She’s a well-known Lithuanian singer and a contestant in this year’s Eurovizijos Atranka.
And now Mia has used her platform to question the fairness of her country’s Eurovision selection — including its rules and judging panel — in an interview with Lithuanian newspaper 15min.lt.
Mia opened up to 15min shortly after filming the second heat of the show, which will air this weekend. Now making her fourth appearance in the show, Mia says she doesn’t want to hold back and is ready to speak the truth.
“All performers know of the underwater ‘Eurovision’ currents,” she says. “But nobody talks about it aloud.”
She’d lost before the final even started
Mia details her appearance in the 2015 final — which consisted of just her and Vaidas & Monika. She says that she’d lost before the show even took place.
“I can say that in 2015, a few days before the final, I learned that I had no chance to win,” she says. “I do not know why I was lying down then….I do not know why I did not speak. I needed to.”
The singer claims that days before the final staff called her in asking what she would like in exchange for Vaidas and Monika sing a duet together. The powers that be were essentially writing her out of the script.
Jokingly, Mia suggested they give her “one million”. Staff said that there was no money to give her but they suggested a place at the prestigious “Slavianskij Bazar”music festival in Belarus.
She does not clarify precisely who those staff members were, but says they came from the production team.
Mia was shocked that they could change the rules just like that, moving from three competitors with an equal chance of winning to two-against-one.
“When Vaidas Baumila and Monika Linkyte became a duet in the final, I remained alone,” she says. “I was so nervous, it was very painful for me.”
At one point she considered walking on stage and saying “Thank you”. She wanted to leave without even performing.
A questionable jury
Earlier this month fan favourite Erica Jennings walked out of the competition, citing a lack of experience among jury members.
And Mia has added fuel to the fire by claiming jury members may lack autonomy.
Mia recounts one alarming story. One year after the show was over, Mia’s good friend, who was part of the jury, said that he really liked her song and performance. When she asked why she got such a low score from the jury, he told her that he had to write the scores down the way he was told.
That year, after a great performance and getting pretty much no negative feedback from the jury, Mia only earned a score of 4.
Like Erica Jennings, the singer is not happy that sometimes the producers invite people who are not even related to music to be part of the jury. They talk about clothes and styling, which can easily be changed in the final performance. She says that on other shows the same people never say anything bad about her, but in Eurovizijos Atranka something just changes.
Mia is still in the competition and doesn’t want to withdraw: she feels she must stay out of allegiance to her fans and her songwriter. However, she says that if changes aren’t made in the pre-selection in the future she will not return.
What do you think about this situation? Does Mia still have a chance of winning Eurovizijos Atranka? Is she right to speak up? And what do you think about the 2015 selection? Let us know in the comments section below.