Last night the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — traveled to Vilnius’ Old Town to enjoy cepelinai, a potato-based dumpling dish that is hearty and tasty in equal measure. After our indigestion cleared, we gathered round the table to review Lithuania’s Eurovision 2015 act Monika & Vaidas. Did their song “This Time” leave us smiling ear to ear? Or was it more a case of “not this time”? Read on to find out…
Lithuania’s Eurovision 2015 song
Reviews: Monika & Vaidas with “This Time”
Angus: Monika and Vaidas might be ‘falling in love’, but that’s jumping the gun as far as I’m concerned. This is a sweet and sunny song, but charming chemistry aside there are better duets and better guitar-strum numbers in this Semi-Final. That being said, Lithuania qualified with a diabolical song in 2013 so with a cute one they might sneak through.
Anthony: Last year, it was a case of right singer, wrong song. So was it worth going through the entire Eurovizijos selection process again? “This Time” it worked and on the sixth time of asking, I finally get to see Monika Linkyte represent her country, and with an infectiously uptempo feel-good song. Add fan favourite Vaidas Baumila into the mix and it’s a win-win situation. Going for a duet clicked into place for Azerbaijan in 2011. Maybe history could repeat itself for Lithuania in Vienna.
Bogdan: I’m having Malta 2014 flashbacks when I listen to “This Time”, although it is a bit catchier than Firelight’s song and Monika and Vaidas are more endearing. Vocals and harmonies are on point and I’ll be glad if Lithuania advances to the Grand Final, despite their unfortunate position in the running order. Nonetheless, in the bigger picture, there are way better songs in competition (just look at their Baltic neighbours). “This Time” may be the cutest song, but that’s not going to cut it this time.
Chris: I find something really charming about “This Time”. Monika and Vaidas are like the Common Linnets on a lot of prozac, but the chemistry between the duo is undeniable. They mask a lot of the issues with “This Time” thanks to this chemistry. Good thing: The song itself isn’t anything marvellous and the relentless optimism drags on about two minutes in. I fully expect to see this in the final though, especially with their draw. The best Lithuanian entry for quite some time.
Deban: It’s hard not to like this feel-good pop number, and its equally endearing performers. “This Time” has some storytelling magic to it. It’s country, it’s pop, and it packs a punch with eye-candy.
Judit: After the Baltics decided about their acts for Eurovision, everyone was crazy about how strong their songs are. For me it’s a complete mystery how people can love Lithuania and Latvia. This song is a typical romantic duet, nothing special. It’s not a slow one, that’s why I can’t hate it, but clearly not a winner. They are cute but nothing more.
Padraig: Well isn’t this delightful! Finally a duo that aren’t plotting each other’s funeral. Vaidas and Monika are wonderful, their chemistry is infectious and the vocals are spot-on. “This Time” is three minutes of feel-good, heart-warming fun, something we’re running rather low on this year. And as for the repetitive lyrics? All the better for singing along to m’dear! Easily Lithuania’s best ever entry.
Robyn: There’s so much goofy, loved-up energy in this song. Monika and Vaidas have amazing chemistry – and check out those harmonies! But it feels like the performance is almost at the point of being a finale from a cheesy musical, and the song seems to run out of momentum in the final 30 seconds. The relentless upbeat optimism of “This Time” won’t be for everyone, but with so many dramatic ballads in the competition this year, a bit of happy love is a very welcome relief.
Sami: Vaidas and Monika are both so talented and their chemistry is something we haven’t seen from duos at Eurovision in years! Even though I cheered for Vaidas in their national selection, I think it was great choice to go with a duet, as the song works so well with two. This song is happy and that’s what we need this year.
William: They’re feeling love, but I definitely am not. This feel-good number gets boring after 40 seconds, and the repetition of luh-uh-uhve becomes incredibly grating. It’s slightly dated and unbearably cheesy, which is a shame because Monika & Vaidas are both fantastic vocalists who know how to perform. I wish Lithuania had given these fantastic artists a song I want to hear.
Our jury consists of 29 people, but we only have room for 10 written reviews. Here are the remaining 19 scores.
William C: 6.5/10
To reduce potential bias, we drop the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. We removed a low of 3.5 and a high of 10.