She’s one of Albania’s most beloved singers — and one who has made in-roads with Eurovision fans owing to her four standout performances in Festivali i Këngës.

But despite her love for the contest and her many FiK fans, Flaka Krelani has revealed that she will “never” enter the contest again.

Appearing on Albanian TV show “Thumb” last week, she was asked why she participates in the festival repeatedly, even after saying in the past she would not return.

“You don’t have any idea what love for music is,” she snapped back. “It’s the love to want to always give new material, and the Festival has something magical, when you know that your song will be played by all the instruments and you say the ‘award’ doesn’t matter. That’s the reason why I always come back to Festival.”

But, after establishing her deep respect for the long-running festival, she made it clear that coming close to victory but not securing it takes an emotional toll. Remember: She’s finished in the Top 5 every time — even coming second in 2008.

 

“Now I have decided that what’s happened has happened, and I will never ever participate again. I’m human and I have feelings — it really hurts.”

Naturally the presenters had to ask if she’d pursue Eurovision again anyway.

“I don’t want Eurovision anymore,” she said.

Flaka: Lindita didn’t have support

Flaka had kind words for Lindita, who failed to advance from the semi-final to the grand final. Flaka doesn’t put it down to Lindita’s obvious talent, but rather to a lack of support from the broadcaster.

“As a singer Lindita was penalized. We singers from Kosovo and Albania always end up having to organize everything — management, costume, performance for the contest,” she said.

“Actually all that we should have to do is just rest and eat well, and go on to the stage and kill it. Lindita was fantastic. It was bad to see that she didn’t have support. We always have two, three backing vocals and that’s all of our performance — we should try different things.”

Are you sad that Flaka is bowing out of FiK competition? Do you think she’ll go back on her comments and enter again anyway? And do you agree that the broadcaster could do more to help its FiK winners achieve success at Eurovision? Let us know in the comments box below. 

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AngieP
Guest
AngieP

The main probelm for me is the quality of the songs. Neither the staging being poor nor the broadcaster not supporting enough. It’s not that they are not interested and they leave them do all the work. Albania, as several other countries in Europe, are not as rich as others. Maybe they can’t afford it. Maybe that’s the reason. But Portugal this year proved that you don’t need a great staging to do well at Eurovision. Albania need a good product to work with and that’s the song. FiK seems old fashioned because they have the orchestra but Italy has… Read more »

money woes
Guest
money woes

I don’t really buy the “Albania is poor” excuse, they have a 50%+ gray economy, and Tirana itself is twice or three times richer than the rest of the country. The other contests that they have Top Awards and Kenga Magjike, funded by private money, have songs and performances that would be competitive at the Eurovision level. The problem is RTSH being funded by public taxpayer money, which is not only limited due to political neglect, but also less efficiently managed, maybe even stolen by corrupt officials.

Carlos R
Guest
Carlos R

Fik IS a dinosaour .. but i think It has evolved in a good way through these years. A song in Albanian that rescues the dark folk sound of this country with a modern twist… I Hope a song like this.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

You all beat me to it. I mentioned Kënga Magjike in one of my post-ESC assessments. Somebody mentioned this contest a couple of years ago.

So KM is on a rival broadcaster, eh? Maybe the Albanian government can twist someone’s arm to force some sort of collaboration, with the end result being the winner of Festivali i Këngës facing off against the Kënga Magjike winner, with the winner of the showdown going to Eurovision.

Polina
Guest

And there goes the major reason I watched FiK the last years. I think that Kënga Magjike would be such a better preselection. I even made a video about all of this 😀
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDMyhqlmh48

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

One of the problems is that the sort of songs that do well at FiK are not the sort of songs that do well at Eurovision. An attempt is usually made to revamp it into a Eurovision version, but as we’ve seen in recent years, sometimes that remove all character the song might have had.

What about this idea: FiK decides the artist, then Albania’s song for Eurovision is later internally selected. It might be the same song as the FiK winner, or they might replace it entirely.

Claudia is bae
Guest
Claudia is bae

I think that’s also what should be done in Malta, because in such a small country where everyone knows everyone, people vote for the artist not for the song.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

They came pretty close to that scenario in 2015, when Elhaida Dani won FiK with “Diell”. I forgot what exactly the problem was that got “Diell” scrubbed, but to many it was already a foregone conclusion that she was not going to qualify with “Diell”, and I think they knew it as well. Fortunately they sent “I’m Alive” with her, and she qualified.

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

That’s a good idea! They can choose the artist and then give him the song. Like what happened in Armenia this year. They chose the artist and then they wrote a song for her.

FiK can have this solution, or internally select. I’s good to have a variety of entries. We haven’t seen sth new from them the last couple of years. And this is a challenge I believe. What new do they have to offer? They surely have talents, as in every country.

