They’re the band that emerged as a favourite to win Eurovision 2020 with their song “On Fire”. Now, after the contest was cancelled due to coronavirus precautions, Lithuanian broadcaster LRT has confirmed that The Roop have been offered a direct pass to the grand final of their 2021 national selection Pabandom iš naujo and will not be internally selected.

The Roop offered wildcard to final of Pabandom iš naujo 2021

On Tuesday, Lithuanian broadcaster LRT confirmed that Lithuania will still hold a national selection in 2021. That is perhaps not a surprise, as Lithuania hasn’t made an internal selection since 1994.

However, Deputy Director General of the LRT Gytis Oganauskas added that they have offered The Roop a direct pass to the grand final of Pabandom iš naujo 2021. He noted that they had attempted to find a creative solution that did not deprive The Roop, but also did not deprive other Lithuanian performers the opportunity to continue creating new songs:

“We are all saddened by this situation – “On Fire” was one of the main contenders to win [Eurovision 2020]. It received much sympathy both in Lithuania and abroad, but unfortunately can’t appear on the big Eurovision stage.

“Eurovision is first and foremost a song contest, which is gaining popularity every year in Lithuania, stimulating the creation of new songs and performances, thus attracting many who wish to try their hand at music producers and performers. We were looking for a solution to not deprive them of this opportunity, and at the same time not to deprive The Roop.

“As a result, we have made a somewhat non-standard decision. We will be preparing for a new national selection, and The Roop will automatically appear in its final. We greatly appreciate and thank The Roop for taking a responsible approach in preparing for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.”

Oganauskas went further to add that LRT will transfer the funds earned by the voting from Pabandom iš naujo 2020 to The Roop as a way of reimbursing them for the money that the band has already invested into their entry for Eurovision 2020:

“We understand that the group has already invested a lot of time and money in this, so we also decided to transfer to the group the voting funds that were to be used to prepare for the big Eurovision.”

This equates to almost €20,300 euros.

The Roop undecided on whether to accept LRT’s offer

Although LRT have made the offer to The Roop to compete in the grand final of Pabandom iš naujo 2021 the band have not yet decided whether to accept. Vaidotas Valiukevičius, the group’s leader, states:

“We understand that a variant was found that would suit the LRT and the group. Will we be involved in the screening, albeit on an exclusive basis? We don’t know yet. It’s only been a month and a half since winning the song “On Fire.” Everything is going very fast. Too fast. We need to think and make the decision much later.”

This response comes after the group previously said they feel “a moral right” to represent Lithuania at Eurovision. They had hoped that LRT would internally select them to wave the Lithuanian flag at Eurovision 2021. However, this sadly will not happen.

It is possible that having to compete in a national final once again adds too much pressure on The Roop. In Norway, Ulrikke turned down an invitation from NRK to have a direct pass to the grand final of Melodi Grand Prix 2021, citing that it’s difficult to restart from zero.

The Roop will make a decision on whether to compete in Pabandom iš naujo 2021 or not in the coming weeks.

What do you think of LRTs decision? Do you think The Roop can win the Lithuanian selection again? Let us know in the comments!

Read more Lithuania Eurovision news here

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
52 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Zelenovi
Zelenovi
7 months ago

On Fire was probably Lithuania’s first ever chance at winning the whole contest. I’d love to see The Roop again, but it’ll be hard to come up with an even better song. Would love for them to try though!

Denis
Denis
7 months ago

Unfortunately I doubt it will be as amazing as On Fire. That was the 2020 winner and we could have had Vilnius 2021

Tajikistan
Tajikistan
7 months ago

Whilst I’m angry at LRT for not internally selecting them, I’m sure they’ll win with a landslide at the national final so I’m not as mad as I thought I’d be

evvvity
evvvity
7 months ago

I think they should get and accept direct to final… for 2022. The year immediately after is so hard to come up with something as good when their so immediately in everyones minds. give it a year, then come back. i hope this is offered to all national selection winners (especially the mamas who have been robbed by no eurovision 2020)

Rick S.
Rick S.
7 months ago

LRT practically has The Roop caught between a rock and a hard place. If they ‘take the money and run’, they’ll come off as being unsportsmanlike: If they accept a direct pass to the final with a song of their own choice, they will have to explain why they are ready to give up on their ‘moral right’ to automatically represent Lithuania in 2021. On the other hand, LRT is practically handing The Roop a guaranteed victory on a plate with all the shortcuts it is offering them. It’s also a sure way to suppress the number of song submissions… Read more »

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
7 months ago
Reply to  Rick S.

Honestly, I think it would be a better idea just to internally select the roop and use the national final to choose a new song for them, like Romania and Israel.

