A rousing Sveiki to you all as we find ourselves in Lithuania! The lone Baltic state still pursuing an elusive first victory in the Contest, Vilnius are cheerily resolute in their ongoing struggles at Eurovision, always delivering performances with real spunk and zeal. While there isn’t a signature sound to Lithuanian entries, they’ve shown a preference for male soloists, fielding four in six years and also to show-tune-style numbers, fielding two, first in 2008 and then more recently in 2011. Unfortunately for Lithuania, though their basketball team might rank 5th in the world and they might boast a rare, rapidly growing European economy, their Eurovision record is a little less successful. Lithuania have dribbled their way around competition to qualify for four out of a possible six finals, but have rarely score slam-dunks, only averaging 41 points per Contest and receiving 5 sets of 12 Points across the six Contests since 2008. You might have a Funk but there’s still no slam-dunk Vilnius.
2013: Andrius Pojavis with ‘Something’, 22nd Place with 17 Points
2012: Donny Montell with ‘Love Is Blind’, 14th Place with 70 Points
2011: Evelina Sašenko with ‘C’est ma vie’, 19th Place with 63 Points
2010: InCulto with ‘Eastern European Funk’, 12th Place in the SF with 44 Points
2009: Sasha Son with ‘Love’, 23rd Place with 23 Points
2008: Jeronimas Milius with ‘Nomads In The Night’, 16th Place in the SF with 30 Points
Best Scoring Entry:
Donny Montell with ‘Love Is Blind’, 14th Place with 70 Points
At the time I was entirely unconvinced by this song. It was cheesy, massively camp and gimmicky. It relied upon a very literal interpretation of the song, a tuxedo trussed-up boy swallowed by Baku’s massive stage and a semi-dated Euro-disco production. How wrong I was. A year on, I now adore this song. I completely buy into the cheese – Donny somehow won me over…or wore me down into submission. It’s impossible to deny how very much he really wanted to succeed that night in Baku and do his best for Lithuania. The performance was energetic and a welcome blast of fun in an otherwise fairly dreary Contest.
Most Memorable Lyric: I can’t believe I was the one, who caused you pain. You should know deep down inside, she didn’t mean a thing to me. Tut tut Donny, we hadn’t pegged you for a love-rat.
Worst Scoring Entry:
Jeronimas Milius with ‘Nomads In The Night’, 16th Place in the SF with 30 Points
Oh my lord. This is bit spooktacular. I can’t decide whether he’s in key or not, but it somehow feels a bit flat. It has a stage-song feel, but instead of it being in a good way like in Zlata Ognevich’s ‘Gravity’ or Jade Ewen’s ‘It My Time’, this is everything that’s wrong about musicals. He seems to be having an inner monologue, and whatever he’s singing it sounds like a gradual descent into insanity. Then again considering he had to contend with Pirates of the Sea and Dustin The Turkey sharing the stage in the Semi-Finals it’s a wonder he wasn’t driven doolally really.
Most Memorable Lyric: This hollow day, like day before I walk through thousand smiles, and try to find the look that heals all wounds inside. You neither prompted a thousand smiles in Belgrade, nor did you find a look to heal the pain you inflicted on our ears.
And here’s what Team Wiwi have to say:
Lithuania 2009 was on point! Sweet singer and chilled out vibe to the song, and that hat worked the whole mid-2000s trilby craze. If only I could say the same for 2013…he was a pretty face but the vocal was all over the place. The lyrics were bizarre too. So the shoes were the reasoning behind everything? Whatever floats your boat I guess…it sank mine.
I’ve said it a million times but there is something about “Something.” The Wiwi Jury got a lot of heat for actually liking this song ahead of the semis, so we were stoked when it went through. Andrius didn’t have the best voice. But, like his bushy eyebrows, the song was real and wasn’t over-manicured. There was something sweet about that. Props to InCulto and their “Eastern European Funk” for commenting on immigration and European integration.
Lithuania’s songs are a bit beige – too dull to either love or hate. That said I have no problem in saying that Donny Montell’s 2012 performance was their worst. The blindfold, the oversized suit and the cringy dance moves should have equated to an early exit in the semi finals. Instead he ended up beating far superior acts such as Gaitana, Ivi Adamou and Anggun. Why Europe? WHY? The song was terrible. The worst part was the literal interpretation. I really wish the songwriter had called the song “Love is Mute”. As for the Lithuanian song which I dislike least I would have to choose Sasha Son. Compared with their other attempts this was actually quite good. I liked the hints of Freddie Mercury and Queen at the beginning but it’s not until towards the end when he sings in Lithuanian that the song kicks into gear. It’s a pity he didn’t do that for the whole performance.
They’re obsessed with interpretive staging, and excessively raised eyebrows.
My favourite was “Love Is Blind” purely because of the cheesiness of the staging. The fact that he had a blindfold and took the whole “Love Is Blind” thing that literally makes it absolutely brilliant. The song wasn’t the best in the world, but Donny attacked the performance and delivered a polished vocal. My least favourite is 2011’s entry “C’est ma vie” because I forgot it even existed. It’s such a forgettable song and I’m not surprised it didn’t do well at the Final. You never really expect ballads to do brilliantly, and that song just proves it… I’m trying to remember anything about it, like the staging or live vocals, but I really can’t. It’s that forgettable.
So what do you all think? Should Lithuania stick to stage songs? Did Donny Montell demolish your faith in Vilnius? Comments below!
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