Through her Instagram profile, Alketa Vejsiu, presenter of Festivali i Këngës 58, expresses she’s sorry that Elvana was not the winner of the festival, but also about the fact that the public’s voice was not taken into account for the final result.
Alketa was the hostess across all three evenings of Festivali i Këngës, Albania’s Eurovision 2020 selection show, and along with director Vera Grabocka, was responsible for much of the artistic decisions made in this year’s revitalised contest.
Both women also worked on X Factor Albania — the show on which FiK winner Arilena Ara first rose to fame.
Harsch criticism towards the voting system
After the controversial vote last Sunday where the runner up and big favorite to win, Elvana Gjata was voted down by two albanian jurors, missing out on just 3 points, Alketa Vejsiu threw harsch critisism on her instagram, and rightfully so, towards the two Albanian jurors.
All three international jurors ranked Elvana Gjata and her song “Me Tana” first, whereas the two Albanian jurors ranked Elvana Gjata’s performance 5th (for Pietro) and 11th (for Minga), scores which prevented it from reaching the first place.
It emerged clearly that all three international jurors had awarded top marks to Elvana, only for her overall score to be dragged down by the two Albanian panellists.
Below is the English translation of the accompanying caption.
“My congratulations for Arilena Ara the best of luck for Albania at Eurovision.
I can not go without giving thanks to Elvana Gjata, her who got more clicks than anyone else, more than 3.5 views in two weeks! I cannot deny the her song was the joy of this Festival, she was the news of this edition, voice and energy of youth that made public dance in that arena, which brought together Albania, Kosovo and the diaspora.
Competitions declare winner not losers because hits never die. After this Festival, where I gave my soul, I can say that I was never and will never be part of any jury for any reason. I believe in meritocracy and I am deeply sorry that in this platform I could not give voice to the public. I am sorry if I disappointed you, I understand and respect your sensibility please spare me of accusations. I was not the jury and I did not choose the jury.
Elvana thank you. You came to this Festival because you believed in my vision you didn’t need a competition to prove who you are because you just ARE. Furthermore, you should feel a winner today because the three jury members of Eurovision gave you 18 top points. Those two points of Albanian jurors, I am speechless”.
Elvana Gjata responded
Shortly after midnight local time, Elvana issued a statement of her own through her instagram account:
“I refuse to talk in these moments but I have to do it…
Arilena…it was not your fault honey, I really wish you the best of luck. I want to thank my fans and to my new European fans that supported me since #MeTana was published. I saw the polls, I saw that you were singing and dancing with my song every day, I saw you also in the arena with your hands up. I’ve heard you screaming my name all over the diaspora, Pristina, and heard it last night in Tirana like never before.
My heart is full of joy! I worked hard and will work until my last breath. Work never got me down, with or without order. Thank you so much for European jurors for voting with maximum points. Not even Mikaela’s 2 points can stop me giving love.
Accept life WITH EVERYTHING (Me Tana)
Enjoy live WITH EVERYTHING (Me Tana)
I can’t wait to share new projects”
However, the actual winner, “Shaj”, managed to create a good consensus within the jury, being in everyone’s podium, 2nd on average. Will it be true in the bigger contest too ?
What do you think ? Did you expect such contrasts between the jurors ? Can “Shaj” create a consensus among international jurors across Europe ? Do you think a televote could have changed the results ? Tell us more in the comments below or on social media at @escxtra !