Several Albanian newspapers have come with different articles and comments for the Albanian festival that took place last night at the Congress Palace of Tirana. In general, the Albanian press seemed not to be very happy with the outcome of the competition.
Newspaper Koha Jone published an article with the title“Accusations to the festival, the organizers 'hush'” on Sunday. In this article,special mention is made for Blero and his sudden withdrawal from the festival accusing the organizers of “selling” the festival’s first prize. The article continues to say that this kinds of accusations is new to the organisers of this event who chose to make no comment.
The same newspaper published another article today called: “Sudden disqualifications at the 46th Festival”. In the article, the artists that didn’t make it through are mentioned and one of them was popular artist Rovena Dilo who reacted immediately after getting the news by saying: “This is totally absurd”. The same article reports aboutyesterday's press conference and the response of the jury to Blero's allegations: jury member and composer Gjergj Lekastated that the jury has been very transparent and that there was no truth whatsoever in the allegations. Mr Leka claims that the jury has been threatened, especially jury member Agim Krajka had received threatening messages such as “you’ve got to send this song to the finals; otherwise you’re going to pay”.
In the same press conference artistic director Edmond Zhulaliclaims that he knows the truthabout Blero and his accusations. Mr Zhulati says that he received an sms on his mobile phone from Blero that said: “Mondi! (short for Edmond) Tell the festival director that if I’m not going to win tonight, I’ll withdraw.”
Albanian internet media www.balkanweb.com published an article today called “Festivali I Kenges 46, the 16 year girl, that challenged the professionals“. The article compares the victory of Olta Boka to the victory of Anjeza Shahini in 2004 by saying that history is being repeated and that Olta, same as Anjeza Shahini, did challenge the best known artists by running away with the first prize.
There have been thousands of reactions by the Albanianpopulation and yet, very mixed ones. Most of the reactions made on www.rtsh.al/festivali are angry comments for the jury’s vote, especially targetedon jury member and previous participant of the festival Mr. Alban Skenderaj. Most of the comments say that they are very disappointed in Alban, because he “didn’t give any points to the song of Flaka Krelani & Doruntina Disha, so they ended 2nd and not 1st as they deserved“. But there weren't onlynegative reactions; there are alsomany people thinking that Olta deserved the first prize and that she is going to be abletolive up to the expectations of Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest. Probably the most positive comment to be found was: “If this song does not become the winner in ESC, it is a winner in Albania“.
Many thanks go to Roni Klein of OGAE Albania for his contribution.