The Albanian national final, Festivali i Këngës (FiK), kicks off national final season, but taking place so early in the season, it feels a very long time ago by the time we reach April/May. In some ways, that’s a moot point, as the winning song almost inevitabely undergoes a revamp, sometimes a very significant one, and also changes to English on some occasions. “Karma” has undergone somewhat of a revamp, but it’s not been a big change, more just beefing it up, and Anxhela Peristeri will be performing in Albanian and not English (most welcome).
Anxhela was a somewhat surprise winner of FiK, but the song is very much in tradition of Albanian Eurovision entries – a big female solo ethno pop ballad which includes some explosive vocal moments and some ethnic instrumentation breaks. I wouldn’t say “Karma” is particularly groundbreaking, but it’s a solid entry. “Dream Team” member Dimitros Kontopolous was involved in the production – another credit on his long list of Eurovision songs he has been involved with in one way or another.
Anxhela has been on the Albanian music scene for some years now and has appeared in a number of TV music contest shows, so I am sure she will be comfortable on the Eurovision stage. This is in the “weaker” semi-final, though it’s not currently favoured to qualify. However, Anxhela’s chances are boosted by fact Greece, Switzerland, France and Bulgaria all vote in this semi-final – all countries who tend to give Albania televotes.
Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 2004
Appearances (excluding this year): 16
Best result: 5th in 2012
2019’s result: 17th