Her performance of “Get Frighten” was an extravagant stand-out in the third heat of Eurovizijos atranka. But eagled-eyed viewers noticed that drag performer Lolita Zero appeared to be lip-syncing her song. Now the Lithuanian broadcaster LRT has confirmed that a lip-sync did happen — but it’s not in breach of the Eurovision rules.
Lolita Zero is the drag persona of actor Gytis Ivanauskas. And while he can put on a great show, it appears his singing voice isn’t as good, making the controversial lip-sync necessary.
Eurovizijos atranka producer Lauro Luciuno explained that in accordance with Eurovision rules, all the performance vocals were live and were only performed by the six people seen on stage.
The key falsetto vocal that Lolita Zero lip-synced along with came from one of her backing dancers, Jurijus Veklenko. He’s best known as one of Monika and Vaidas’ kissing “This Time” backing vocalists from Vienna.
While Jurijus is on stage during the “Get Frighten” performance, he is often standing directly behind Lolita — or obscured by her flamboyant gold skirt. Lolita performs one segment herself — a rousing spoken word piece in the middle.
Will it work?
It’s been long known that some Eurovision acts use backing vocalists to beef up their own vocal ability, but this may be the first time that a potential Eurovision act has entirely lip-synced her singing.
But will it be a successful tactic? As LRT notes, 2013 Melodifestivalen act Army of Lovers had performer La Camilla lip-sync her vocal. Their entry “Rockin’ the Ride” failed to make it out of the semi-final.
Lolita Zero is having better luck in Eurovizijos atranka. Last week “Get Frighten” won the televote and placed second overall its heat.
With its flaming devil horns and watermelon smashing, the performance is fast going viral. It will face further competition in the next level of elimination shows, starting in two weeks.
Meanwhile the fourth and final heat of Eurovizijos atranka is due to take place this coming Saturday. It will include Aiste Pilvelyte with her entry “I’m Like a Wolf”, written by Latvian star Aminata Savadogo.
What do you think? Is it fair for Lolita Zero to lip-sync to a live backing vocalist? Or is it a legit expression of drag performance? Share your thoughts below!