Albania’s Eurovision 2019 Entry

Eurovision season is back! Let’s get ourselves psyched up with the first selected entry!

It’s about Albanians who were displaced during the war in Kosovo…

Okay, so let’s get ourselves contemplatively subdued with Jonida Maliqi with “Ktheju tokës.”

Jonida made her Festivali i Këngës at age 13 and has since competed nine times. She was the host of Festivali in 2010, the host of Dancing with the Stars Albania in 2014 and one of the coaches on The Voice of Albania in 2016. Her song was written by composer and violinist Eriona Rushiti.

So Albania picked its Eurovision entry on December 22 and we’re writing about it almost a month later. We haven’t been busy, we just haven’t been excited. “Ktheju tokës” combines traditional and modern music in a way that sounds a lot like other folk-influenced ballads that have competed at Eurovision. This could be the Albanian entry from 2006 for all we would know.

Both Jonida and Eriona have said they are working on a Eurovision staging, which points up the drawback to reviewing entries shortly after they are selected. There is always the chance a country’s delegation will rework their song ahead of the Song Contest. That said, our suspicion is that the version of “Ktheju tokës” that we will see in Tel Aviv won’t be that different from the version in Tirana. Given the song’s melodies and lyrical content, we can’t see Albania pulling a Toppers and turning this into a dance anthem.

We’re prepared to eat those words, of course, but for now, we’re already lining up for the next selection at the Eurovision buffet. January 26 can’t come fast enough.