The result of the first Eurovision Song Contest national final of 2008, the Festivali I Kenges in Albania is to be investigated by the national broadcaster, RTSH. The investigation follows unusual voting by two jury members, that changed the result of the competition. Olta Boka won the competition with 67 points, beating F. Kralani & D. Disha into second place with 57 points. Juliana Pasha finished in third place with Nje qiell te ri on 54 points.
RTSH are investigating the disparity in jury voting between three of the jury members and the last two. Their voting changed the result of the competition. The song writing teams behind the top two songs have so far between them won every Festivali I Kenges competition since Albania began particiapating at the Eurovision Song Contest with the winning song from the festival becoming the country's entry.
In a press statement, RTSH praised the production of the show and the professionalism of the hosts, Elsa Lila and Pirro Cako and director, Pali Kuke. They have also announced have announced:
"The board of the festival expresses concern over the song evaluation by the Jury of the Festival, focusing mainly on the huge difference in points between 5 of the jury members, 3 of which were very famous composers, and the votes of the last 2 jury members. These last two votes overturned the results up to that point, and caused a huge reaction by the public and the media. The jury's evaluation has also been contested in the official page www.rtsh.al / festivali under the section "Diskutime". The Festival Management expresses it's concern and will ask for explanations in the methods used by the jury to evaluate and judge each song. These concerns will be brought up in the near meeting of the Management Council of RTSH".
Olta Boka's song was composed by Adrian Hila with the lyrics written by Pandi Laco, the team behind Ledina Celo's entry in 2005, Tomorrow I go and Frederik Ndoci's Hear my plea. The jury voting meant a third win in four years for the duo.
F. Kralani & D. Disha's entry, Jeta kerkon dashuri (Life seeks love) was composed by the same team as Anjeza Shahini's Eurovision Song Contest entry in 2004 which was Albania's debut at the event.
esctoday.com has contacted the broadcaster to clarrify whether the result could be reversed and whether Olta Boka may be replaced as Albania's representative at the Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade. Stay tuned to esctoday.com for full coverage of this story as it develops.