Croatia’s Head of Delegation for Eurovision has been removed from her position by the state broadcaster — and Albina is not happy about it.
“You are making a big mistake,” the Eurovision 2021 star wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. In the thread, she went on to describe outgoing HoD Ursula Tolj as a kind person who has been dismissed for the wrong reasons.
“I speak from a personal perspective and know what kind of character and soul she has,” she said. “I think they are making a mistake, but most of all there are absurd reasons and people behind it.”
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So what are those reasons? Well according to Jutarnji, it had nothing to do with Croatia’s non-qualification. Instead, the decision stemmed from the fact that Ursula allegedly bypassed HRT’s costume designer Natasa Svekler when choosing Albina’s costume for Rotterdam. She instead went with Juraj Zigman, who isn’t affiliated with the broadcaster.
The paper also cites “unforeseen expenses” on her HRT credit card during Eurovision, which the paper says included paying for lunch for the team at a hotel and the purchase of overalls for Albina’s dancers for the red carpet event “with the intention that our delegation be fashionably harmonised.”
But the tipping point reportedly took place on Croatian soil. The paper says that Ursula announced Dora — the country’s Eurovision 2022 selection — without the blessing of her bosses. It’s said they would have preferred to wait until later in the year when the jury selection was complete.
You are making a big mistake pic.twitter.com/2IiPUBUIHw
— Albina (@albina_music) November 3, 2021
Naturally this has led to speculation by some insiders that Ursula is being binned over minor missteps and that some within the broadcaster were waiting for any old reason to pounce.
The paper says that Ursula can’t currently provide comment, as she would risk being fired from the broadcaster owing to previous internal conflicts. Besides her stint as HoD, Ursula wears many hats at the broadcaster, as evidenced by her Instagram bio. It’s light on syntax, but heavy on roles: “TV host TV journalist TV editor Songwriter Traveler.”
The broadcaster did confirm to the paper that Ursula is out, and that she will be replaced by Tomislav Stengl — who oversees Dora. It said:
“Your information is correct – by the decision of the HRT Directorate there was a change in the Dora 2022 team, as well as at the head of the Croatian delegation at the Eurosong 2022 – and Ursula Tolj will be replaced by Tomislav Stengl.”
Regardless of the drama in the halls of HRT, Albina is standing by her friend. She shared a snap from the turquoise carpet of her delegation along with these bittersweet words: “You never realise the value of something until you lose it.”