Disqualifications, dropouts, drama. And as the final of Lithuania’s Eurovizijos Atranka approaches, there’s no sign of things calming down. Favourite Monika Marija first hit the headlines when her song “Light On” became a late entry in the process, even though she was already competing with “Criminal”.

Now, she’s decided to dump the latter completely. Today, just days before the second-semi final, the artist made a public request to her fans and the pre-selection jury. In a video shared across her social media channels, she urged them to stop voting for “Criminal”. Her plan is to take only one song to the final.

Last Saturday’s first semi saw Monika top both the televote and jury vote with “Light On”. Visibly overwhelmed by the huge levels of support, she couldn’t hold back her tears.

This weekend, she’s due to perform “Criminal” in the second semi-final. There has already been much discussion among Monika Marija’s fans and the show’s jurors as to which song is better. It seems Monika has made the decision for them.

“Who could have thought that my decision would cause such confusion! I thought that one song going to beat another quite fast, but it seems that my listeners are now divided into two camps,”  she tells viewers.

“I’ll be very grateful to the jury if you don’t give me any points in this semi-final, and I invite the audience to save their money and I sincerely ask you not to vote for me and my song “Criminal”. I am very happy that my work has received your love and support, this Saturday I will sing you my song “Criminal” with all my heart! And with the song “Light On” we will meet in the finals”.

“I made this decision by hearing the experts, my listeners’ opinions as well as listening to my own heart. The song that I hope to represent this year Lithuania in the Eurovision Song Contest is a song that is very important and means a lot to me. And it seems that that song was heard by my country and many people in other European countries as well. That song is “Light On”. I hope that the support that this song has received will be even more generous if those listeners who are so fiercely supportive of “Criminal” join the crowd as well”.

But will her fans and the Eurovizijos Atranka jurors heed her request? We will have to wait until Saturday to find out.

What do you think of Monika’s decision? Do you want to see “Criminal” in the grand finale? Let us know in the comments section below.

Follow all of our Lithuania Eurovision 2019 news.

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Muss
Muss
1 year ago

Light on is the best choice! Oh hope this song will be chosen. Good luck!

Melissa J
Melissa J
1 year ago

They are both great! Better than some of the current final songs. May the best one win, I guess?

Michi
Michi
1 year ago

she should just play the game and let the jury and televote decide…

Apple
Apple
1 year ago

I totally respect her for this. Maybe she shouldn’t have entered both songs in the competition, but she is being clear as to which one she most wants to sing at Eurovision. Now there should be no reason to question which song to vote for

Kafu
Kafu
1 year ago
Reply to  Apple

She was teling in the coments (befor esc) when her fan ask are she goin with light on shes says no i will go with the other song wich i love even more. And now she says that cos of jury and ppl here in lithuania.

Esc
Esc
1 year ago

Why did she enter 2 songs if she only wants to sing light on… It’s kind of drama.. Greata Zaza would have defended Criminal perfectly…

Apple
Apple
1 year ago
Reply to  Esc

She probably wanted both songs to get attention, but didn’t expect people to love both of them

George
George
1 year ago
Reply to  Apple

No, she entered with “Criminal” only. Then released “Light On” before the selection even started and people encouraged her to participate with both songs. So she did.

Kafu
Kafu
1 year ago
Reply to  Esc

She was teling in the coments (befor esc) when her fan ask are she goin with light on shes says no i will go with the other song wich i love even more. And now she says that cos of jury and ppl here in lithuania

KYLLITO
KYLLITO
1 year ago

I hope she is using reverse psychology because I think Criminal is soooooo much better than light on!

Loin dici
1 year ago
Reply to  KYLLITO

Well, ‘Light On’ has already been a hit in Lithuania since December with a significant growth. She knows what she’s doing.

Kafu
Kafu
1 year ago
Reply to  Loin dici

What hit dont lie here lmao

KYLLITO
KYLLITO
1 year ago
Reply to  KYLLITO

Light On and the end of Criminal has foreground singers instead of background singers. Please turn down their mics so Monika can shine.

