Labas vakaras Europa ir labas rytas Australija! This is Vilnius calling! Tonight is Heat 3 of the revamped Lithuanian Eurovision selection, Pabandom Iš Naujo!
Sit back and relax, and let Eurovision Ireland’s own James Scanlan entertain and inform you. As always, let me what you’re thinking and give your opinions about tonight’s contestants and songs – I’ll shout out to you if you do!
Twelve acts are performing tonight courtesy of LRT, but there are only six spots in the semi-finals which are due to start on February 1st. A 50/50 mixture of jury and public voting will pick winners, who are still in with a chance to fly the Lithuanian flag in Rotterdam. Will it be one of tonight’s contestants? Let’s take a look and see!
You know the drill: Just refresh this page to get the comments and points of view!
You can watch the live show HERE from 20:00 CET.
Singing for those last spots in the Semi Finals tonight we have:
- The Backs – Fully
- Bernardas – Dad, Don’t Be Mad At Me
- Justina Žukauskaitė – Breathe In
- Rokas Povilius – Vilnius Calling
- KaYra – Alligator
- Lukas Bartaška – Where Is That Change?
- Evgenya Redko – Far
- Ruslanas Kirilkinas – Soldier’s Heart
- Nombeko Augustė – Reikia Man
- Vitalijus Špokaitis – Nemušk Savęs
- Aistė Pilvelytė – Unbreakable
- THE ROOP – On Fire
LIVE BLOG STARTS HERE!!
You’re almost 8 hours too early! Come back later and experience all the fun and games from Lithuania’s Pabandom Iš Naujo!!
It’s about 20 minutes till showtime in Lithuania, so feed your pets, grab your snacks and get settled in – for tonight, 36 become 18!
Just in case you’re curious, I know about 5 words in Lithuanian and haven’t heard any of them yet… I’ve worked out they’re talking about ice skating, but that was from the pictures….
New idea for 2021 – Eurovision on Ice!!
Any moment now we’ll be going live in Lithuania!
Here we go!
Our hosts for this evening… Giedrius giving me just a hint of Lithuania’s answer to Jon Ola Sand…
Having a look at tonight’s judges, among whom is Monika from 2015 – I’ve always said that song started the tradition of unexpected kissing at Eurovision!
A little explanation about how to vote for tonight’s contestants – is Lithuania’s next Eurovision star among them?
We’re about to find out, we’re on to song #1!
The Backs – Fully
Now this is unusual… it’s quite soulful and gospel on one hand, but quite moodie and indie on the other hand. Vocally, it’s very strong and they harmonise very well together. Staging wise, it’s quite static and the most exciting part was them tossing their hats across stage. The problem with such songs like this is you don’t want to go too gimmicky with staging because it detracts from the sound, but as the music doesn’t build much, there’s not a lot happening. Shame, as they sound brilliant. A good start for us tonight! Bravo!
The Backs are now in the Green/Purple Room having a chat… someone has just asked me if these women are Lithuania’s answer to Desperate Housewives! LOL
Bernardas – Dad, Don’t Be Mad At Me
When I saw the title of this song, I dreaded to think what it would be like… I was expecting something overly ridiculous and cringy, but it’s actually surprisingly heartfelt and simple. Proof you should never judge a book (eh, song) by its cover. As a performance it was actually quite magical, I was drawn in all the way through. I suspect a song with this subject content will divide opinions drastically – but I think this deserves a spot in the semi finals, just for the sheer power of the performance.
I’ve also just realised the host in the Purple Green Room is Ieva from Lisbon! That’s the problem when you spend most of the blog listening to the broadcast, rather than watching it!
Justina Žukauskaitė – Breathe In
Lady in red! Justina connects expertly with the camera, noticeably more so than anyone else so far tonight. The song is quite a sultry number that feels like it could have been plucked from a 1930s jazz club. Although she’s supported by a trio of backing singers, Justina gives a commanding and confident performance. Puts me slightly in mind of Funny Girl from neighbouring Latvia a few years back.
“Is that Xandra?” they’re asking on the Eurovision Romania group on Facebook… I can see why you think so!
Rokas Povilius – Vilnius Calling
You can’t give out your points yet, you haven’t chosen a song yet! Oh wait… “12 points if you try not to fake it… “…huh? “There’s nothing on TV tonight…” ummm, 200 million viewers disagree! I suspect Rokas is trying to be quite satirical, but it’s coming across as snooty rather than gently poking fun at the contest. Musically it’s quite dreary. If you like moody guitar ballads, it’s probably a nice piece. But in this case, I don’t think Rotterdam will be calling. Sorry.
The judges are now having a bit of a natter about what we’ve seen so far. Or maybe about what they hope for Lithuania at Eurovision. Answers on a postcard!
We’re 1/3 of the way through tonight’s songs. Who has been your favourite so far?
