Jonida Maliqi

EUROVISION 2019: What Next – Jonida Maliqi

What next for this year’s Eurovision finalists?

Albania: Jonida Maliqi

by Christopher Smith

Albania are a newcomer to Eurovision having entered for the first time in 2004 with “The Image Of You” by Anjeza Shahini which came a pretty respectable seventh. In the eight times they have qualified since then their highest placing with fifth in 2012 when Rona Nishliu sang “Suus”. This year the baton of representing the country fell to 36 year old singer Jonida Maliqi who is an established recording artist of over twenty years in her home country.

Her song “Ktheju tokës” (“Return To Your Land”) would finish seventeenth with 90 points and a near even split of 43 from the jury and 47 from the tele vote. Jonida made her debut back in 1995 as a performer although it was in 1999 that she released her debut single “Do Jetoj Edhe Pa Ty”. In the early years of this century, Jonida was a regular performer in Festivali i Këngës, an Albanian song contest much patrionised and followed and since 2004 has usually provided the country’s representation at Eurovision. She released her debut album “Nuk të pres” in 2005.

She turned to television presenting from 2010 hosting The Voice: Kids in Albana and Dancing With The Stars in 2015. The follow year she was a judge on The Voice Of Albana. She released a self-titled album in 2013 to great success. Having won many series of Festivali i Këngës and attempting to represent her country in Eurovision, in December 2018 she finally succeeded and was ‘awarded’ with the song “Ktheju tokës” written by Eriona Rushiti. For now Jonida has returned to television presenting, but with a website ‘under construction’, we can but wonder what she has planned for the future…?!

Click here for the other artists featured in this series

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