Badwoolfgirl
Badwoolfgirl
7 months ago

Unlike some other NF countries, this is a really good sign that LRT really wants the Roop to represent Lithuania next year, even to the point of compensating them with the funds earned through the televote for their curtailed efforts. I still think it would be a better idea to just narrow the focus on the national final to help the Roop pick their song as we saw with Romania and Israel. That way, The Roop don’t win again out of pity voting (especially their 2021 isn’t as good as on fire), or risk losing out to another artist in… Read more »

Azaad
Azaad
7 months ago

To be honest, the revamped NF was a huge, positive, turning point for Lithuania at ESC- easily one of the highlights of the prematurely ended 2020 ESC season. I think LRT don’t want to deviate from it, especially when all the Nordic broadcasters and EET are sticking to their own NFs, which is understandable. Moreover, they’re not only giving The Roop a direct pass to the final, meaning they’ll get to skip the closed door submission round, heats and semi finals as well as financial compensation. Given that LRT have had NFs since 1994, this seems like a fair approach.

Joe
Joe
7 months ago
Reply to  Azaad

*since ’99 – their ill-fated debut was the only entry they internally selected.

Ieva
Ieva
7 months ago

I think it can be a little discouraging for other artists to participate in the NF next year because they know The Roop will have a huge support from the fans. Also, if The Roop doesn’t win the NF, the new winner might get quite a lot of hate simply because of that (even though they would not deserve that hate at all).

Azaad
Azaad
7 months ago
Reply to  Ieva

It would depend- if a popular artist like Monique, Monika Marija or Aiste came with a fantastic song that people felt was better than The Roop’s 2021 effort (assuming they’ll take the offer of a direct pass to the final) I don’t think there would be that much backlash.

Badwoolfgirl
Badwoolfgirl
7 months ago
Reply to  Ieva

Yeah, that might have a negative outcome. That’s why I would have preferred to stick to internally selecting the artist and use the national final to pick the song. I don’t know if LRT can afford to cut down their national final drastically to just one night for it to work.

Matthew
Matthew
7 months ago

Bitter Sweet for me. I think every ESC 2020 Artist should represent their country in 2021, but Lithuania’s NF in recent years have been my favorite national final.

Whisker
Whisker
7 months ago

I feel for them.

Sal
Sal
7 months ago

I really like On Fire but I’m not crazy about the rest of The Roop’s material so I’m not sure if they could come up with something as great. In fact, I’m sure they can’t. On Fire was too unique and special and to even try and recreate it in another song wouldn’t work. I feel so sorry for the band and for Lithuania as this really really could have been their year, even in the form of their first top 5 finish….

Mia
Mia
7 months ago

How is this fair decision, going directly to final based on what? What about other artists who will compete next year, that’s not fair to them.. It’s not fair to The Roop in the first place. I think it’s lame and humiliating offer and I wouldn’t accept it. Good luck with your Pabandom is naujo.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
7 months ago

Since they’re already using it for the show’s name, I would really like for Katrina to sing ‘Love Sine a Light, if she’s still alive. That song hasn’t lost any of its beauty.

lol
lol
7 months ago

dont get the hypt. i get that their song is different and a lot of people like it but its a gimmick and a glorified joke act. sad for the artitsts tho

Colin
Colin
7 months ago

Well, the most *fair* thing would be returning all the 2020 acts for 2021. I wont lie and say it would be the most exciting viewing experience. But it would be the right compensation after someone earned that right. I guess Sanremo and FiK can continue without being attached to ESC for one year, while others can be put on hold for a year. It might even save some money to the broadcasters. It’s not an ideal option, but hey, there isn’t one and these people need to be heard on ESC.

GIOLO
GIOLO
7 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Totally agree with everything

CagardiB
CagardiB
7 months ago

I’d like stress that I don’t like this song at all, yet I can recognize is theirs and is their effort, so a direct representation in 2021 is nothing but fair. They do have the moral right, so I side with The Roop this time.

SkyLightsESC
SkyLightsESC
7 months ago

So I’m just gonna hope they accept and everyone will just vote for them and ignore any other songs…
I really think each artist from 2020 should have been picked to represent their country next year automatically

Citizen of Memel
Citizen of Memel
7 months ago
Reply to  SkyLightsESC

So… In case The Roop accept the ticket to the GF, Lithuanians shall vote for the band even though their song might be a terrible copy or simply crappy? I’d have agreed with your statement if 2020 selected artists would have been allowed to perform 2020 selected songs. Now, 2021 is going to be a completely different year thus Lithuanians shall not feel obliged to vote for The Roop just because reasons. I think this is best portrayed in Lithuania by Monika Marija who got a spot in the national final with that mediocre country song only because of her… Read more »

Mia
Mia
7 months ago

^ Agreed, I wouldn’t want to have pity votes just because broadcaster wants to catch two birds with one stone!