Arkinis
Arkinis
1 year ago
Reply to  KYLLITO

Yes, I am agree!Criminal song much better!

Sabrina
Sabrina
1 year ago

Very unusual and uncomfortable situation, but a smart move in terms of strategy. For me it’s easy to accept because I want the same think that Monika, I want “Light On” in Eurovision. But for those who preferred “Criminal” it can be upsetting and I hope they at least try to put themselves in her place before giving her a hard time for that.

Arnas
Arnas
1 year ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Sadly they are, reading the comment section below that youtube statement is actually making me sick, people are denouncing her, saying that she’s two faced for doing this, that she’ll bring shame to the country etc. It’s a shame, but not too surprising, sadly

I was always camp Light On, because that song is more personal to her, it’s her story. People know, she can perform both songs great, but Light On will always have that emotional edge.

Sabrina
Sabrina
1 year ago
Reply to  Arnas

Like you said, sadly it’s not a surprise that she is getting this kind of reactions. I agree that “Light On” has an emotional edge because of its backstory. Maybe the silver lining on this confusion is that more people will learn what the song is about and why she picked it.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
1 year ago

Smart decision. She knows she’s got a great opportunity here. “Light On” has dominated the jury vote and televote both times so far. It is realistic to say that the only thing that beats Monika….is Monika.

xmynameis
xmynameis
1 year ago

She submitted Criminal, but then realized that Light On is getting much more attention, so she decided to compete with both songs and see which one will do better.

George
George
1 year ago
Reply to  xmynameis

She could’ve dumped Criminal before the selection even started. Too late now.

Héctor
Héctor
1 year ago

I don’t like any of them. I would prefer Jurijus with “Run With The Lions”. Though I already know Monika will win.

(Downvotes come to me…)

Colin
Colin
1 year ago
Reply to  Héctor

No worry, same thing happens to me as soon as I mention rooting for Vaida and Aldo in Romania. People believe that downvoting is a go to thing whenever you disagree. I am personally team Monika, but Jurijus has a really nice song and I can see why one would root for him too.

Sigrida
Sigrida
1 year ago
Reply to  Héctor

Jurijus’ song sounds like an Imagine Dragons/Coldplay reject song. The quality is there, but it’s forgettable.

Polegend Godgarina
1 year ago

it’s her fault for entering with two songs, ppl are gonna vote for what they like and the opinion seems to be split between light on n criminal at a 55-45 rate.

Tajikistan
Tajikistan
1 year ago

A good case study for vote splitting is Nikolas Metaxas: he had two songs in Cyprus’ national final in 2008, one very strong and one relatively weak, and ended up losing to Femme Fatale by 4 points because the points destined for his stronger entry ended up being split between the two entries. Moral of the story: if both songs are in the final, she will suffer, and will allow for a weak song to win. This is why there should be rules against entering two songs with the same performer

Robyn Gallagher
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Tajikistan

Another ill-fated “two songs” situation was Supernova 2016. Samanta Tina had “We Live for Love” – a decent ballad, and “The Love is Forever”, a lighter dance track. “We Live For Love” was clearly the better song, but it was eliminated in the stronger first heat, while “The Love is Forever” qualified from the second heat. Samanta was clearly unhappy with the song she’d been left with and ended up withdrawing from the semi-final.

up!
up!
1 year ago
Reply to  Tajikistan

A similar case is Claudia Faniello in the 2008 Maltese selection… her two entries Caravaggio and Sunrise each had a similar amount of followers whereas the overall preferences between Morena’s two songs clearly shifted towards Vodka (God knows why…) Vodka won and Claudia came in second and third…

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
1 year ago

If that’s what she wants, I guess we should respect her
I mean, it will only help if she sings a song she 100% wants to
Both of her songs are simply amazing so as long as she wins, no matter the song, I’m happy
Now I just hope Light On wins as she really wants to sing it at Eurovision

Sksiej
Sksiej
1 year ago

I can‘t take this drama anymore lmao

Joe
Joe
1 year ago

Fine by me.

