Wiwibloggs continues our series looking at the countries competing in Eurovision and why we love them. Today we hop over to Vilnius and look at Lithuania‘s rich history at Eurovision.

Lithuania debuted in 1994 but is the only Baltic nation yet to win Eurovision. But it’s not for lack of trying. While their entries can feel a little hit and miss at times, they are capable of delivering good quality acts that impress Europe. Let’s take a look at the 10 reasons why we love Lithuania at the Eurovision Song Contest.

1. They learned from their really awkward debut experience

It was the mid-1990s, Europe was changing and Lithuania was one of many Eastern countries to join the Eurovision family. Only things didn’t go so well with their debut. Ovidijus Vyšniauskas‘s song “Lopšinė mylimai” placed last in the grand final. With nil points. Ouch! Lithuania quietly withdrew from the contest and didn’t return until 1999. But they had learned from this experience and slowly but surely upped their game.

2. Lithuania once had more French than France

The French language has featured in the song contest every year since it began in 1956. But in 2011, Amaury Vassili was singing for France in Corsican, while francophone Belgium and Switzerland had opted for English songs. Would there be no French in Düsseldorf! Quelle horreur! But Lithuania came to the rescue with a few French phrases in Evelina Sašenko‘s song “C’est ma vie” — C’est ma vie / Je dis oui. Très bien!

3. Ieva Zasimauskaitė made us *cries in Lithuanian*

“When We’re Old” was a nice ballad, but Ieva Zasimauskaitė‘s national final performances hadn’t quite shown the full emotional impact of the song. In Lisbon, the staging highlighted Ieva’s sweetness and her intimate vocals were a treat for ASMR fans. But things got even more emotional when Ieva’s real-life husband joined her at the end of the song for an embrace. *cries in Lithuanian* It deepened the impact of the lyrics and delivered a quiet moment amid the chaos of the grand final.

4. They are the winners! of Eurovision!

By 2006, while Baltic neighbours Latvia and Estonia had each chalked up a win, Lithuania hadn’t and they were getting antsy. Enter LT United, a supergroup of six established singers who rocked up to the Athens arena and declared “WE ARE THE WINNERS! OF EUROVISION!”. The song was infuriatingly catchy and saw Lithuania sail into a sixth-place finish — their best result to date. The shout-along key lyric was even quoted by Mr Lordi at Finland’s winner’s press conference.

5. They served Samogitian realness

Seventeen out of Lithuania’s 19 entries have primarily been in English, one in Lithuanian and one in Samogitian. In 1999, Aistė Smilgevičiūtė performed her song “Strazdas” (The song thrush) in Samogitian, a Lithuanian dialect. The national language rule had been dropped, so Lithuania was free to perform in any language, but they chose to honour a local language.

6. They covered all bases with a triple smooch in Vienna

In 2015, Monika Linkytė & Vaidas Baumila brought the super cute love song “This Time” to Vienna. The lyrics had a dramatic moment where the duo sang “One kiss!” and did just that. But they weren’t about to go it alone. The song’s backing singers joined in and delivered a couple of joyous same-sex smooches.

7. They were relegated the year their neighbours hosted

The relegation years were an awkward time for Eurovision. Each year, the lowest-placing acts from previous years weren’t allowed to participate. In 2003, that meant Lithuania was out. It was also the year that Eurovision was hosted in Riga, just a short ride away for Lithuanian fans. They could still go to Eurovision 2003 — they just didn’t have the opportunity to cheer for their own country. Relegation ended the following year.

8. Yeah yeah! Yeah yeah! Yeah yeah!

9. Vilija’s well deserved Barbara Dex Award victory

There was a lot going on with Vilija‘s 2014 costume for “Attention”. But the one feature that surely guaranteed her the Barbara Dex win was a detail in her tutu. It included two giant bedazzled holes, which were there so Vilija’s dancer could sit underneath her and punch his fists up through them. Y tho?

10. Donny Montell’s gravity-defying comeback

Never attempt a Eurovision comeback, they say. You’ll never do better than your first result. In 2012, Donny Montell had competed with “Love Is Blind” and had placed 14th in the grand final. Four years later, he came back older, wiser and — oh, ok, — hotter. He performed “I’ve Been Waiting for This Night”, an explosion of Scandipop goodness, complete with an impressive somersault. He placed ninth in the grand final and gave Lithuania its second-best ever result.

Bonus: Vilija’s flyaway weave

Isn’t one of the show sponsors a haircare brand?

What are your favourite Lithuanian moments at Eurovision? Let us know in the comments section below!

Read more Lithuania Eurovision news here

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pp77
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pp77

Best 3 song for me from LIthuania 1999 then 2012, 2011
Overrated in 2006, 2016
Underrated in 1999, 2011
Deserved to go to final in 2008, 2014
Don t deserved final in 2009, 2013,2016

Kris
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Kris

Reason number 8 is spot on.

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

Lithuania… I still remember “We are the winners of Eurovision”! That’s a memorable moment for sure!

Also, some parts of songs, like “Yeah yeah” all the time in 2017 I think.

Donny Montel, the 2015 psychedelic staging.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Tim Moore’s book, Nul Points, where he tracks down and interviews the majority of the acts up to 2003 that had received the dreaded score (worth a read, if you can track it down), has a delightfully awkward meeting with Ovidijus. Apparently, he likes to be called THE Ovidijus. He sounds a little scary. He apparently was asked last-minute by the Lithuanian broadcaster to compete, so he wrote the lyrics in an airport and banged out the tune on a piano. Makes sense. Anyway, Lithuania! After the shaky start, they’ve done pretty well (they’ve only failed the qualify five times),… Read more »

Joe
Guest
Joe

Oh wait, I forgot Love or Leave. Never mind the goofy stuff, that song is beautiful and one of my favorites from 2007. Too subtle for that year, I’m afraid, but very good. (But I still love Eastern European Funk).

Reality Checker
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Reality Checker

1999 Aiste is still my favorite Lithuanian entry. So beautifully weird. I wonder if there is some deep meaning to this special song or if it’s just about using the dialect singing about a bird. Either way, it remains magnificent.

Kovalska
Guest
Kovalska

You forgot about “Eastern European Funk” and singers’ bedazzling underpants 😀 This song was one of my guilty pleasures that year 😀

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Still comparing countries to classmates, Lithuania is that weird kid from school who eats crayons and plays with bugs. How not to love?
P.S. Ieva, I’m still in love with you.

noone
Guest
noone

Lithuania is a generally OK country, I really loved 2007 Love or leave. This time in 2015 was really cute, sugary and cheesy, but it worked really well and the kiss was really unexpected and shocking coming from a country like Lithuania. And don’t hate me now, but I think Vilja’s Attention was their best song to date and the outfit was cool.

Regina Phalange
Guest
Regina Phalange

Vilija is also my favorite Lithuanian entry and Ieva my 2nd.

Miroslav
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Miroslav

Underrated country! Many legendary acts. 2018 is my absolut favourite. So emotional song and performance <3