The Roop will represent Lithuania at Eurovision 2021 in Rotterdam with “Discoteque”.
The band were originally due to sing “On Fire” at Eurovision 2021. However, the contest was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike many other countries, Lithuania opted to continue with its usual national final for 2021 rather than automatically reselect its 2020 artist. However, the delegation did give The Roop a direct pass to the Pabandom iš naujo final. They came to the contest with “Discoteque” and comfortably won it for a second year running.
And now we’ve compiled 10 facts you need to know about The Roop. Let’s do this!
Lithuania at Eurovision 2021: Facts about The Roop
1. The Roop are from Vilnius
The Roop formed in Lithuania’s capital Vilnius, and they’ve been together for about ten years. The trio consists of Vaidotas Valiukevičius (lead singer), Robertas Baranauskas (drums) and Mantas Banišauskas (guitars). Vaidotas also plays the keyboard, while Robertas and Mantas are responsible for writing and composing the bulk of the group’s back catalogue.
2. Their name comes from an old English word
The verb “to roop” means “to shout out” or “to make a great noise”. While the word is considered archaic today and is rarely used, it lives on with this Lithuanian trio.
3. They’ve had to work hard
Ahead of Eurovision 2020, the band revealed in a wiwibloggs interview that Vaidotas was the only The Roop member that worked full-time as a performer. Both Robertas and Mantas had regular day jobs. “It may seem that everything in our lives went easy”, The Roop tell their Instagram followers. “It’s not quite true. For example, 1,5 years ago Vaidotas was unemployed. He had no money, just a big dream. All band members did their best to keep themselves motivated and not give up. We felt that the time would come, but never knew when”. Within the band, Vaidotas is the band “leader”. However, they each have their own responsibilities. For instance, Robertas looks after the technical rider and transport — without him the band have no lift!
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4. They tried out for Eurovision before
The Roop first attempted to represent Lithuania in 2018 with “Yes, I Do” — a mellow number compared to “Discoteque”. It came third in the selection — Ieva Zasimauskaitė was the eventual winner with “When We’re Old”. Of course, they then returned to the competition in 2020 with “On Fire” and won in a record-breaking fashion. They managed to get 50,139 televotes. That was more than double the record previously set by the 2019 winner Jurijus Veklenkothe. However, the new record didn’t last long. The Roop smashed the record yet again upon winning Pabandom iš naujo 2021. “Discoteque” took home 74,512 votes.
5. They’ve released two albums and an EP
The Roop have two studio albums to their name — To Whom It May Concern (2015) and Ghosts (2017). They also released an EP called Yes, I Do to coincide with their 2018 national final participation. As of last spring, the trio were currently working on a third album. They became the first Lithuanian act to be signed to the newly formed Baltic branch of Warner Music in autumn 2020.
6. They have appeared at many major festivals
The Roop have taken part in more than just the Lithuanian selection for Eurovision. They’ve also performed in esteemed festivals in Lithuania such as Karklė, Galapagai and Granatos Live — where Eurovision 2015 winner Måns Zelmerlöw has also been a participant.
7. Vaidotas was originally a solo artist
Before The Roop, Vaidotas performed using the stage name Milano. His first single was called “Nieko nereikia daugiau” – and it was very successful on home turf. He continued under this name until 2010, when he took some time away, before returning to music with The Roop in 2014.
8. Vaidotas competed on Dancing With The Stars
Vaidotas’ excellent dance moves are less surprising when you consider he competed on Lithuania’s Dancing With The Stars – Šok su žvaigžde in 2019. He made it to the last eight, being eliminated in the seventh week. But it wasn’t because of a lack of dance skills. Vaidotas did not have the lowest score from the judges on the week he was sent home. Alas, he didn’t receive enough support from the public.
9. Vaidotas judged The Masked Singer
In 2020, Vaidotas made the switch from contestant to judge. This time, he was part of the expert panel on Lithuania’s answer to The Masked Singer. Known locally as Kaukes (Masks), the show’s first season saw 12 well-known personalities from the world of music, sports, television and more hide beneath elaborate costumes. There were five other judges in addition to Vaidotas. The show also featured Latvia’s Eurovision 2021 singer Samanta Tīna. However, she was only there as a guest and was not part of the main competition.
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10. If they could collaborate with anyone, it’d be Freddie Mercury
In an interview from a fan on their own YouTube channel, Mantas says that the group would love to collaborate with Freddie Mercury. Of course, they are missing a time machine that would allow them to do that. It’s not surprising that the threesome are influenced by such a unique showman.
Could The Roop bring Lithuania its first win? Let us know in the comments.