Right then, welcome to a very exclusive group. While all the others have swanned off to swoon at all that Scandinavian rubbish, we select few hardcore are going to work our way through what is looking to be a pretty exciting Lithuanian final tonight. We’re going to keep you abreast of all the highs, lows, and comedy pratfalls as the night progresses, and we’ll keep adding to the bottom of the page any time something interesting happens.
Who cares about the frozen North – Lithuania is where the real thrills are tonight, so stay with us loyal followers, because this is going to get entertaining – I feel it in my water.
Here’s tonight’s runners and riders in their draw order…
1 Paula – Let U Go
2 Gabrielius Vagelis – Feel Myself Free
3 Greta Zazza – Like I Love You
4 Fusedmarc – Rain of Revolution
5 Aistė Pilvelytė – I’m Like a Wolf
6 Lolita Zero – Get Frighten
7 Kotryna Juodzevičiūtė – Love Shadow
The live rolling blog will begin at 20.00 CET, or 19.00 GMT for those of us in Ireland, The UK, Portugal, Iceland and much of the West Coast of Africa. You can also follow the action live via LRT’s website HERE.
Eyes down for a full house, we’re under way in Lithuania!
We’re kicking off with a touching choral version of what I assume to be the National Anthem and a good luck message from the President. No messing about there then!
Now we’ve got a shifty looking lad in a small suit giving us a lighters-in-the-air ballad. I would assume that he’s of local note, if anyone wants to fill us in?
So, after a very serious sounding announcement we’ve got people prancing about with gigantic light poles as people talk meaningfully over the top. It’s like art, innit. Aaaaand the crowd are looking awkward. Nice big hall, mind. We’ll wake you up when there’s a song on…
Ooh, and now old boy Donny Montell is doing his new hit Screw Me Up. I fear we may be here some time.
Finally, our hostesses are on, resplendent in black and lacy see-through gowns. Look…
The judges are being announced. Some familiar, some new faces. We’ll be seeing more of those later…
Now we’ve got a local lass singing Johnny Blue. We’re going to be here all night!
Now were getting a little montage of the endless months of qualifying shows. That’s the only way Vlad Max is getting his face on a final…
I think the voting lines just opened, but we’ve not had a song yet! Sweden are on song four already. Just saying…
And finally, after 34 minutes, the songs!
Paula – Never Let U Go
This solid little shuffly dance pop song has been hammering the solid mid-table placings throughout this process, and there’s nothing to suggest that she won’t be doing the same tonight. It starts promisingly with a intriguing build, before it cops out into a could-be-anyone groove in a chorus that relies to heavily on the repetitive tweaky noise and not enough on Paula’s undoubted charm. If this finishes any higher than fourth or fifth someone’s grandpa has bought an awful lot of simcards this afternoon.
Gabrielius Vagelis – Feel Myself Free
This doe-eyed, lady-haired young lad has been sneaking about quietly in the background throughout this whole process, and hasn’t been on too many people’s radar at any point in the competition. But it’s a sweet and gentle song, sung incredibly well and staged perfectly for its tone. So if anything is going to make a surprise attack from the middle of the pack it could be this one. Or it could just as easily get lost in the crowd and crash and burn. But we still suspect it’s worth keeping an eye on it, just in case. Nasty jacket, mind…
Greta Zazza – Like I Love You
Where Fusedmarc have been gaining a head of steam in this contest, poor Greta here has been going in the other direction. Where she topped all the early polls, she’s been slowly sneaking down the voting tables, and only just clawed her way into the final in last week’s semi. To our jaded eye she’s over performing it, and it comes over as just a little bit hackneyed and Butlins to gain too much love on the scorecard tonight. I hope she doesn’t come last, but I fear she might.
Fusedmarc – Rain of Revolution
While you can’t deny the head of steam this song has been building up over the last few weeks, there’s something lacking in it for us. It works much more strongly in the band format, and when she’s binned off the ugly blokes at the back it’s worked a little less well for us, despite its march up the popularity charts. One of the lads is back tonight, but will this insistent bluesy pop rock would stand out in a Eurovision semi-final though, but would it be likeable enough to escape one though? The jury’s out, but we suspect this will be challenging at the top tonight.
