The Wiwi Jury — our in-house team of music unprofessionals — is reviewing and rating the 37 competing songs in Eurovision 2023. Next we review Lithuania, who have chosen Monika Linkytė with “Stay”.
Are we chanting along with Monika? Read on to find out!
Monika Linkytė – “Stay” (Lithuania Eurovision 2023)
Review: Monika Linkytė – “Stay”
Renske: Want a powerful pagan mantra with an addictive chorus? Lithuania serves you all of that this year at Eurovision. Monika Linkytė is bringing her “Stay” with love and confidence. Perhaps, at times, it comes across as a standard song contest entry, but it is something extra compared to many other songs from recent years. In its initial version it proved to be a strong ballad, but it has transformed into a playful earworm that can both show off Monika’s vocals as well as make an audience sing along.
Diego: Lithuania has given us quality entries year after year for the past five editions of the contest, and this year is not an exception with Monika Linkytė. This is the kind of song that sits perfectly just as it is, without adding something extra or taking away something that is already part of it. You can feel the hope and the right emotions just by listening to it or watching Monika perform live.
Pablo: I’ve heard this song several times in a row, but I can’t remember how it goes after it ends, nor does it stir any desire to replay. “Stay” is perfectly serviceable but has no, forgive the redundancy, staying power. Monika is a consummate performer with great live abilities, but I’m not moved by this song. And those said talents don’t elevate the song enough to make it sound like something more than it is, a middle-of-the-road tune that struggles to excite beyond “nice”, and just fades into the background.
Deban: The refrain here is “Čiūto Tūto” — casting a spell of power, longing and self-affirmation. When Monika sings, she tugs on a heartfelt connection that urges you to tune into her message. You’ll notice her growth on stage as she unpacks her progressive ballad too. When she belts out “Just Stay”, it echoes renewed hope deep within. If there’s any justice at Eurovision, this entry should comfortably advance to the upper tier of the grand final.
Jonathan: This is a real grower. You may think it didn’t make much impact on you after the first listen, but a few spins later and you’re chanting “Čiūto Tūto” around the house. There’s a subtlety and simplicity to the song that transforms itself into beauty and soulfulness thanks to Monika’s voice combined with her gospel backing singers. Whilst the slight lack of immediacy may prevent Lithuania from securing a top spot, Monika still has many of the elements needed to improve upon her 2015 result.
Lithuania Eurovision 2023 ranking
In the Eurovision 2023 Wiwi Jury, we have 20 jurors but only have room for five reviews. The remaining scores are below:
We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 3 and a high of 8.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 6.53/10
What do you think of Lithuania’s Eurovision 2023 entry? Share your own score and review for Monika Linkytė’s “Stay” below!
I think a lot of people consider this a grower since it won PiN, and I actually quite liked her 2015 entry together with Vaidas too. Monika is a fantastic live vocalist and we’ve seen during the pre-parties that she can make this entry work. While the song is a bit simple in its structure and doesn’t really break any mold, it’s a nice tune that I don’t skip when it comes out. The choir-like “Ciuto Tuto” chants are a really nice addition as well, a shame that’s not in the studio cut as much. For me it’s a 7.5/10.… Read more »
As a Lithuanian, I just feel I got so used to being very excited about my country’s performance for the past few years with the Roop and Monika Liu. This year, wel.. at least there’s Kaarija
My comment was so poorly written that it has been blocked. Or, to put it another way: Ciuto Tuto.
This is one of those songs where I hear some block piano chords being wasted and I hear some personal lyrics about sadness that someone has been through, and lots of stopping and starting, and my first reaction is “oh no, not another one of these.” But then Monika belts out “StAAAYY-AY-AY-AAY-AY-AY-AAY…” and I have been woken up. Wow, what a voice! And, what a dramatic melody for that Chorus over those blocky chords – that really comes out of nowhere and almost provokes applause from me. I see some people here think that the repeating “?i?to t?to” bit is… Read more »
When other language characters become question marks. Needless to say, that it not what I typed.
And now autocorrect as well, it seems.
