After a marathon ten week selection process, Lithuania finally chooses its Eurovision 2016 representative tonight. Who will it be? As always, we’ve attempted to look into a crystal ball and provide some kind of forecast for who will win. The results of our Eurovizijos Atranka 2016 fan poll and the results of the Wiwi Jury have been combined. And it looks like Donny Montell will be victorious with “I’ve Been Waiting For This Night”. By our calculations, Erica Jennings and Aiste Pilvelyte will be his biggest competition.
1. Donny Montell “I’ve Been Waiting for This Night”
The Positive: “Love is Blind” is one of my least favourite Eurovision songs ever, but I’m properly fangirling for “I’ve Been Waiting For This Night”. It’s a mighty pop song, full of emotional intensity and the sense of storytelling that good Eurovision entries have. My only criticism — Donny is a very intense performer and he doesn’t look like he’s quite feeling the loved-up joy of the lyrics. But I’d be very happy to see this in Stockholm. (Robyn)
The Negative: Someone pass Donny a tissue, he’s going to need a wipe down after all the hype. “I’ve Been Waiting For This Night” is certainly one of the better songs in the Lithuanian competition, but it’s no masterpiece. It’s generic stadium pop, that’s about nothing in particular. Currently it’s buoyed by a mixture of Donny’s personality, its superiority to “Love Is Blind”, and the weakness of the Eurovizija field. Come Stockholm the last two factors will be completely irrelevant. And given this year’s crowded field, he’ll be doing well to match his 2012 result — I’ll still dance to it though. (Padraig)
Wiwi Poll: 1. Wiwi Jury: 1.
2. Erica Jennings “Leading Me Home”
The Positive: “Leading Me Home” is like a diamond amidst the dross. It’s a truly modern ballad, yet firmly rooted in the past. There are nods to both soul and gospel, along with a light sprinkling of Irish folk. Erica’s vocals are sublime, and the simple backing just adds to the song’s power. Less is more. This has the potential to pull a Common Linnets if it reaches Eurovision. If not, perhaps Erica would consider trying out for her native Ireland in 2017. (Padraig)
The Negative: I loved Rihanna’s “Stay” as much as the next person, but it didn’t sound as morbid and dreary as this poor imitation. Erica’s voice is the one redeeming quality. Unfortunately that one ray of light is snuffed out beneath the bleak and grim weight of the song. (Angus)
Wiwi Poll: 2. Wiwi Jury: 2.
3. Aiste Pilvelyte “You Bet” (Joint)
The Positive: If Elitsa Todorova and Ani Lorak had a Lithuanian love child, it would be Aiste Pilvelyte. This woman is extremely talented. The song doesn’t blow me away but I’m completely mesmerised by Aiste’s vocals — possibly the best I’ve ever heard. If they could find the right song for her, she could potentially win Eurovision one day. (Antranig)
The Negative: This sounds like an attempt to replicate the dynamics of “Suus” — a big dramatic song with long notes to show off the singer’s voice. Except Rona Nishliu did more with her bigger range and “Suus” showed a lot of restraint between those memorable long loud bits. And what kind of song wastes the big money-shot note on the word “it”? I fear this song will do well in the national final purely based on its showboating. (Robyn)
Wiwi Poll: 3. Wiwi Jury: 5.
3. Ruslanas Kirilkinas “In My World” (Joint)
The Positive: The opening brings back memories of “Time” from Belarus last year. However, “In My World” is not a dance song, but rather a mellow and lovely ballad. Though in need of major production changes, it’s certainly good, and definitely in the running for victory. (Liam)
The Negative: Creepy is the first word that comes to mind. I guess it’s supposed to be oh so arty, but man do those poor people on stage fail. The song itself isn’t all bad, apart from the fact that Ruslanas sings/whispers “I miss you” too many times. Having said that, I’d rather watch my laundry dry than see that staging again. (Steinunn)
Wiwi Poll: 4. Wiwi Jury: 4.
5. Ieva Zasimauskaite “Life (Not That Beautiful)”
The Positive: I love Ieva’s voice, and I kind of like the song. The lyrics are melancholic, maybe even a little depressing. But at the same time they give out some “hey it’s ok if life sucks, I just have to power through and be positive” vibes. The song itself is rather comforting, without any unnecessary fireworks or overly dramatic theatrical elements. Just a girl singing about life. It probably won’t win if it makes it to Stockholm, but I wouldn’t mind it being part of the programme. (Steinunn)
The Negative: How many mournful ballads can there be in one national selection? The strings are sad, the vocal is sad and the song is sadder. There’s something frustratingly near-Bond-theme about the “not that beautiful” refrain, but the rest of the song doesn’t match up and unfortunately the potential there is squandered. (Angus)
Wiwi Poll: 6. Wiwi Jury: 3.
6. Ruta Sciogolevaite “United”
The Positive: 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. (Antranig)
The Negative: 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. (Robyn)
Wiwi Poll: 5. Wiwi Jury: 6.
This comes with a few caveats. Firstly, all of the songs were reviewed by the Wiwi Jury based on performances from shows one to three. Therefore these rankings and assessments do not account for changes made in the intervening weeks. Secondly, our fan poll was open to readers all over the world. Voting on tonight’s show will be restricted to just Lithuanian viewers.
You can see the full breakdown of all the results below.
Combined Fan Poll-Wiwi Jury
Wiwi Jury Results
- Donny Montell “I’ve Been Waiting for This Night” (8.79)
- Erica Jennings “Leading Me Home” (6.14)
- Ieva Zasimauskaite “Life (Not That Beautiful)” (5.21)
- Ruslanas Kirilkinas “In My World” (4.54)
- Aiste Pilvelyte “You Bet” (4.25)
- Ruta Sciogolevaite “United” (4.19)
Eurovizijos Atranka 2016 Fan Poll Results
- Donny Montell – “I’ve Been Waiting For This Night” 51.13% (609 votes)
- Erica Jennings – “Leading Me Home” 16.54% (197 votes)
- Aiste Pilvelyte – “You Bet” 11% (131 votes)
- Ruslanas Kirilkinas – “In My World” 10.33% (123 votes)
- Ruta Šciogolevaite – “United” 6.3% (75 votes)
- Ieva Zasimauskaite – “Life (Not That Beautiful)” 4.7% (56 votes)
Total Votes: 1,191
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