And I thought the judges on Vidbir talked too much…
And back to the music!
KaYra – Alligator
Say eh-oh! Pink jumpsuits, bright colours and top knots, I thought they’d started showing the Teletubbies! I like the choreography, it’s entertaining to watch and it feels like it’s kids TV, but there’s something ever so slightly menacing about it too… Maybe it’s the unblinking stares connecting with the camera… it’s bobby, and puts me in mind of Billie Eilish… so it’ll get votes from the televote for sure!
Lukas Bartaška – Where Is That Change?
First of all, yes, singing with your eyes closed DOES make you look like you’re living for your music – BUT at Eurovision, it’s NOT. THE. DONE. THING! Because the performer seems so disconnected, it permeates through the rest of the song… the music, his notes, the tempo… I don’t feel this as a package is the right calibre for Eurovision.
Time for an ad break – and not a moment too soon!
And we’re back. Did you miss me? 😀 Let’s get back to the songs!
Evgenya Redko – Far
This is the first song tonight to grab me from the get-go! Starting out in almost total darkness, the staging is quite sophisticated with lights and lasers, but the music is also perhaps the most modern we’ve heard tonight. A bit techno, a bit ethno… I’m enjoying it! I’d love Evgenya to connect a bit more with the camera, but other than that, that was impressive!
Ruslanas Kirilkinas – Soldier’s Heart
Well, wearing a shiny black catsuit is definitely one way to grab the audience’s attention! Ruslanas bounds and sways around the stage with gusto, he looks like he loves performing. The song is very upbeat and one of the most memorable we’ve seen so far tonight – reminds me a little of Sunlight from Ireland back in 2016. While Ruslanas’ energy is unquestionable, I wonder if toning it down a tad might add to the performance, rather than overpower it. But I think this will easily get into the semifinals!
Another pit stop with the judges to discuss what we’ve seen so far.
At least we know they’re thorough with their feedback and observations!
Last 4 songs now – let’s go!
Nombeko Augustė – Reikia Man
Dancing with a tall and devilishly handsome dancer, Nombeko’s routine and choreography are quite slick. It sounds quite sultry and sexy, but something is amiss… it all fades into background a bit. Someone else listening in here said it sounds like something you’d hear in a pub – it’s not bad, it’s quite OK, but also doesn’t take your attention away from your conversation… far from ideal at Eurovision! Shame…
Vitalijus Špokaitis – Nemušk Savęs
Doing these blogs and watching Eurovision national selections for years and years, you don’t think there is much that can surprise or shock you. But I can honestly say this is perhaps one of the most unsettling and strangest things I’ve ever witnessed. Starting out like scene from The Human Centipede, it unravels in time to quite boppy pop music. The more I watch, the less I understand where they’re going with this… this feels like one huge innuendo and it’s gloriously weird!
Aistė Pilvelytė – Unbreakable
Someone told me they’re tuning in from Canada tonight specifically to see this performance – and I can see why! Lithuania have clearly been saving the best for (almost) last tonight! Everything about this performance screams Eurovision – Aistė sounds great, the song and music are catchy. If doesn’t sail into the semi finals in 1st place, something has gone wrong somewhere!
Last song of the night!
THE ROOP – On Fire
Busting some unashamedly awkward dad dance moves, though the lyrics sound like they were written by a rhyming dictionary (fire, desire, higher… I’m waiting for hairdryer…) there’s something undeniably catchy about this song… it shouldn’t work on any level… but it does! It’s a lot of fun and a great way to round of the Heats!
So there we have it, those are the 12 songs all hoping for a spot in the semifinals – but the jury and public vote will dash those hopes for half of the contestants… the question now is, whose Rotterdam dreams have just been Rotterdamned?
While the judges give us their thoughts, I’m going to give you mine!
All the songs tonight have been quite different in terms of style and delivery, but there have been some stand outs for me Aistė Pilvelytė is my hands down winner from tonight and I’m expecting her to sail into the semi finals. I suspect Ruslanas Kirilkinas, Evgenya Redko and THE ROOP will also do well, and would like for Bernardas to do so too, though I’m still not sure a conservative televote won’t scupper that. As for the elusive last place, I think either kaYra or Vitalijus Špokaitis – just for the sheer bonkersness of it all!
We’re having a quick recap – the show is timetabled to finish in just over 6 minutes, but I think that finish time might be out the window for the moment 0__0
And we have results!
I think these are from the jury. Suprised Ruslanas isn’t higher. Told you Bernardas would be too risque…
And the televote!
So combined, our scoreboard looks like this:
So I guessed 4 of the qualifiers… surprised Rokas is in there if I’m honest…
Well there we have it! We now have all the semifinalists for Lithuania! Thanks for reading along tonight, hope you’ve enjoyed my take on things!
Thank you Europe and good night!
Author: James Scanlan