The Lithuanian national final was an interesting one. There were a lot of “good” songs in it, but there was not a singular “great” one. There were positives about sending a number of songs, but each of these frontrunners all had some sort of glaring issue or deficiency in them. When it came to rating the national final as a whole, my entire top 5-6 ended up with the same rating. I moved around a lot with which song I was giving the nod to as “my winner” but, eventually, I settled on Monika’s simple but beautifully warm “Stay”, and… Read more »
Your observation about this year’s PIN is spot-on. I feel like the songs of Ruta Mur, Beatrich, Gabrielius Vagelis, Paulina P, Mario Junes, ect. would have all given Lithuania an easy qualification from semi 2 (and not just for the diaspora’s sake), but that none of them would’ve been in the mix to win or score top 5. However, given how good Monika is, and how much the juries tend to appreciate well-done Gospel(ish) harmonies, I wouldn’t put the John Lundvik / Tamara Todevska type of result completely off the table. But yes, overall, PIN is continuing being a reliable… Read more »
It was a song I kind of liked when I first listened to it in PIN but I can’t forget “Stay” won over “So Low” and Monika over Ruta. “So Low” was a better song and Ruta has a unique voice and charisma. And that’s it. “Stay” in its current form isn’t a bad song but I don’t know what were the Lithuanian jurors thinking. Sure it will qualify given the quality in the 2ndSF and the push from the Lithuanian diaspora. Lithuania is placed the 27th in my top: 10. Ireland (7) 11. Armenia (7) 14. Moldova (7) 15.… Read more »
It’s a simple and sweet song very well performed by Monika Linkyté. It has also possibly the best use of live backing vocals in this year’s contest. At times, the whole performance feels like a healing ceremony. It was a superb decision to revamp it and bring the “Ciuto tuto” to the focus, because it’s a very memorable moment, while the chorus itself is a little underwhelming, even if Monika belts beautifully that “Staaaaaaaaaaaay”. The whole package isn’t as special as Lithuanian’s previous efforts (competing with The Roop is Monika Liu is a TOUGH job), but keeps the country on… Read more »
I was actually talking to somebody about Lithuania’s recent run at Eurovision. As I am somebody who actually really likes their 2019 entry (fight me), Lithuania’s last six entries are “When We’re Old”, “Run With The Lions”, “On Fire”, “Discoteque”, “Sentimentai” and “Stay”.
That’s a run of quality that you’d probably only find matched by perhaps the likes of Italy. PIN is definitely working for them.
I can’t agree with you about “Run with the Lions” (coincidentally, I used it as an example to say bad things about “Like an Animal”, but I like all the other entries you mentioned (well, I actually LOVED The Roop’s entries and “Sentimentai”). So yeah, Lithuania became for me a country to watch closely. I hope it pays off eventually, if they keep this momentum, they’ll really deserve to win one of these days. Even more considering that it’s the only Baltic that still hasn’t got the trophy.
Mistyped the email, oops.
LITHUANIA – When Monika first presented her song for this year’s PIN, I couldn’t remember a thing about it. Then she made a great choice of revamping it, and giving it a proper hook in chanting ”ciuto tuto” throughout the song. There is something gentle about this entry, and it sounds authentic to the performer. Monika has an amazing voice, and her interaction with the backing vocalists feels organic and adds a lot to the table. The lyrics about healing are very nice. The song perhaps may need some variety in the second half of the song. The hook, while… Read more »
I was expecting you to like this one much more than me, but it turns out we have a similar appreciation to it. Usually you’re the more generous one with the grades, but today it was just the opposite.
I was leaning more on giving it a 6.5 than I ever was to giving it a 5.5, so I imagine we might feel very similarly appreciative towards it. It’s a pretty song, but I imagine that I just had some ballads, and some vibey songs that just captured my attention more. This is still my semi 2 qualifier, and I imagine it’s likely yours too. Belgium might be more of a dispute, but I don’t hate it at all (Gustaph is a sweetheart). I just guess that within the line-up of 2023, Belgium and Iceland are just my ”mehs”… Read more »
I don’t mind being the one to go to bat for this one. But yes, I also found myself surprised that I rated this higher than Colin did!
I guess it’s normal to feel like this when the song is a ballad. 😀
Your review reads like a list of adjectives that are all on the money. Gentle, authentic, organic, healing, calming, relaxing, likeable.
Could’ve saved myself three paragraphs and just copied those out for my own review. 😉
One of those songs that most eurofans refuse to like just because it is a midtempo ballad. It is gonna surprise a lot of people tho. Might even end up in the top 10
It likely wasn’t the first choice for many people for Lithuania, me included, but overtime you get used to it and then you realize it’s not so bad and you hope it does well. While, it probably won’t be in my top 10, I could see it as a potential Darkhorse that does better that everyone expects. There are people who think it could be a surprise talk to finisher, but personally, I feel like top 15 is probably the most realistic place it could reach, similar to where Monica Liu placed last year.
Yeah, I actually see it finishing in 16th place in the final.
I don’t think it’s going to be far off that. I’m thinking it’ll just be outside the top 10 but, wouldn’t it be an amazing achievement if it managed to sneak in?
“Ciuto tuto” is an anagram for “o(h), cut it out!”, which is a coincidence. But “Stay” is about cutting it out – taking the weight off your back, admitting your past to yourself and moving on forward. Verse after verse, Monika bends the string of “sadness she’s carried with her” until it beautifully snaps in the final “staaaaaaaay”. Confession, escalation, resolution – this is everything I want from a ballad.
(PS I’m wondering how many Monikas are left in Lithuania to continue the Liu-Linkyte dynasty. Manifesting Monika Pundziute for 2024).
