with her song "Përrallë" which meant she would represent Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. Albania was the first country to reveal both the artist and song together. It was later translated into English and called "Fairytale", and the music video premiered on the evening news on TVSH. Albania failed to qualify, coming only 16th out of 18 in the second semi-final.

After failing to qualify once again in 2017 with Lindita and the song "World", Albania returned to the grand final in 2018 with the song "Mall" by Eugent Bushpepa. It finished 11th of 26 in the final receiving 184 points, giving Albania its third best result in the contest since their debut. The song fared better with the juries, coming 7th in the final respectively.

In 2019, Albania selected Jonida Maliqi to represent them with the song "Ktheju tokës". Albania succeeded in qualifying from the second semi-final, making it the first time Albania had qualified twice in a row since 2009 and 2010.


Table key
Second place
Third place
Year Artist Language Title Final Points Semi Points
2004 Anjeza Shahini English "The Image of You" 7 106 4 167
2005 Ledina Çelo English "Tomorrow I Go" 16 53 Top 12 Previous Year[a]
2006 Luiz Ejlli Albanian "Zjarr e ftohtë" Failed to qualify 14 58
2007 Frederik Ndoci English, Albanian "Hear My Plea" 17 49
2008 Olta Boka Albanian "Zemrën e lamë peng" 17 55 9 67
2009 Kejsi Tola English "Carry Me in Your Dreams" 17 48 7 73
2010 Juliana Pasha English "It's All About You" 16 62 6 76
2011 Aurela Gaçe English, Albanian "Feel the Passion" Failed to qualify 14 47
2012 Rona Nishliu Albanian "Suus" 5 146 2 146
2013 Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko Albanian "Identitet" Failed to qualify 15 31
2014 Hersi Matmuja English "One Night's Anger" 15 22
2015 Elhaida Dani English "I'm Alive" 17 34 10 62
2016 Eneda Tarifa English "Fairytale" Failed to qualify 16 45
2017 Lindita English "World" 14 76
2018 Eugent Bushpepa Albanian "Mall" 11 184 8 162
2019 Jonida Maliqi Albanian "Ktheju tokës" 17 90 9 96
2020 Arilena Ara English[19] "Shaj"


Barbara Dex Award

Year Performer(s) Host city Ref.
2012 Rona Nishliu Azerbaijan Baku

Commentators and spokespersons

Year Commentator Spokesperson Ref.
2004 Leon Menkshi Zhani Ciko
2006 Leon Menkshi
2012 Andri Xhahu


See also


  1. ^ According to the then-Eurovision rules, the top ten non-Big Four countries from the previous year along with the Big Four automatically qualified for the Grand Final without having to compete in semi-finals. For example, if Germany and France placed inside the top ten, the 11th and 12th spots were advanced to next year's Grand Final along with all countries ranked in the top ten.


  1. ^ Bakker, Sietse (22 November 2002). "No new countries at next Eurovision Song Contest". ESCToday. Retrieved 3 November 2008.
  2. ^ Klier, Marcus (17 December 2007). "Albania: press reaction on Festivali i Këngës". ESCToday. Retrieved 3 November 2008.
  3. ^ Viniker, Barry (19 December 2007). "Albania: Festivali I Kenges result under investigation". ESCToday. Retrieved 3 November 2008.
  4. ^ Klier, Marcus (21 December 2008). "Albania decided: Kejsi Tola to Eurovision!". ESCToday. Retrieved 21 December 2008.
  5. ^ Hondal, Victor (8 March 2009). "Albania: Kejsi Tola to sing Carry me in your dreams". ESCToday. Retrieved 8 March 2009.
  6. ^ Bakker, Sietse (31 July 2009). "Exclusive: Split jury/televoting results out!". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 6 August 2009.
  7. ^ Klier, Marcus (27 December 2009). "Albania sends Juliana Pasha to Eurovision". ESCToday. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  8. ^ Brey, Marco (27 December 2009). "Juliana Pasha to represent Albania in Oslo!". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  9. ^ "Juliana Pasha's song compared to "Keeps Gettin Better"". YouTube. 29 December 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2009.
  10. ^ "Juliana Pasha's song compared to "Womanizer"". YouTube. 25 December 2009. Retrieved 25 December 2009.
  11. ^ [] Archived 2013-01-22 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ []
  13. ^ "Albania: Herciana Matmuja wins Wins Festivali i Këngës 52 with Zemërimi i një nate". 28 December 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  14. ^ "Albania: Hersiana Matmuja records ESC song in two languages". 12 February 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  15. ^ "ALBANIA: HERSIANA MATMUJA REVEALS ONE NIGHT's ANGER". 16 March 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  16. ^ Granger, Anthony (28 December 2014). "Albania: Elhaida Dani Is Off To Vienna". Retrieved 28 December 2014.
  17. ^ Taylor, Richard (23 February 2015). "Albania: "Diell" Withdrawn". Archived from the original on 24 February 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  18. ^ Granger, Anthony (24 February 2015). "Albania: Elhaida To Sing "I'm Alive"". eurovoix. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  19. ^ Percy, Lucy (4 February 2020). "Albania revamp: Media reports describe a radio-friendly English-language pop ballad". Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  20. ^ "Barbara Dex Award". 2012. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i Granger, Anthony (2 May 2017). "Albania: Andri Xhahu Returns as Spokesperson and Commentator". Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  22. ^ Bakker, Sietse (14 May 2004). "And here are the votes from... the spokespersons". Archived from the original on 29 January 2007. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  23. ^ Philips, Roel (17 May 2005). "The 39 spokespersons!". Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  24. ^ a b c d e Anthony, Granger (24 April 2016). "Albania: Andri Xhahu is Eurovision 2016 Spokesperson". Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  25. ^ ""May we have your votes please?"". EBU. 11 May 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  26. ^ Granger, Anthony (3 May 2019). "Albania: Andri Xhahu Returns as Spokesperson and Commentator". Retrieved 19 November 2019.