Eurovision 2023 Albania profile: 'Duje' by Albina & Familja Kelmendi
Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest
Albania debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004, finishing seventh. The Balkan nation has competed at every Eurovision since, with its best result of 5th place coming in 2012 thanks to Rona Nishliu's 'Suus'. Albania failed to qualify for the Grand Final in 2022, when Ronela Hajati's show-opener 'Sekret' placed 12th in semi-final one.
2023 Entry: Albina & Familja Kelmendi - 'Duje'
Albina & Familja Kelmendi will compete in 14th spot in semi-final 2
My Eurovision Scoreboard ranking: 32nd
Odds to win ranking: 37th
(Rankings as of 19 April 2023)
About the artist
Kosovo-born Albina Kelmendi rose to fame when she finished runner-up on 'The Voice of Albania' in 2014. She is a trained instrumentalist, having studied both clarinet and piano at music school in her hometown of Pejë, Kosovo.
At Eurovision, she will perform alongside five members of her family: her parents Bujar and Albana, brother Albin and sisters Vesa and Sidorela. Together they are Albina & Familja Kelmendi.
About the song
'Duje', which means 'Love it', was penned by Albanian songwriters Eriona Rushiti and Enis Mullaj, the same pair behind 2019 entry 'Ktheju tokës'.
The song describes the importance of family, and the pain that comes when a family is divided.
After their selection, the Kelmendi clan travelled to Türkiye to re-record 'Duje' for Eurovision. The revamp and an accompanying video clip were released in March. Albania has also confirmed Eurovision stalwart Sacha-Jean Baptiste as the creative director of the group's stage performance for Liverpool. Baptiste previously oversaw staging for Albania in 2021, when she helped guide 'Karma' into the final.
How Albina & Familja Kelmendi were selected for Eurovision
The family was selected to represent Albania at Eurovision in December 2022, despite finishing second with the Festivali i Këngës (FiK) 61 jury.
That's because, for the first time in FiK history, the 2023 Albanian entry for Eurovision was chosen via a public vote rather than by the jury members.
So, despite the jury's top prize going to Elsa Lila (Albina's mentor on her season of 'The Voice of Albania'), Albina & Familja Kelmendi were the public's pick to perform at the Contest in Liverpool this May.
The Kelmendi family's home country of Kosovo will also be able to vote this year, with the introduction of a 'Rest of the World' score.
Albania will compete in semi-final 2 on May 9 (European time) in Liverpool.
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