Guest
Guest
7 months ago

Although unfair, I hope they accept it. I feel they can win the Lithuanian competition again

Denis
Denis
7 months ago

DON’T! THIS IS LITHUANIA GOING AGAINST THEIRSELF. IT WOULD BE DUMB DECISION THEY WOULDN’T SELECT THE ROOP AGAIN. HONESTLY, THEY COULD GET A GREAT RESULT.

srulik
srulik
7 months ago

It’s a good decision and they ahould say yes. They would win easily like most of the artist that would do so. The fans would make sure of that. I hope sweden does the same

Kellyn
Kellyn
7 months ago

They did this because Donny Montell is going for Eurovision 2021 comeback…

Sanscemo
Sanscemo
7 months ago

Just when you think it can’t get any worse. This is so sad. A disgrace. I hope they will accept this opportunity tho. “Yes, I do” was my fave in 2018 and “On fire” my personal winner this year. I’m sure they could enter another beautiful song in 2021.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
7 months ago
Reply to  Sanscemo

Compared to what other countries with national finals have done, this is a better solution. The broadcaster probably can’t afford to completely ditch the nf, but they very much want to give the roop another chance to represent at Eurovision for the win. I would have preferred a format where the roop are internally selected and the nf is used to pick their song like Romania and Israel this year, but if the roop accept the opportunity, I’ll accept it.

MYOOZIK
MYOOZIK
7 months ago

Oof. I think it’s a very stupid decision not to select them internally. They had good winning chances

Montell
Montell
7 months ago

Clever and fair decision by LRT. But if The Roop decided to participate I’m not sure they would win easily. Yes, they would have a little advantage but in the end it would depend on their song and the competition.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
7 months ago
Reply to  Montell

That’s true, which is why I would have preferred an option where the nf is used to pick the song for the roop like Romania and Israel.

CagardiB
CagardiB
7 months ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

That would have been the best outcome indeed. Such a simple, yet brilliant solution

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
7 months ago

I really hope they can come up with another song on the same level as On Fire
This song is my winner of 2020
Hopefully they’ll compete again 🙂

Erasmus
Erasmus
7 months ago

tbh it’s a good option. If they have a good song , they can easily win again, if not someone else will win. The reason why I think this is a good decision is, because their NF had a huge glow up this year, which they need to maintain. Along with regular Ukrainian, Swedish and Italian NF – Lithuanian and Czech one were among them as well

some lady
some lady
7 months ago

big. mistake.

Robert
Robert
7 months ago

Well I preferred an internal selection but if not this is the best option.. They deserve it, hopefully the come up with something similar in greatness to On Fire if not better

Tom
Tom
7 months ago

Noooooo WTF Lithuania doing ….. done

Sandrine
Sandrine
7 months ago

Come on The Roop, take part into this final and Lithuanian audience do the right thing: vote for The Roop for Rotterdam 2021, please!!!

Joe
Joe
7 months ago

This doesn’t annoy me. They accept, they win. It’s not even a question they’d take it in another landslide.

Joe
Joe
7 months ago
Reply to  Joe

And yeah, as others have said, PIN was probably one of the strongest, if not the strongest national final of the season. It’d be a shame to lose what they had going for them.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
7 months ago

Not exactly Sanremo you’ve got here, Lithuania. Everyone else can wait one more year, just like the Roop are having to do this year.

GIOLO
GIOLO
7 months ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

Couldn’t agree more

Still better than Finalnd though…

Tom
Tom
7 months ago

I wanted the ROOP tobrepresent Lithuania in 2021 but I didn’t want to lose Pabandom is naujo so my feelings are mixed

Polegend Godgarina
7 months ago

if they accept they’ll easily win again tbh

Tom
Tom
7 months ago

Depend on jury…

Nina
Nina
7 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Jury 100% wouldn’t give them 0 points, plus tele would give them 12, which means they would probably go to the super finals, and easily win there as it is purely televote

Tom
Tom
7 months ago
Reply to  Nina

I talked about Lithuanian national selection where jury has more power than televote actually …

Kuhkatz
Kuhkatz
7 months ago

Well, the same goes out for RUV and others with main contenders for the win, stop being so proud about your National Selections!

The Roop, although it took some time for me to love On Fire, absolutely do deserve to be there in ESC 2021. Just be aware, if they accept, they might be crushing the preselection because fans know to honor.

Duncan
7 months ago
Reply to  Kuhkatz

It’s because they all want to be like Sweden.

xohxoh
xohxoh
7 months ago

I’m so tired of this, a disgrace.