Eurovizijos atranka: Erica Jennings withdraws over “cringeworthy” judging process in Lithuania

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At the end of last year she confirmed that she would make another attempt to sing for Lithuania at the Eurovision Song Contest.

But now, following the first heat of Eurovizijos atranka 2018, fan favourite Erica Jennings has withdrawn from the competition, citing a lack of compassion and constructive criticism from the judging panel.

Erica, who sang for Lithuania at Eurovision 2001 as a part of the group SKAMP, made the revelation in a Facebook post on Monday morning. Nodding to her many fans outside of Lithuania, she posted it in both Lithuanian and English.

“I’ve been mulling it over in my head for a while. Yes I do have a great song — in my humble, but experienced opinion. ‘The Truth’ means a great deal to me. I wrote it while I was still pregnant with my daughter who’s now just turned 7 months. It’s a big song and yes it’s perfect for Eurovision. If I didn’t feel that way about my song I wouldn’t have wanted to take part in the first place.”

“But I’ve decided to pull out. And I’ll tell you honestly why. I simply don’t want to jump through all those hoops again. I am an established singer. I’ve been to Eurovision already, with my own song and we did pretty well as I recall. And so the idea of having to, once again, be in that almost ‘school girl’ position of having to stand there, listening to a commission, after performing my heart out is simply cringeworthy. And with all due respect, most of them are less experienced than me in these particular topics of Eurovision, singing and songwriting. I’m fine with there being a panel in general. I’ve been on commissions myself. But I honestly believe the format should be reconsidered with all due respect to everyone involved.”

“Just scrolling down FB after the tv show has aired, you see all these so called ‘experts’ complimenting themselves on how they got rid of the ‘rubbish’ and didn’t ‘hold back’, patting each other on the back and massaging their egos. When most of them have never a) written a song b) written a hit or c) been anywhere near performing at Eurovision. I mean I’m just amazed at their gall.”

“When I went to Eurovision, there was a commission then too but their verdict was decided off camera. You performed and that was it. I get it — it’s tv and ratings and I’m fine with that too. It’s just this particular format is not for me. I would suggest that perhaps they consider making some changes for the future.
And I hope that those on the commission this year will appreciate their position and behave accordingly. Constructive criticism, empathy and compassion. It’s not what you say but how you say it. If someone would like to try with ‘The Truth’, let me know.”

“Lastly, I wish everyone taking part this year the very very very best of luck!!!”

Lithuania: Ieva Zasimauskaite wins opening heat of Eurovizijos atranka 2018

The opening show, which aired on Saturday, saw 13 participants sing it out. The lineup included several returnees from last year’s competition, most notably semi-finalist Ieva Zasimauskaite. Luck was on her side as she won the heat with her song “When We’re Old”. Ieva topped both the jury and televote.

She will be joined in the next stage of the competition by Godo with “Fire Fountain”, Milda Rasilaviciute with “I Think About You”, Lukas Norkunas with “Tegu”, Germante Kinderyte with “Turn It Up” and Benas Malakauskas with “My Memories”.

How do you feel about Erica’s withdrawal? Do you think the judges should have been mouthing off on Facebook afterwards? And what other singers do you think could slay Erica’s song at Eurovision? Let us know in the comments box below. 

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