Justin K.
Guest
Justin K.

It really depends on how involved artists would want to be with the entire process: more broadcaster help would be a plus regardless, but I don’t think anyone besides Salvador just “showed up to kill on stage”–I’m sure even the artists who worked with Sasha Jean Baptiste also had opinions on what worked and what didn’t, or what kind of vision they had prior to the rehearsals. It’s obvious for Albania though, considering most of the time they’re just plopped on stage with a relatively simple staging; 2009, 2010, and 2015 had the most dynamic staging in terms of what… Read more »

Nikos
Guest
Nikos

I kind of don’t think FiK should be used to select the Eurovision representative. As others have mentioned, FiK is dominated by female-sung ballads with big voices. Diell, Perralle, Bote… 3 years in a row the same formula, and it just isn’t working. Let the powerful divas compete for FiK, but find someone else for Eurovision. Albania (and its large diaspora) have lots of talented artists. I would try an internal selection to save on costs of having a different national final. Then you can create a great song that doesn’t need to be changed many times from FiK as… Read more »

Jo
Guest
Jo

The Albanian National Selection is trying to work like Sanremo but it’s just not working. The majority of the contestants are divas singing ballads. After choose the winner, they do the worst by translating the song.
Maybe budget is a very dramatic issue for them, but you can be creative without wasting a lot of money.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Not only the translation, but they stripped the music as well, in 2014 and 2016. The bass and traditional sound of “Zemërimi I Një Natë” was replaced with soft-rock for “One Night’s Anger”, and Hersi went from a possible top-half finisher to a non-qualifier; and the thunder of “Përrallë” was replaced with something made for a nightclub for “Fairytale”, and any possiblity of Eneda barely qualifying went out the window. Sometimes playing around with the music, during the time between winning the national contest and Eurovision, isn’t always a good thing. When was the last time a song with a… Read more »

Geo
Guest
Geo

Times are changing, music evolves. Countries who rarely passed the semifinal now are successful. I’ll name just a few: – Belgium (failed to qualify from 2005 to 2009 and also 2011-2012 and 2014. But they’ve had a new approach of the contest, young artists with good voices and great songs. The result? 4th place in 2015 Loic Nottet and 2017 Blanche and 10th place in 2016 – Laura Tesoro.) – Bulgaria (of 12 participations, Bulgaria only managed to pass the semifinal on 3 occasions, in 2007 with Elitsa & Stoyan, in 2016 with Poli and in 2017 with Kristian. Their… Read more »

Mattias Sollerman
Guest
Mattias Sollerman

I was wondering, did Portugal do anything differently this year? Did they change their approach in any way?

William Lee Adams
Admin

Their Eurovision commentator offers some insights into this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=010WQrk37Vg

Education Sentimentale
Guest
Education Sentimentale

So, helping factors are:
– a powerful song (APD didn’t win the Portuguese televote, but luckily that was overruled by juries)
– great enthusiasm for ESC, song and singer in his country
– a song with a clear connection to the country’s culture and music scene

Well, he might have a point. It certainly would explain Germany’s ESC-misery in recent years.

Mattias Sollerman
Guest
Mattias Sollerman

Thanks! Much appreciated.
He seems to be a very sharp guy indeed.

Evan
Guest
Evan

Yes they sent a semi-convulsing artist with a heart warming background story and an emotive ballad!! That approach brought them the win!! The song was immaterial.

We have to see if we have more countries following the same approach!! We had two this year….Russia and Portugal….one was disqualified and one won.Maybe the ESC will change after this year .

Unknown Melody
Guest
Unknown Melody

The audience at home didn’t know about his health problems. He won the televoting even in Israel, which doesn’t have commentators to tell people about it.

Education Sentimentale
Guest
Education Sentimentale

The Portuguese NF shows weren’t exactly celebrated by ESC-Fans when they happened, if I recall correctly. I still think, they were lucky that Salvador and his song came along, and they seriously have to thank their juries for not agreeing with the televoters. Had some other contestant won their NF, they very likely would have flown home from Kiev after the SF.

Jo
Guest
Jo

I didn’t see much difference from the past few years. They just had a very strong song now. The other songs were just “meh”.
Things will change a lot now for the Festival da Canção. It will have a bigger appeal to Portugal’s biggest singers and composers. I believe they will see a similar effect that The Netherlands is getting, which is great.

Mark
Guest
Mark

FiK needs a San Remo make over.

Tomás Patrick davitt
Guest
Tomás Patrick davitt

Osiris was one of my favourite songs this year. It’s a shame that I can’t find a radio edit of it

anonymouse
Guest
anonymouse

FiK should not be used for Eurovision anymore and Albanians and Kosovans no longer care for it at the same level as Kenga Magjike or Top Fest. In my opinion, either use Kenga Magjike as the national selection or do an internal selection.