Sokratis Lakrindis
Sokratis Lakrindis
1 year ago

Ummm that’s on her. Why enter two songs that can seperate your final votes in the first place?

Sigh

Loin dici
1 year ago

Joining a competition, for some people, is not merely about the winning but also to see feedbacks about your artwork. She originally entered Criminal, but everyone preferred Light On instead.

harut
harut
1 year ago

Well Criminal is better and more powerful and why she entered the selection with two songs and now making a statement “Don’t vote”

up!
up!
1 year ago

This actually makes me sad as she’s practically pulling my favourite song out of the competition…
The story behind Light On is of course a very touching one, but nevertheless, I’m not too fond of the song itself…

Nojus Gata
Nojus Gata
1 year ago
Reply to  up!

the doctors told monika that the end is coming for her caus she was sick but she survived. the line in the song “tell me am i gonne make it to 21” tells everything

George
George
1 year ago
Reply to  Nojus Gata

Basically singing about her near-death experience when she was only 19-20 years old.

Alex
Alex
1 year ago

I don’t blame her for wanting to perform only one song in the final but this is so disappointing, Criminal is miles better and has more potential in my opinion. What now, Is she gonna half-ass the Criminal performance or? lol

Loin dici
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex

It might be better for you, but Light On was already better in Lithuania since December, so she had to pick that.

Marios
Marios
1 year ago

I think Monika made the wrong decision to leave Criminal behind and choose Light On for the final. Criminal has more personality as a song and would have much more potential in Tel Aviv. On the other hand, the people there seem to believe the opposite, given their results till now.

xmynameis
xmynameis
1 year ago
Reply to  Marios

They chose Light On because more people voted for it than for Criminal. It’s easy as that.

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
1 year ago

But why did she decide to compete with two songs then? Don’t get me wrong, both songs are very good, but she had to consider the possibility of “Light On” and “Criminal” cancelling each other.

Colin
Colin
1 year ago
Reply to  Skiwalko

She said she expected that one song would outshine the other really soon. She didn’t expect to suddenly become the 1st and the 2nd favorite to win Eurovizijos Atranka.

Escfan
Escfan
1 year ago

I was never a huge fan of criminal tbh so her decision doesn’t annoy me. My favourites are Light on and Run with the lions but Jurijus would need to improve his performance if he wants to beet light on

Tajikistan
Tajikistan
1 year ago
Reply to  Escfan

If both songs end up in the final then he probably has the televote in the bag anyway. Based on the lack of votes cast in Lithuania on average, it seems certain that the votes will be split and she can expect probably 7-8 points, better hope the jury is in her favour

Tom
Tom
1 year ago

I prefer Light On and think that it has the most potential at Eurovision for Top 10. However if they chose “Run with the Lions” it would still be a very credible entry. In my eyes, those two acts are the only ones who I think will have a chance at winning Eurovizijos, judging by the results.

Colin
Colin
1 year ago

It’s sad that we will lose such a beautiful song, but I guess it had to be done. Light On is a masterpiece and deserves to be heard on the big ESC stage! Please, Lithuania don’t disappoint and make her win!
Personally, I love both songs, but if I HAVE to pick one… Criminal is a 9.5/10, while Light On is a 10/10, so…

PS. It would be nice if she now offers Criminal to whomever wins Supernova because, let’s be honest, it beats all of their songs.

uzhas
uzhas
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin

Imagine Dzi?i Violets singing “Criminal”, lol

Weißbrot
Weißbrot
1 year ago
Reply to  uzhas

Or Markus Riva… 😛

Weißbrot
Weißbrot
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin

Almost everything beats all of Supernova’s songs.

