She was the hostess with the mostess across all three nights of Albania’s Eurovision 2020 selection show. But amidst the fallout of Sunday’s Festivali i Këngës 58 final, Alketa Vejsiu has become a focus of much ire from disgruntled fans.
She, along with director Vera Grabocka, was responsible for much of the artistic decisions made in this year’s revitalised contest.
Coincidentally, both women also worked on X Factor Albania — the show on which FiK winner Arilena Ara first rose to fame. The trio were said to have remained close ever since.
Many are taking tidbits such as this, throwing them all together and coming up with a whole load of accusations.
In a flurry of social media posts, Alketa made a bid to put such chatter to bed. In fact, some are now interpreting her comments to be an endorsement of Elvana Gjata — the “Me tana” singer who came second.
Alketa Vejsiu — Statement on Festivali i Këngës 58 result
Taking to Instagram, Alketa posted a picture of Elvana in rehearsals. 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”.
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I uroj sukese Arilenes per fitoren! Sa me mbare per Shqiperine ne Eurovision! Por nuk mund te le pa falenderuar Elvana Gjaten! Ate qe u klikua ne 2 jave me shume se te gjithe, 3 milion e 500 mije here! Nuk mund ta mohoj qe kenga e saj ishte festa e ketij Festivali! Qe Elvana ishte lajmi i ketij edicioni, zeri dhe energjia e rinise qe vallezoi ne nje salle te ngurte, qe beri bashke Shqiperine, Kosoven dhe Diasporen! Garat shpallin fitues, por jo humbes; sepse hitet nuk vdesin kurre. Pas ketij Festivali qe e kam bere me shpirt, mund te them qe skam qene dhe sdo behem kurre pale me asnje juri, per asnje motiv! Besoj tek meritokracia dhe me vjen thellesisht keq qe ne platformen e ketij Festivali nuk munda dot ti jap ze, zerit te publikut! Me falni nese ju kam zhgenjyer! Kuptoj dhe respektoj ndjeshmerine tuaj! Mi kurseni akuzat ju lutem! Une nuk isha juria, dhe jurine se zgjodha une! Elvana Faleminderit! Ti erdhe ne kete Festival sepse besove tek vizioni im! Ti s’kishe nevoje per gare per te konfirmuar ate qe je, sepse ti thjesht Je! Dhe per me teper ti duhet te ndihesh fituese sot sepse te 3 anetaret e jurise se Eurovision te kane dhene 18 pike. Ato 2 piket e Shqiperise, jam pa fjale!
In a later post, the TV presenter asks for the spotlight not to be just on the top two singers, but also the jury and the voting system.
Allegedly, Arilena Ara unfollowed Aleketa in the hours after the post went live. We can’t verify whether she did or she didn’t. However, neither lady followed the other at the time of writing.