The show ended over 24 hours ago. However, the reverberations of Sunday night’s Festivali i Këngës 58 result are still being felt in Tirana and beyond.
Albania’s Eurovision 2020 selection ended in controversy after local pop superstar and firm fan favourite Elvana Gjata finished second to Arilena Ara.
Mumblings of misgiving turned into a roar when it emerged 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.
Amidst the social media storm, the show’s host Alketa Vejsiu asked, via Instagram, for the focus to be on the jury and the voting system. Adding that she was left “speechless” by one juror’s decision to give “Me tana” just two points.
Shortly after midnight local time, Elvana reluctantly issued a statement of her own.
Elvana Gjata statement on Festivali i Këngës 58 result
Posting on Instagram, Gjata writes:
“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
Enjoy live WITH EVERYTHING
I can’t wait to share new projects”
View this post on Instagram
Refuzoj te flas ne keto raste, por me duhet ta bej… Arilena… nuk eshte faji yt dhe te uroj me gjithe zemer vetem sukses?! Dua te falenderoj te gjithe shqiptaret kudo qe ndodhen por dhe fansat e rinj Europiane per dashurine,mbeshtetjen qe me keni dhene qe diten qe #metana doli! I kam pare te gjitha sondazhet e ju kam pare te kendoni e kerceni kengen me syte e mij cdo dite, e ju pashe dhe ne salle me duart lart! Ju kam degjuar kur therrisni emrin tim plot zjarr ne festivale ne Diaspore dhe ne Prishtine,e degjova dhe dje ne Tirane si kurre me pare ne jeten time!Zemra plot! Kam punuar fort e do punoj deri sa te kem fryme!Puna sme ka hedhur poshte kurre, as balta e helmi,me apo pa porosi! Faleminderit jurise europiane per vleresimin maximal?U gezova shume! Dashni me fal as 2 pikeshi Mikaeles s’mundet me ma ndal! Pranojeni jeten ME TANA Gezojeni jeten ME TANA Mezi pres projektet e reja???
The update quickly drew responses from fellow Albanian stars. Among them was Eneda Tarifa, Albania’s Eurovision 2016 singer and the recent winner of the country’s other big music festival — Kenga Magjike. She simply wrote “Bravo with everything”. Her brief message was accompanied by four crimson heart emojis.
What do you think? Were you one of Elvana’s cheerleaders? Are you excited for her new projects? Let us know in the comments.