Colin
Colin
1 year ago
Reply to  Weißbrot

*Almost* – O Melodie Pentru Europa 2019 says ”Hi”. 🙂

Loin dici
1 year ago
Reply to  Weißbrot

“Almost” – Eurofest 2019 also says hi

Sigrida
Sigrida
1 year ago
Reply to  Loin dici

Eurofest? As in Belarus? ok sweetie no need to get ridiculous here

Marios
Marios
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin

I’m afraid that Light On will be seen as another swedish generic pop in Tel Aviv. It may go to the final, but not great things there. Criminal has so much more personality.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin

Monika’s songs are decent but they’re not THAT good. Supernova just eliminated all of their better songs in the semi final stage. For me, there were probably two songs in Supernova better than “Criminal” (but they’re both eliminated!).

George
George
1 year ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

Is that sarcasm?

David S
David S
1 year ago

Mistake! If i was Lithuanian and Criminal was my fave song and i heard the singer didnt want it to win, i would reconsider voting for it and instead vote for my 2nd fave song in the competition, (not necesserily ‘Light On’ for everyone). I can see her predicament, she doesnt want to split her vote in the final between 2 songs and risk getting usurped by another entry but nobody should vote for a song that isnt their favourite, no matter what she says. As it happens Criminal is my fave and Light On my 2nd fave so i… Read more »

uzhas
uzhas
1 year ago
Reply to  David S

she didn’t say they should vote for someone else in the semi final. she said “don’t spend your money”, which means “don’t vote at all”.

Catriona Colville
Catriona Colville
1 year ago

Complete lack of respect here, and I don’t show understands she can’t all the audience what to vote for. And also, telling the juries what to do is dodgy as hell. If I was Lithuanian, even if I didn’t like Criminal, I would vote for it just to spite her.

Roelof Meesters
Roelof Meesters
1 year ago

HOW is it i lack of respect to tell people NOT to vote for you? I do not see your logic.

Loin dici
1 year ago

She wasn’t dodgy, but only putting hope. She asked people not to vote her because it’s logical to save one song, rather than withdrawing from the semifinal and have to be fined 2000£ just for that.

eurovision6
eurovision6
1 year ago

But I wanted Criminal :cc

Sigrida
Sigrida
1 year ago
Reply to  eurovision6

As a Lithuanian I agree Criminal is better and I wish it would represent us in ESC, but such is her choice.

Peyton
Peyton
1 year ago

I’m happy she voiced her opinion on what one she wants to sing and I hope her fans respect her decision! I think Light On is also the better song for her to go with, as she clearly has such a powerful connection with the song which she conveys so well while singing it. Plus I worry Criminal could flop, as a lot of ‘dark’ songs (Play, Blackbird, Hear Them Calling) tend to be fan favorites but then don’t perform well. So I’m happy with Monika’s decision and really hope Light On can win 🙂

Weißbrot
Weißbrot
1 year ago

Yeah, I completely understand this and think it’s indeed smarter to only perform one song. I actually prefer Light On to Criminal by far.

Esc
Esc
1 year ago

Criminal > Light on, if she kills criminal she won’t represent Lithuania.. Run with the lions for the win

Lithuaniandude
Lithuaniandude
1 year ago

I find this decision very disrespectful towards other artists that have been already eliminated since now she just pretty much wasted one spot and this is disrespectful to her fans and people who liked the song more than “Light on” and voted for it in the quarterfinal. I personally think “Criminal” is way better than “Light on” and it is sad for me that she made this decision

eurovision6
eurovision6
1 year ago
Reply to  Lithuaniandude

I agree, lost some respect for her now

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
1 year ago
Reply to  Lithuaniandude

It’s not like she really had a choice. If she doesn’t choose one of the two songs she would end up losing the final because her votes got split between the two songs.

eurovision6
eurovision6
1 year ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

She knew that before submitting two songs though

Jordy
Jordy
1 year ago

I dislike both of them but I respect her decision.

Dom
Dom
1 year ago

smart decision and i support her, cause it could be risky to be in the final with both songs. Good thing that i absolutely love Light on, sorry Criminal fans.