Monika Marija has solved her problem of having two songs entered in Lithuania’s national final. The singer has confirmed she has withdrawn her entry “Criminal” from Euvovizijos Atranka. The move ensures that Monika can focus on her other entry “Light On” and won’t risk splitting her vote.
After much speculation, the news was confirmed today by broadcaster LRT. According to the national final rules, a withdrawing artist may face a €2000 fine, however it is not yet known if the broadcaster will demand this from Monika.
Monika entered Eurovizijos Atranka with two songs, expecting that soon enough one would get knocked out in the heats or the semi-finals. Instead both songs proved to be popular with viewers.
However, “Light On” has turned out to be the more successful of the two songs. It won both its heat and semi-final and goes into Saturday’s grand final as a strong contender to win. With that in mind, it makes sense for Monika to choose “Light On” to focus on.
The song is an uplifting ballad, where Monika sings of her experience with a serious illness earlier in her life.
The inclusion in the grand final of two songs by one artist had been criticised by other Lithuanian musicians, however it is within the Eurovizijos Atranka 2019 rules.
Monika’s withdrawal from the Eurovizijos Atranka grand final opens up a space for another artist. LRT has also confirmed that the spot has gone to the outrageous Alen Chicco with “Your Cure”. He had placed fifth in the second semi-final, narrowly missing out on qualifying.
Was “Run with the Lions” released before 1 September?
And there’s even more drama at Eurovizijos Atranka. Controversy surrounds “Run with the Lions”, the song of Jurijus.
Claims have emerged that the song had originally been published on a since-deleted Soundcloud account prior to the September 1 deadline. However, the song’s producer Martynas Tyla claims that the presence of a track titled “Run with the Lions” does not mean it’s the same composition that Jurijus has entered in Eurovizijos Atranka.
Lithuania’s Head of Delegation Audrius Giržadas acknowledged that the song may potentially be in violation of Eurovision rules, but he told LRT, “Whether this song will be disqualified or not will come out after we contact the EBU who will assess this situation.”
In the past, the EBU has proved to be lenient in allowing songs to remain in the contest, despite having been previously released.
The grand final of Eurovizijos Atranka 2019 will take place this Saturday, where Lithuania’s act for Tel Aviv will be selected.
What do you think? Are you glad Monika has gone with “Light On”? Or did you support “Criminal”? Should “Run with the Lions” be disqualified from the competition? Share your thoughts below!