#LITHUANIA: Live Blog of Pabandom iš Naujo! Heat 2 from 20.00 CET
The Eurovision season starts in earnest tonight, and Lithuania’s broadcaster LRT starts its search for a competitor for the contest in May in Rotterdam.
Ten acts will compete for five spots in the semi-final of Pabandom iš Naujo! on 30 January. You can watch the action as it unfolds HERE.
We already know The Roop are in the final, which takes place in several weeks time. A mix of 50/50 jury and Lithuanian televoting will decide which five we’ll hear again in the semi-final next Saturday.
And it’s starting. Ieva and Vytautas are our hosts, looking very dapper. Or maybe distinctive. They’re explaining that we’ll see The Roop tonight, previewing their song that’s already in the Final of Pabandom iš Naujo!
Vaidas Baumila is in the room with the expert jury again. He’s gone for the bookish bespectacled look tonight.
Anyway, it’s on to the songs
UnoBand – Eisiu
A good old band – perhaps of the pub variety – singing in Lithuania. Hurrah! The lead singer has one of those gravelly voices that could be tricky to make out amongst the effcetive guitar play of the band. Never mind, the song bumps along nicely. However, whilst it’s pleasant, and you have to commend the guitarists for their sound, this song doesn’t really get going.
Cosmic Bride – Solitary star
Young Cosmis goes for a more ethereal look tonight. A pale wafty dress is the outfit of choice anyway. The song is a little out of the ordinary – very avant garde and doing away with the usual structure we get. It’s in English, and there are lots of notes demonstrating her range. It’s OK, but there’s no real hook.
Rapolas – Degam
Rapolas goes for a ‘cooler’ song. It’s nicely funky, and there are backing singers, and also a dancer on stage. Said dancer is obviously his lurve interest. Oh yes, and he’s opted for Lithuanian. It’s definitely got something about it, with it’s funky, maybe a tad soul-ly vibe. The best song so far. It maybe ends quite abruptly, but he’s probably done enough work to make it to next week’s show.
Three songs down, so it’s over to our expert jury for their views. Don’t go away.
Sunday Afternoon – Open
Sunday is accompanied on stage by a gentleman who sure can’t be a stalker. Can he? She’s dancing with him in the same style you saw Loreen and her young man cavorting away back in 2012. This is where the similarity between those two songs ends. We’ve gone a bit off plan structure wise again, and it could go either way. Midway through the song the tempo seems to change to something a bit more 80s poppy. I think it will struggle to qualify.
Aistė Brokenleg – Home
Aistė is alone on a very dark stage. There’s a heavy backing beat but it seems to overpower her voice. And then she starts on the Bontempi organ close by. Eventually, it gets going, but things might be out of reach by the time it does. Yes, her song is quirky. On the plus side, all her limbs do seem intact.
Norbertas – Man in need
Norbertas has a more upbeat song that does have immediate potential. There’s nothing wrong with his song, and it’s nice to see some order in a song again. There are elements that would go down will in a Eurovision disco and he’s very assured. On the down side, we can tell he’s enthusiastic, but there might be an awful lot of “woo”ing going off. No matter, this should qualify.
Gabrielė Goštautaitė – Freedom
More darkness for young Gabrielė, to compliment the long white smock she’s wearing. Her song is more uptempo and gives us a bit more finger-clicking funk. Nicely inoffensive and her English is passable. And there’s a false ‘ending’ mid-song, that could make you think the feed has gone. That aside, it should be up there.
Seven down, three to go, so it’s over to our jury again. And then adverts. Stay tuned.
Gebrasy – Where’d you wanna go?
Gebrasy is giving us an earnest ballad. He’s also demonstrating his range. The song isn’t bad, and we have another pause mid-song. I have heard this sort of thing before. perhaps in a Melodifestivalen sometime. A borderline qualifier.
Evita Cololo – Be paslapčių
More Lithuanian again. We get a novel approach here, as Evita sings to the studio cameras, and then switches to Tik-Tok mode with a mobile phone camera to her left. It’s a different way to bring the contest to yoof. She’s got a song that is OK. Not a world beater but not a load of dross either. And it has a touch of the R&B vibe about it. Nice.
Gabrielius Vagelis – My guy
Here’s progress in Lithuania. And Burberry. It’s a ballad of the very very credible variety. Potentially another song that could feature in the behemoth selection in Sweden. On the whole, the structure is there, the voice is there, it’s the whole package. A qualifer? Well it should be.
Songs over, it’s back to the jury for some final remarks. And then they can throw open the phone lines for the good people of Lithuania to vote.
OK. My five for tonight would be Rapolas, Norbertas, Gabrielė Goštautaitė, Gebrasy and Gabrielius Vagelis. Whilst the lines are open, we get to see The Roop.
They’re performing Discotheque, which is the song they’ll be singing in two weeks time in the Final. It’s definitely a contender for the win.
The scores are in.
I got three out of five. And the tope five there go through to the Semi-final next Saturday.
Thanks for tuning in, and tune in again next Saturday at the same time.
Author: John Stanton
Source: Eurovision Ireland