Lithuanian broadcaster LRT has released the details of its national final Pabandom iš naujo! 2021. Followed the revamp of the contest in 2020, there are no major changes to the contest format. However, 2020 winners THE ROOP have been guaranteed a place in the grand final.
LRT has opened submissions and publishedthe contest rules for the 2021 edition of their national final, Pabandom Iš Naujo! Nacionalinės Eurovizijos Atranka — We Go Again! National Eurovision Selection.
Gytis Oganauskas, the Deputy Director-General of LRT confirmed there won’t be any big changes to the contest. He said, “Last year’s changes in the Eurovision nation final paid off, therefore there will be no major innovations in this year’s selection rules, except for the circumstances related to the pandemic.”
The Covid-19 pandemic is mostly felt in the new rule allowing pre-recorded backing vocals. With the EBU having allowed pre-recorded backing vocals to be used in Rotterdam, LRT is also allowing acts to do the name in the Lithuanian national final.
And the days of the epic ten-week national final is long gone. Following on from the slimmed-down format of the revamped Pabandom iš naujo! 2020, the 2021 edition will also likely run for six weeks. It is likely to again consist of three heats, two semi-finals and one grand final.
While 36 acts competed in last year’s show, this time LRT is only guaranteeing a minimum of 20 acts. If the contest goes ahead with that smaller number of participants, there may be fewer live shows.
Voting in the shows will be determined by a televote and jury vote mix.
The song is open to both songwriters from Lithuania or abroad — or a combination. However, the performers can only be Lithuanian citizens.
The contest is focused on songwriting rather than performers. Songwriters making an application list the prefered performer for their song. Following on from the Monika Marija two-song controversy of 2019, artists can only perform one song in the contest.
THE ROOP have a place in ‘Pabandom iš naujo! 2021’
Pabandom iš naujo! 2021 is also saving a guaranteed spot for 2020 winners THE ROOP.
Like fellow Baltic act Uku Suviste, THE ROOP have a place saved for them in their national final. But unlike Uku’s semi-final place in Estonia’s Eesti Laul, THE ROOP will be going straight to the grand final.
The trio will also have the right to perform their entry at all previous stages of the contest prior to the grand final. This ensures that the Lithuanian public will be exposed to THE ROOP’s new song just as much as the entries from the acts competing in the heats and semi-finals.
THE ROOP recently posted to Instagram, celebrating the confirmed countries line-up Eurovision 2021. They also gave a shout out to Iceland for internally selecting Daði Freyr for Rotterdam.
View this post on Instagram
//EN// We heard some great news. Eurovision 2021 will definitely take place. And even more – Iceland have chosen @dadimakesmusic to represent their country. That is the right decision! Congrats on that! . //LT// Mes išgirdome gerų žinių. Eurovizija 2021 tikrai įvyks. Ir dar daugiau – Islandija pasirinko @dadimakesmusic juos atstovauti konkurse. Tai teisingas sprendimas! Su tuo ir sveikiname! . #theroop #esc2021 #eurovision #eurovizija
The competing acts will be selected by a jury of experts from LRT’s entertainment divisions. The competing acts are expected to be announced sometime in early January 20201
The full schedule of Pabandom iš naujo! 2021 has not yet been confirmed, but the contest will kick off on Saturday 16 January.
What do you think? What sort of song should THE ROOP take to Pabandom iš naujo! 2021? Who else would you like to see competing in Lithuania’s national final? Tell us your thoughts below!