It’s the marathon national final series known for taking a long time to decide Lithuania‘s Eurovision representative. But now the end is in sight. Broadcaster LRT has confirmed that the grand final of Eurovizijos Atranka 2019 will take place on February 23.
Last month, LRT’s chief producer Audrius Giržadas confirmed that national final would involve eight shows. Assuming that these are broadcast once a week on consecutive Saturdays, the estimated start date of the 2019 series would be January 5. However, the broadcaster is yet to confirm the transmission dates.
The broadcaster has also opened applications for the contest. They are accepting three different types of entries: singers with a song, singers without a song, and songs without a singer. Songwriters can also suggest the artist they believe would be most suited to perform their song.
The national selection is only open to performers who are Lithuanian citizens, however entries from foreign songwriters will be accepted. But the broadcaster if clear about one thing: if a foreign songwriter is behind the winning song, they will need to pay for their travel and accommodation for Tel Aviv.
LRT notes that a minimum of 20 acts will be selected. However, it is expected the number of competing acts will be much higher. Fifty songs competed in the 2018 heats.
Once the shows begin, the qualifying acts will be selected by a combination of jury vote and SMS televote. The broadcaster notes that a share of the SMS vote fees will go towards preparing the winning act for Tel Aviv.
Singers and songwriters have until December 10 to submit their entries. The selection jury will pick their short list of competing acts by December 12.
Lithuania and Eurovizijos atranka
Lithuania has used its national final “Eurovizijos” dainų konkurso nacionalinė atranka — or Eurovizijos Atranka for short — since 2013. The show has used a number of different formats over the years and the winning acts have experienced different levels of success at Eurovision.
Eurovizijos Atranka winners have qualified for the Eurovision grand final four out of six times. The two non-qualifiers were Vilija with “Attention” and Fusedmarc with “Rain of Revolution”. Both acts performed ’80-style, brass-heavy synth pop, a style of music that perhaps is less popular outside Lithuania.
However, Eurovizijos Atranka has given Lithuania two of its best results ever. In 2016, Donny Montell lept into the grand final top-ten with “I’ve Been Waiting For This Night”, while earlier this year Ieva Zasimauskaitė finished in 12th place with her sweet love song “When We’re Old”. Only Lithuania’s 2006 act LT United placed higher, coming in sixth.
What do you think? Has LRT got the formula for Eurovizijos Atranka right? Can Lithuania get its first Eurovision win? Share your thoughts below!