Due to the popularity of the Eurovizija in the homeland, Lithuania has extended the qualification rounds by two weeks and will now have their final on March 12, take that Melodifestivalen. So, tonight, another two unlucky contestants packed their bags as the Second Division fought for a place in that faraway final.
The Lithuanian Eurovizija entered its fifth week tonight, with the Second Division acts putting on a display with all they had for the X-Factor-type panel. Again, another very enjoyable show with a mix of songs and styles.
Baiba – May Day
The first to the stage tonight was Baiba. The judges liked her voice but did not believe the song would have much success at Eurovision. It sounded too eighties to them. Very dancey and poppy, perhaps not distinctive enough. To be on first will not be a good thing tonight.
Berta Timinskaitė – Stars In A Rainbow
Described as a great song compared to the previous tune, it was described as ‘new dance school’ and a ‘very radio friendly sound’. It deserved to be in the final. However, the singer was described as being too tense, with no real freedom or spontaneity.
Ieva Zasimauskas – Life (Not That Beautiful)
This song is good, but the singing needs to be improved, scolded the judges. However, Ieva seemed to be on the right track, whatever that meant. The song lacked excitement, said the judges as they swayed to and fro as if at a nightclub, or maybe not.
Neringa Šiaudikytė – Never Knew Love
Another praised voice, well able to convey the emotion of the song, said the Fantastic Four. This was another track with a clear path to the final.
4 Roses – Butterfly Rosed
4 Roses’ problem was that they weren’t more temperamental. In the trio’s heads, they were thinking ‘we’ll show you temperamental if we don’t get through to the next round’. The performance was described as nice, but too much like other Eurovision songs.
Ruslan Kirilkinas – In My World
This was a song for the women, but it ended too soon. Described as sensitive, Ruslan was told to drop the theatrics that were going on behind him.
Aistė Pilvelytė – You Bet
The song was performed with a suitcase as a prop. Aistė replied she was already packed for Eurovision. The song left a deep impression with the judges – ‘bravo’, they screamed. Very strong.
Saulenė Chlevickaitė – Strong
Talking of strong, the last performance, said the judges, was better. Today, there was too much of a carry on, going on, she was told to get back to just singing.
Milda Martinkėnaitė – If Tomorrow Never Comes
“This is a very adventurous song, especially suitable for summer evenings. However, I do not know whether the country pop song will be relevant to “Eurovision”‘, said the scrutineers.
E.G.O- Long Way From Home
The song is funny and well-made, but ran out of vocal ability. The group was described as very standard. On stage, they behaved very stereotypically, lacking individuality. Now, you are too predictable. Good song, just lacking originality. Wow.
Weekly favourite hosts, Andrius Rožickas and Gerūtai Griniūtei returned. No wonder Lithuania have extended the shows, everyone will miss them. They introduced the judges, who were an all male quartet tonight.
After introducing the judges, Europe’s 2016 most-seen scoreboard appeared with the numbers for the public to vote. LRT need to imprint it on a magnet and sell it to tourists. The hosts wasted no time in introducing the first song and short videos introduced all the artists before each of the performances. After each performance, the national judges gave their constructive criticism to each artist and the artists were also interviewed, smiling to the cameras and thanking the judges for their advice.
After the final song and critiques, it was straight into the reprise and then no time wasted in giving the results.
An international jury returned consisting of dear friends Peter Freudenthaler, Syron and Karl Frierson. They gave their votes and a brief opinion, realizing that they only have five more weekends before having to find something else to do on a Saturday evening. Their votes are combined and listed as ‘I’ below.
The national jury was again made up of a four person panel, Lithuanian Morning music reviewer Ramunas Zilnys, LRT Opus Darius Uzkuraitis, Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra chief conductor Gintaras Rinkevičius and group Biplan member Oleg Aleksejevas. Their results are reflected in the ‘J’ column.
Finally, the public’s votes were translated to the 12-1 point scale – see ‘P’ below. The top eight acts will continue their journey.
Lithuania in the Eurovision Song Contest:
Lithuania has appeared in the contest 16 times. They made their debut in 1994 with Ovidijus Vyšniauskas performing the song Lopšinė Mylimai (Lullaby For My Beloved). Sadly, the song received the infamous zero points and Lithuania stayed away from the contest until 1999 when Aiste opened the Israeli hosted show with the song Strazdas (Song Thrush). Having been placed 20th, Lithuania then skipped the following year and returned in 2001 with SKAMP and You’ve Got Style, who gave the country their best result to date coming 13th. Aivaras with Happy You returned Lithuania to the lower placing of 23rd in 2002 and the country dropped out again the following year.
The country returned in 2004 and has been competing each year since then. In this period, they have only been placed in the top ten once with We Are The Winners by LT United in 2004.
All of Lithuania’s songs have been sung in English since 2001 but, unlike some other countries, this does not seem to be helping them reach the upper echelons of the scoreboard. Since the introduction of the semi-finals, Lithuania has failed to qualify on five separate occasions, the last time being with the EMD-influenced track Attention by Vilija.
Donny Montell, one of the favourites this year, gave Lithuania their best result in a semi-final in 2012 when he was placed third, finally reaching 14th place in the Baku Final with Love Is Blind. To date, this is Lithuania’s third best placing.
Guess what? Below you can enjoy again the highlights of the last five years of Lithuanian entries. Hopefully, this video will convey the joy that follows the Lithuanian entries at Eurovision and put a smile on your face.