Now that the National Finals season is finished and all songs for Eurovision 2016 have been selected we now have a period of less than a week where we wait for the rehearsals to begin in Stockholm. What better way to fill the time than to look back over the 60 years of Eurovision at some of the best and worst entries that countries have sent to the Eurovision stage. There are 43 countries going to Stockholm to take part in the 2016 edition of our favourite musical extravaganza and we continue our journey with Lithuania who have never won the contest but have finished last in the Final once and in a Semi Final once. Their best finish has been 6th, their only top 10 finish. They have failed to qualify from the Semi Finals five times with their lowest Semi Final finish 25th. This has all been achieved in 16 participations. You can check out the previous articles in the best and worst series for Ireland HERE ,Spain HERE, Austria HERE, Bosnia & Herzegovina HERE, Iceland HERE, Belarus HERE, Denmark HERE, Georgia HERE, Germany HERE, Cyprus HERE, Finland HERE, Belgium HERE, Hungary HERE, Switzerland HERE, Ukraine HERE,Moldova HERE, Estonia HERE, Norway HERE, Italy HERE, Slovenia HERE,The Netherlands HERE, Armenia HERE, Azerbaijan HERE, San Marino HERE, Israel HERE,Albania HERE, Poland HERE,Serbia HERE,France HERE, Romania HERE, Russia HERE, Croatia HERE, Czech Republic HERE, Malta HERE and Macedonia HERE.
So this year Lithuania are represented by Donny Montell with the song ‘I’ve Been Waiting For This Night ‘. We will have to wait and see if it turns out to be more of a best or worst song for Lithuania but the overall reaction is fairly positive so far. You can catch up on our recent article announcing Donny going to Eurovision HERE.
So my selections for best and worst entries are based on a combination of actual results and personal taste. Now Lithuania have sixteen entries to choose from making the task a lot easier. There are some decent songs from Lithuania that have deserved better results over the years but I am struggling to pick out the three best. So I will highlight more good Lithuanian entries after I have picked three good and bad ones.
We only have to go back 4 years to find our first song that is one of the best for Lithuania. The year was 2012 and we were in Baku to see Donny Montell singing the song ‘Love Is Blind’.
Now this was song that had lots going for it, a young handsome singer in a dapper suit and blindfold who sings a decent ballad only for him to give us a back flip as the song kicks into an upbeat number. It was all in all a simple but well crafted performance. Donny is a singer songwriter who has tried to get to Eurovision a few times before making it in 2012. He of course will return to Eurovision in Stockholm this year. The song finished 3rd in the Semi then went to finish 14th with 70 points.
So moving along we look at one of the worst entries for Lithuania. We were in Dublin in 1994 to see Ovidijus Vyšniauskas perform the song ‘Lopšinė mylimai ‘.
Now the song is the debut entry for Lithuania at Eurovision. It was a ballad sung in Lithuanian which was simply staged. The song came last with nil points and this is the single least auspicious debut in Contest history. It was another five years before we would see Lithuania at Eurovision again.
So now we move back to look at another best of entry for Lithuania. We were in Malmo in 2013 and the performer was Andrius Pojavis with the song ‘Something’.
Now the song was performed in English and written by Andrius himself. It was a simple pop song with a simple enough staging. This is what I found to be charming about it. No gimmicks just a nice catchy song. Andrius had spent some time in Dublin writing songs there and now lives in Valencia with his family. The song came 9th in the Semi Final and then 22nd in the Final with 17 points.
Our next song that has to be considered one of the worst was in the year 2006 and we were in Athens to witness LT United singing ‘We Are The Winners’.
This was a song that was booed by the crowd in the Final. Reason being it was a cheery tongue-in-cheek celebration of their supposedly inevitable victory at the Eurovision Contest in the form of a football chant, with the chorus repeating “We are the winners of Eurovision / We are, we are! […] So, you gotta vote, vote, vote for the winners!”. The group were especially formed for Eurovision by rock musician Andrius Mamontovas who composed the song. It included Victor Diawara who had already represented his country in the group Skamp in 2001. Now I detested the song hence the reason I place it among the worst but it went on to give Lithuania their best ever result. It finished 5th in the Semi Final and then 6th in the Final with 162 points.
So onto our next song that was one of Lithuania’s best. It was in 2015 and Vienna was witness to seeing Monika Linkytė & Vaidas Baumila perform with the song ‘This Time’.
Now starting with the song it was a an upbeat duet sung in English. It received a mixed reception in the press beforehand with suggestions it was cheesy. But it was well performed by two confident singers who had originally competed against each other in the selection process in Lithuania. The performance was also notable for including a prolonged kiss during the song. Monica had tried to represent her country in each of the previous 5 years prior to being chosen. Viadas had also tried in 2014 to get to Eurovision. The song finished in 7th place in the Semi Final then ended up in 18th place with 30 points.
We now arrive at another song for Lithuania and it’s another of the worst ones. In 2004 we saw Linas and Simona in Istanbul with the song ‘What’s Happened To Your Love?’.
It was a song that was an up-tempo duet in which the singers take the role of lovers asking each other where the romance has gone in their lives. Linas co composed the song also. They had some minor success after the competition even recording a song with Ruslana after befriending her in Istanbul. It ended up placing 16th in the Semi Final with 26 points therefore failing to reach the Final.
So I have mentioned 3 best of songs above but also have to mention the following songs as all great entries too.
1999 Aistė with the song ‘Strazdas’.
2001 Skamp with the song ‘You Got Style’.
2005 Laura and the Lovers with the song ‘Little By Little’.
2014 Vilija with the song ‘Attention’.
So there we have it folks, my little delve into Lithuanian Eurovision history and some of the best and worst moments over the years. Do you agree with all or even any of my choices? Feel free to comment below.
This series will continue with another look at songs over the years for each and every country competing in Eurovision 2016 so keep coming back for more reflections of the best and worst that Eurovision has had to offer us.
Author: Andrew Main
Source: Eurovision Ireland