The Wiwi Jury – our in-house panel of music unprofessionals – has just landed at Vilnius International Airport. We’re here to review the remaining songs in Lithuania’s Eurovizija selection for Eurovision 2016. Some of our friends from Down Under are suffering from major jet lag, so we’re hoping that Ruta Sciogolevaite’s “United” might soothe away the migraines. Is this ballad of peace the perfect antidote? Read on to find out…
Ruta Sciogolevaite “United” Live
Reviews: Ruta Sciogolevaite with “United”
Robyn: This sounds like a cynical, shameless, point-by-point recreation of “A Million Voices”. It’s different enough to not run afoul of the entry rules, but what a lazy, disappointing entry for Ruta. The one thing that “United” couldn’t capture is the emotional magic of Polina’s original. Instead “United” comes across like the sort of insipid peace songs that were wheeled out in the 1980s. I have no time for this mess.
Anthony: When I first heard the beginning of “United”, I thought Ruta was pretending to be a primary school teacher telling a story. Then once you get past the first chorus… I know what y’all are thinking. The song’s composition and its peace theme is certainly eerily similar to “A Million Voices”. Given that she tried to represent Lithuania before, I appreciate Ruta’s live performance. Unfortunately she’s no Polina.
Ruta Sciogolevaite “United” Studio Version
Steinunn: “Sing it out, sing it out” – no sorry, wrong song (or is it?). This reminds me too much of the 2015 entry from Russia, and since I hated that I automatically dislike this. Although I do think that a “preaching-about-peace-and-a-united-mankind” type entry is more believable coming from Lithuania than Russia. Aside from that, I think the song is outdated and predictable, nothing surprises me and overall it’s a bit dull.
Mikhail: I don’t have any words. “United” sounds pathetic. A boring, unoriginal piece of music that is trying to bring to us the same love and peace monologue that we have heard a million times. Nothing else to say.
Antranig: Ruta is very talented and this song goes places. “United” has peaks and troughs unlike most of the Lithuanian entries which simply flatline. It doesn’t feel polished enough to work as a Eurovision entry but that could easily be fixed in the coming months. I’m not blown away but I’m cautiously interested.
Bernardo: “Let’s all make a change for years to come…” Ok, let’s say we do. My wish: Don’t come back, because you’re flat and your song is dated. Peace? Let’s hope Russia won’t be mad at you for stealing their Eurovision themes *cough* Polina *cough*.
Padraig: When it comes to anthems for peace, there’s a fine line between inspirational and preachy. “United” bulldozes (emphasis on doze) through that line, and lands deep in holier-than-though territory. The matronly-style wardrobe doesn’t help. I wish this was a tongue-in-cheek dig at those 1980s songs that shady American churches were so fond of releasing. But Ruta is too po-faced for this to be a joke. It’s ironic that this won the second heat yet Lithuania was one of only two countries to give nil points to “A Million Voices”.
Angus: The world is full of madness? Honey the people who voted for your song are the crazy ones! The vocal is strong but the message is so 1989. This is a period piece that deserves to be left in the past.
Liam: The first line goes “Have you seen a flower”. I’m getting Pocahontas vibes, but not in a good way. Ruta showcases a bundle of vocal talent, but it’s wasted on this cheesy effort. A cheap Polina Gagarina. Better luck next time.
Luis: We should make it clear why Polina Gagarina came second with a typical “peace-and-love-in-the-world” song. 1) She is a fantastic performer. 2) She gave a touching performance. 3) The song had a great team behind it along with great instrumentation. 4) She represented Russia. Only the first point applies to Ruta. “United” would be a better fit for Malmö ’92 rather than Stockholm ’16. It’s nothing new and ends up sounding pretentious.
Our jury consists of 15 people, but we only have room for 10 written reviews. Here are the remaining 5 scores.
To reduce potential bias, we drop the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. We removed a low of 2 and a high of 7.
WIWI JURY AVERAGE: 4.19/10
SEE OUR CURRENT LITHUANIA 2016 REVIEWS AND RANKINGS.
Photos: Vytenio Radžiuno (LRT.lt)