It has been a weekend full of national finals for those countries wishing to send a representative to Belarus for the Junior Eurovision in November. Today has been no different with Albania in the last couple of hours choosing Efi Gjika to be their singer for 2018. This evenings result means that the young singer will be the contests fourteenth known artist who will be present in Belarus.
Tonight Albania opted to chose their representative through a national final called Junior Fest 2018, that saw sixteen artists compete for the honour of representing their country. They were:
Hera - "Hysi“
Emmi Rushiti - “Mbrëmje feste”
Kristiana Veshaj - “Sot”
Efi Gjika - “Barby”
Jasmina Hako - “Happy”
Sindi Goga - “Me tinguj fantazi”
Iris Sula & Samanta Qoshku - “Çdo gjë do dashuri”
Era Rakipllari - “Panorama”
Merlin Xhai - “Botë e re”
Laura Boriçi - “Është koha”
Iris Dollani - “Ylberi im”
Sajana Kodhelaj - “Ylli im”
Ana Kodra - “Prindër ju lutem”
Melodajn Mancaku - “Ëndërroj”
Speranca Bregas - i“Ditari”
Uendi Goga - “Qiellin dhe yjet i dua"
The public did not decided who the winner was, instead the choice was left with the professional jury who opted to send Efi Gjika to Minsk. Although the national broadcaster RTSH has not aired the show live, and opted for it to be shown at a later date, it was however the Albanian artist from JESC 2015 who decided to stream the programme live from her Instagram account.
Since their first appearance back in 2012, the country has only sent four singers to the Junior Eurovision. Their best result came in 2015 when Mishela Rapo came fifth with the song "Dambaje". Last year they sent Ana Kodra with the song "Mos ma prekni pemën" which came thirteenth place with 67 points.
This year has seen a record 20 countries participate, which will see Kazakhstan alongside Wales debut for the first time. Also returning to the competition will be Azerbaijan, Israel and France.
Are you happy with tonight's result? Do you think Efi could win? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments below.