Around this time of year, we start to learn the artists who will be competing in the national finals around Europe. But Lithuania is doing things differently. Lithuanian news website 15min checked in with local stars and discovered which ones aren’t planning to do Eurovizijos Atranka 2020.
Jurij Veklenko is Lithuania’s most recent Eurovision representative. When asked if he’d have another go, he joked that he’d enter Rick Astley’s meme-tastic “Never Gonna Give You Up”. Jurijus confirmed that he had no plans to enter the national final this year, but wouldn’t give a hard “no”. He explained, “You can never say no because at the end of the day it all depends on whether the song is good or not.”
Donny Montell has competed in the Lithuanian national final five times previously and won twice. But does the “I’ve Been Waiting for This Night” singer plan on making it three? The singer said no, telling 15min, “I have no plans to participate in Eurovision this year.”
The Irish-born Erica Jennings represented Lithuania at Eurovision 2001, as part of the group SKAMP. She also competed at the national final earlier this year, where she and husband Jurgis Didžiulis placed fourth with “Sing!”. But the couple wasn’t happy with the way things were run and called for more transparency in the national final. The duo’s manager has confirmed there will be no 2020 comeback, but added, “What happens in the future, only time will tell.”
After her outrageous, watermelon-smashing “Get Frighten” act at Eurovizijos Atranka 2017, rumours had begun to circulate that drag queen Lolita Zero would make a return in 2020. However, Ms Zero’s manager/alter ego Gytis Ivanauskas has confirmed that fans shouldn’t expect much this year. After placing fourth in the 2017 grand final, Ivanauskas says “It doesn’t mean that I will take revenge but I don’t yet have such ambitions.”
Rūta Ščiogolevaitė is a national final veteran, having competed six times and reached the top-four five times. She last competed in 2016 with “United”. But it doesn’t look like she’ll be making a comeback. She explained, “I would very much like to go back to the competition if there was no weird Eurovision background.” Rūta also noted that she didn’t have the right song.
Other artists who won’t be making an appearance at Eurovizijos Atranka 2020 include 2009 Eurovision star Sasha Song, 2019 grand finalists Antikvariniai Kašpirovskio Dantys, Jurgis Brūzga, and Justina Budaitė-Junà and 2019 semi-finalist Edgaras Lubys. As well, entertaining duo Džildos & Oresto Vaigauskų have no plans to make their Eurovizijos Atranka debut.
Lithuanian national final changes for 2020
In September, broadcaster LRT confirmed that Lithuania’s national final would have some changes made for the 2020 edition.
The national final will involve only six shows, the same number as Sweden’s Melodifestivalen. As well, artists will only be allowed to compete with one song.
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.
What do you think? Who would you like to see competing in Eurovizjos Atranka 2020? What sort of act should Lithuania send to Rotterdam? Sound off below!