Aistė Pilvelyta – I’m Like a Wolf
In what feels like her fiftieth attempt to get to the big show, Aistė here has probably her best shot in years with this Aminata-penned tune. But while it has its strengths – solid songwriting, moody atmosphere, strong dramatic voice – there’s something about the lass herself that’s just a little bit terrifying. Maybe it’s that manic stare, that did-quite-work facial surgery, or the way she pronounces ‘wolf’ as ‘vuuuulpth’, but there’s something just not quite right about this performance. All being well she should be in contention come the end of the show, but does she have the legs to win it?
Lolita Zero – Get Frighten
Now here’s the one we’ve all been waiting for, one way or another. The song from the film that’s had all the tongues wagging got an unexpected reprieve in this week’s wildcard round, and could very well put the cat among the pigeons in tonight’s voting process. A cynic could suggest that it’s only been brought back to boost the ratings, but unless the jurors have been advised to mark it down this could be in with a shout until the very end. If you’ve not been lucky enough to see it yet, let me try and explain. Lolita is a character from a recent big budget movie blockbuster, played by the ageing choreographer Gytis Ivanauskas (who they’re still steadfastly naming the act on the telly). So picture a man of a certain age in glorious golden drag, miming to a lyrical nonsense of a song that some bloke behind the curtain is actually singing, while a bunch of handsome lads strut about with their chests out. It’s pure Eurovision gold, even in this day and age, and would be the ones the normal folks back home would be chatting about at the watercooler come that Monday morning in May. This could get very, very interesting come the end of the night. I hope LRT know what they are doing!
Kotryna Juodzevičiūtė – Love Shadow
Another solid but unremarkable R’n’B tinged pop tune, it kind of plods along pleasantly without any real threat of going anywhere dangerous. Which is a shame, because she’s a great looking girl with a decent voice and giving it everything she’s got. All she’s really missing is a song to wrap her talents around. Again, we suspect this will finish just outside of a podium place.
So, that’s all the songs done and now for some televisual mucking about. Will the dry jury fave Fusemarc win through, despite its early draw? Is Lolita Zero just there for the laughs and the ratings, or will the juries get the joke and send her through? Is Aistė just that little bit to scary to have that across the board appeal? Or will fan fave Greta get a second win and storm back up the table to take the prize?
Seriously, anything could happen tonight!
Right then, they’re having a lot of chit chat about this and that to chill us out while they sort out the voting. It’s a jury/televote split tonight, but as is Lithuania’s wont, it’s a bit more complicated than just that. I’ll try to keep you abreast of any developments as they happen… if I understand them!
More interludes, with a sweet-faced balding Lauris Reiniks lilting out a jangly folksy pop tune or two, followed by Man-Go and their men on plinth affair. More as it happens… if it does…
Ooh, Jamala’s turned up in a glittery jacket to wish us all well. Thanks Jam!
And now for a quick spin through some of the other of this year’s winners. We might have a result at some point tonight, I’m sure of it!
A quick chat with some of the international judges, before another song, this time by Choe Maggs. I might have a little nap. But we have just been informed that it’s Lithuania’s National Day, so we can’t begrudge them a long old showbiz spectacular. Maybe that’s why the President chipped up at the start?
LITHUANIA… STOP VOTING!
There must be an envelope opening coming up soon, Sunstroke Project are on again!
Ooh, latest televote scores…
So the top three pretty much as we’d expected, but with Lolita a lot further behind than we’d hoped. So it looks like it’s going to be between Fusedmarc and Aistė – unless the judges have still got something weird up their sleeves.
Right, this gets complicated. Each act picks an envelope with a random number of judge’s votes in them, and they all get totted up at the end. Quit how we’re not sure. Bear with us…
So here’s the combined jury votes…
And here’s the final result…
Fusedmarc are the representatives for Lithuania in Kiev! Woo, erm, hoo!
Thank you for everyone who stuck with my old rabbiting tonight. It was a pleasure to have you along! Now let’s see if we can catch the end of Iceland and Norway!
AUTHOR: Roy Delaney
SOURCE: Eurovision Ireland