Mark
Guest
Mark

They should just withdraw from Eurovision all together. They have never sent a decent song in all fourteen of their attempts.

anonymouse
Guest
anonymouse

Albania’s entries between 2004 and 2005, and 2008 and 2010 were fine, 2012 was outstanding, 2015 was a great song (Elhaida’s vocals just weren’t there on the night). There is no point in withdrawing. As @Geo said, if countries like Belgium, Bulgaria, The Netherlands etc. were able to turn things round, why can’t Albania? All they need is a few good results and they’ll be on track.

Jo
Guest
Jo

Withdrawing is never the answer. Albania needs to dare a little more, trying something different, maybe rock or dance music. Or at least use a male vocalist perhaps.

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

Since 2004 until now, they’ve sent some really good entries. They may haven’t sent an amazing song like Australia or Sweden do, but they’re not crap! Personally I loved 2010 and 2015, and I also like 2005 and 2009.
Withdrawal is the very last option. They should try different things first.

PP
Guest
PP

Problem is not in FIK , problem is when they change the lyrics, from albanian to engllsih, new arrangement .
Song from Albania for me in 2014,2016,2017 better sound in albanian then english, song from FIK 2015 for me was better then new song that year.
Only problem in FIK are old member of juries (who don t vote for modern song) and no 33 % or 50 % of televote in semi and final.

Mark
Guest
Mark

They need 50% televote based on percentage and international juries.

Chicken Kyiv???
Guest
Chicken Kyiv???

They should use Kënga Magjike instead

Mark
Guest
Mark

It’s on a rival broadcaster. So it wouldn’t work.

beccaboo1212
Guest

How about if Albania starts doing an internal selection? 🙂

Malta's Got Talent
Guest
Malta's Got Talent

The festival in Albanis is kinda behind the times – the orchestra, the suit & tie affair (yes Sanremo has that) but it needs modernising. Not necessarily pumping beats; but maybe look towards a selection like Malta or Cyprus Europroject from 2016

Mark
Guest
Mark

No. They have the infrastructure; all they need is to push it full San Remo. Except with international juries.

liam
Guest
liam

Such a shame because I really like Flaka her song last year was brilliant. However I do agree with her in order for Albania to do well things need to change. Personally Albania has been in my top 3 for the past 3 years but for them to do well a more modern aproach is needed. Try an internal selection?

kritique
Guest
kritique

Her makeup is HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!

Mark
Guest
Mark

And where is your face?

Education Sentimentale
Guest
Education Sentimentale

Don’t distract, kritique is right. And the only question is: WHERE — under all that makup — is FLAKA’s FACE?

Marcus (day one)
Guest
Marcus (day one)

I think the problem lies in FIK.
The songs that win fik are not songs that do well at Eurovision.

As lindita said you have to have a certain song to win which doesn’t allow decent Eurovision entries.

FIK should no longer be used for Eurovision or at least update it to 50/50 split in the voting.

Mark
Guest
Mark

I’d argue they also use international juries.

M_K
Guest
M_K

Flaka Krelani had some nice entries in FiK and I think she would have won the ticket to Eurovision some day. However, she’d probably be too much of a diva for the televoters anyway. Albania has had some major issues in recent years. In 2017 and 2016 the revamps fell flat for the same reasons (strange and hardly understandable lyrics, unsuccessful transition from an orchestra-driven dramatic arrangement to something more “pop”). In 2015 they had a great song, but Elhaida just wasn’t live as good as the song itself (which was obviously more demanding than it sounded at first). In… Read more »

Regina Phalange
Guest
Regina Phalange

I’m so sad right now. Flaka always brought modern and interesting songs to FiK. Her 2016 entry was just great. However, I have to admit that the Albanian broadcaster does not give their representatives enough support and therefore it’s quite hard for the country to succeed, so I can understand why Flaka doesn’t want to compete in FiK anymore.

Kris
Guest
Kris

Need to increase the weightage of the televote in FiK!! Shiu would most certainly have qualified!!

Ella
Guest
Ella

Fun fact. Albania had sent diva ballads to Eurovision for 4 years in a row (2014-2017).. 🙂

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

… only qualifiying once. They need to try something new and in Albanian.

D
Guest
D

This years Albanian entry was weak. I could hardly understand a word she was singing. And the music was weird. Please start sending good songs again..

James
Guest
James

Lindita was having a tough case of the cold that day apparently but she braved through it even though her voice was not at top form.

However, with that said, it would have been nice if she just kept it in Albanian.

Richardinho
Guest
Richardinho

If one of the contestants get a cold, isn’t there a likelihood that all of them will get since they all spend a lot of time in the same shared space?
Imagine a Eurovision when all the singers were bunged up!

ninasublatti
Guest
ninasublatti

agree. rtsh needs to up their game and try different things