She’s the winner of The Voice Lithuania who now has her sights set on Eurovision. And Monika Marija is quickly becoming a fan favourite to win Lithuania’s Eurovizijos atranka 2019, with either “Criminal” or “Light On”.
Placing second in heat three with the former, and first in heat four with the latter, both songs are set to feature in the competition’s semi-finals. Although, whether one song will feature in each semi-final, or if Monika will compete with both songs in a single semi-final is still unknown.
However, no matter which way it plays out, if Monika ends up taking home the Eurovizijos atranka trophy, she’ll do so with only one song. After all, she can’t take both to Tel Aviv.
Thus, we want to know, which song do you think she should take to Eurovision 2019 if she gets the ticket? Are you #TeamCriminal or #TeamLightOn?
Take a listen to both songs below and vote in our poll. And remember you can only vote once.
In our interview with her above, Monika says “Criminal” stems from her personal experience of hurting someone.
“The main idea is that people think that the real criminals are the murderers, the thieves, the people who do real crimes,” she says.
“But I think the biggest crime is to hurt another person and to leave a scar in his heart, in his memories. I have done that myself, I can admit it, and even to this day, it hurts me, thinking about what I have done to other person.”
The singer’s second entry, “Light On”, also has a back story. Two years ago, Monika contracted a blood infection. Her blood levels rose so high that the doctors said it may be impossible for her to survive.
“I was laying there in a glass box, completely sterilised, I didn’t have anything of my own. Not my clothes, not my cell phone, not any single thing. And my sister could only visit me like 20 minutes or half an hour a day.”
She added: “I remember laying there in the bed and thinking, if I make it through this, one more day, one more hour, I can deal with anything in my life. Absolutely anything.”
And luckily she did get through that. And that is how the single “Light On” was born.
“After two weeks or something, I actually made it out and it was incredible. So I said, I’m gonna start living now. So the song is actually about that. Just to keep the Light On, have hope for yourself, don’t turn off your passion for living. Every time I sing the song, I think about that and just how happy I am to manage my life today and just have a prospect to my future.”
Poll – Which of Monika Marija’s Eurovizijos atranka 2019 songs do you prefer?
Do artists benefit from entering two songs into a national final?
Having one artist with two songs in the same national final is nothing new. Needless to say, taking up two slots in the line-up means the singer has an increased chance of winning. However, there’s also the possibility that they could be stretched too thin between each entry, resulting in lacklustre performances of both; or that votes are split between the two songs, allowing another competitor to sneak through and snatch the crown.
Indeed, such situations haven’t always lead to the best results in the past.
In 2016, Samanta Tina entered Latvia’s Supernova with “We Live For Love” and “The Love is Forever”. However, the former – and arguably stronger of the two entries – failed to make it through the first round. Meanwhile, the latter made it to the semi-final. But after her performance at the semi, Samanta announced live on the show that she would be withdrawing from the competition. She felt that she did not have the best song and thought that Justs should win with his song “Heartbeat” – which he went on to do.
In the same year, Maltese superstar Ira Losco entered two songs into the now defunct Malta Eurovision Song Contest – “Chameleon” and “That’s Why I Love You”. In this case, only one song was permitted to move on from the semi-final to the grand-final, with “Chameleon” getting the ticket. Naturally, Ira went on to win the contest and represent Malta at Eurovision 2016, but not with her winning MESC entry. Instead an internal selection was undertaken to replace her song with “Walk On Water”, which we eventually saw on stage in Stockholm.
With Ira being such an icon on the island nation, the general feeling was that she would have won MESC no matter what song she competed with. Therefore, a case could perhaps me made that entering two songs wasn’t necessary. Rather, the team should have focused on entering one that was good enough from the start and didn’t need to be replaced later on.
Which of Monika’s two songs do you prefer? Do you think either has a shot at winning Eurovizijos atranka? Or are you routing for someone else to take home the crown? Let us know in the comments below!