Lithuania: Sasha Song and Vilija Mataciunaite attempt Eurovision 2017 comebacks

Over the past three years Lithuania has gotten Europe talking with Eurovizijos atranka — its annual selection for Eurovision. And on March 11 the chatter will definitely reach its peak, as Lithuania stages the final of its marathon search for a Eurovision 2017 contestant.

As LRT explains on its web site, this year’s edition will kick off on January 7 as the first of 51 participants take the stage. The first four weeks will showcase all 51 contestants, with twelve or thirteen performing each week. Audrius Girzadas — Lithuania’s head of delegation for Eurovision — is proud of the fact each competitor will have their moment in the sun: “This year there will not be an offscreen selection. All of the participants will perform during the first round.”

The contestants who survive the first round will appear again during the fifth show. The remaining five rounds that follow will be evaluated by an international jury, as well as a public vote and a Lithuanian jury. LRT has given the performers the freedom to perform their songs in whatever language they would like and they are allowed to switch between the shows.

This marks a huge change from last year’s complicated selection which contained two separate rounds for artists with or without a song. “A lot of performers called for changes in the rules,” producer Lauras Luciunas said. “Last year, a lot of people complained about the length of the show and the repetitiveness of the shows.” [Let us pause while we raise our hands].

This year’s list of participants, which you can see at the very end of this post, includes two big returnees: Eurovision 2014 act Vilija Mataciunaite and Eurovision 2009 singer Sasha Song.

At Eurovision Sasha made it to the final, where he secured 23rd place, and managed to win the inaugural edition of Eurovision’s Next Top Male Model.

Vilija just missed out on the final, placing 11th in her semi. But Vilija did not go home empty-handed, as she received the Barbara Dex Award for the worst look of the year.

Latvian diva Samanta Tina is also in the line-up. After making four attempts at representing her home country, she’s now looking at neighbouring Lithuania. Samanta Tina will duet with frequent collaborator Tadas Rimgaila.

Lithuania’s Eurovision 2017 Final: Date Set for March 11

The final will take place on March 11 and will contain no less than six acts.

This means Lithuania will be the fourth country to choose their entry on that date, joining Sweden, Norway and Iceland. It’s gonna be a tough night for Eurovision fans!

Last year, Donny Montell won Eurovizijos atranka 2016 with “I’ve Been Waiting For This Night”. Montell eventually placed ninth at Eurovision 2016, Lithuania’s second best result overall and the best of the decade. Can Lithuania repeat that success next year?

Lithuania at Eurovision 2017: Full list of participants

  • Aiste Pilvelyte
  • Alanas Chosnau
  • Audrius Janonis
  • Audrius Petrauskas
  • Auguste Vedrickaite
  • Benas Malakauskas
  • Dagna Kondrataviciute
  • Deividas Zygas
  • Dovydas Petrosius
  • Edgaras Lubys
  • E.G.O.
  • Elvina Milkauskaite
  • Evaldas Vaikasas
  • Erika Astrauskaite
  • Fusedmarc
  • Gabrielius Vagelis
  • Golden monkeys
  • Grazvydas
  • Greta Zazza
  • Hit
  • Ieva Zasimauskaite
  • Julija Jegorova
  • Justin 3
  • Kotryna Juodzeviciute
  • Lawreigna
  • Lolita
  • Marius Petrauskas
  • Mia
  • Milda Martinkenaite & Saulene Chlevickaite
  • Monika Meciute
  • Neringa Siaudikyte
  • Otreya
  • Paula Valentaite
  • Queens Of Roses
  • Rugile Daujotaite
  • Rasa Kausiute
  • Rasa Vastakaite-Shiny Raia
  • Ruslanas Kirilkinas
  • Ruta Andruskeviciute
  • Sasha Son
  • Soliaris
  • Streles
  • Tadas Rimgaila & Samanta Tina
  • Valdas Lacko
  • Valerija Iljinaite
  • Varjete
  • Vidas Bareikis
  • Vilija Mataciunaite
  • Virgis Valuntonis
  • Vlad Max

Are you excited for Eurovizijos atranka 2017? Let us know in the comments below!