Lithuania’s national final Eurovizijos dainų konkurso nacionalinė atranka has a reputation for being long. But all that is about to change. Broadcaster LRT has released details of the revamped 2020 edition of the national final, including news that it will involve only SIX shows.
This time, the focus will be on quality over quantity. LRT’s deputy director-general Gytis Oganauskas commented, “We are shortening the selection for the sake of quality, with more carefully selected, more professionally presented works.”
This time, the national final will only involve six shows, putting it on the same scale as Sweden’s Melodifestivalen and Hungary’s A Dal. This is a stark contrast to the 2016 edition which involved a marathon ten shows. Back then, winner Donny Montell performed his song in six different shows.
The new format also suggests that fewer acts will be selected to compete in the contest. In the 2019 edition, a massive 49 acts competed, with initial heats involving around 12 acts. For contrast, Melodifestivalen has 28 competing acts while A Dal has 30.
The show will also have a new rule that limits acts to only one entry. The new rule follows the situation in 2019, where Monika Marija made it to the grand final with two songs, “Criminal” and “Light On”. She chose to face a €2000 penalty and withdrew “Criminal”.
The show structure will also change. The previously in-studio jury panel will instead watch the show on monitors outside the main studio. The jury will also no longer comment on the songs at the end of each performance. As well, audience votes will no longer be shown throughout the show — the overall totals will be revealed at the end of each show. These changes are being done to bring Eurovizijos Atranka closer to the format of Eurovision shows.
The broadcaster has formed a working group of experts who will oversee the selection process. The voting will also be monitored by an auditing company.
The winner of Eurovizijos Atranka 2020 will also be given financial support by LRT, to help with strengthening the Eurovision performance, including things such as staging, wardrobe, vocal technique.
While Lithuania has enjoyed a top ten result in 2016 with Donny Montell’s “I’ve Been Waiting for This Night” and a 12th place finish for Ieva Zasimauskaitė’s “When We’re Old”, it doesn’t always enjoy such results. In 2017, Fusedmarc finished near the bottom of its semi-final, while 2019 act Jurij Veklenko narrowly missed out on qualifying.
Entries for Eurovizijos Atranka 2020 will open this Monday, 30th September, and close on December 8th.
Eurovizijoz Atranka 2020 will run from early January to mid-February 2020.
What do you think? Are these changes a step in the right direction for Lithuania? Who would you like to see enter the revamped national final? Tell us your thoughts below!