Monika Marija is a likely successor at some point too. 🙂
Lithuanians should had sent her with “Light On” in 2019 already. Jurijus is a great singer, but he deserved to represent Lithuania with a better song than “Run with the lions”.
I actually preferred criminal before she withdrew it, but yeah, Lithuania screwed up that year. I have made peace with run with the Lions years later, but Lithuania rightfully deserved to stay behind with such a bland effort. But I also think it did do some good in the long run because it made Lithuania reorganize their national final to change the name and cut down the number of the competing entries.
Both her songs that year were better than “Run with the lions”. Not that I hate the latter, but I really like Jurijus and I always wanted him to sing something better in ESC. I think this was a lose-lose situation for Lithuania. In any case you’re probably right about the Lithuanian national final – it was unnecessary long and complicated and the last 3 years have shown that revamping a national final can often make things better.
That’s one of my biggest growers this year. It went slightly unnoticed initially but I ended up appreciating the harmonies and the melody and it definitely helps that I find Monika Linkyte a very engaging performer.
It’s a 7.5/10 and 15th in my ranking atm. I tend to think that it will qualify and I’ll be happy with that outcome. No idea how well it can do in the final.
This is perfect for a bathroom break. No offense, but I’m not watching Eurovision to be put to sleep.
My top 3 this year. I am gonna vote for it. I am sure it will have a great live quality
In terms of results this gives off a similar vibe to the Black Mamba in 2021, but I think the televote and jury will be more equal.
This song has really grown on me, after the first listen, and now it is in my Top 5. I love it because of its simplicity, and beauty. Also, Monika is a very talented singer with powerful voice and the catchy chorus just adds more energy to the song.
By the way, Monika reminds me a lot the late Sarah Harding from Girls Aloud…
The second Lithuanian Monika in a row, obviously nowhere near the first one but Sentimentai is one of my absolute favorite entries ever, so Monika Liu was always an extremely tough act to follow anyway. This year, the song itself is definitely quite unremarkable and kinda anonymous outside of the Lithuanian part they eventually added, but it does at least get propped up by a really likable and engaging performer, so ultimately I think it shouldn’t have too much problem qualifying, especially in that 2nd SF.
33. Monika Linkyte – Stay – 5/10 (Lithuania) – this is an ok emotional ballad with some upbeat elements. There is absolutely nothing new here though, I feel like I have heard this song far too many times before and my excitement levels are disappointingly low. So low.
You have no soul
This year, I didnt really follow PiN closely but I did watch a few recaps, went onto listen to the songs that grabbed my interest. I added some of those songs to my playlist but unfortunately this isn’t one that has sparked my interest. Monika is a great singer but I think she’s doing a lot of the heavy lifting with this one. I was only made aware yesterday that the original didnt have the Lithuanian lyrics in the chorus but even with that addition, I think its fine but it does pass me by a bit. I do find… Read more »
it certainly seems to have an audience*
not a fan of not being able to edit.
It’s kinda funny because these were my feelings when this song won. But after some time, it’s been one of the songs that climbed up the most in my rankings (it’s still not anywhere near my top 10 but it’s a lot higher than after PiN). There’s something soothing and comforting in this song that actually got me to keep coming back to it more and more over time. I actually think juries will like this song more than we all predict. There’s something warm and genuine and her vocals are on point and I can’t see that not being… Read more »
I mean even on the vocals alone, I think this has jury appeal and if jurors connect with it like people here to see have, it can definitely get some jury love. I think there’s a lot of competition for the jury this year (I’ve about 5-6 songs that I’m thinking could do well with the jury) but I could see this surprising like you’ve mentioned :).
While Monika Linkyte may certainly pull a 2018 effect (Ieva Zasimauskaite), usually Lithuania is not considered to be in the big boys’ league and thus, in the past 5 years, got rather tarnished by the jurors. Take for instance 2022, and you see that Monika Liu came in 18th with jurors when they gave her only 35 points compared to the audience’s 93 points (diff. 2,7 times). Or 2021, as The Roop came in 14th with jurors when they gave the band 55 points compared to the audience’s 165 points (diff. exactly 3 times). Thus, I do understand that some… Read more »
I’m not the best at predictions so I could be absolutely wrong, but I do believe that a 2018 effect is possible. You bring up interesting points and I think we could talk about how some ESC instances, whether fan ones or official ones (OGAE, maybe even juries) can be Western European-centered. And I don’t blame smaller countries for using their diaspora, in fact it’s very much understandable and one country’s population does give an advantage in some cases. I don’t fault Baltic countries at all in this scenario. Fun fact (and maybe even telling somehow), on a different platform… Read more »
I wish sometimes that juries would include more than 5 people and also have in the panel people who are specialized in genres other than pop music. That would actually be interesting to see.
The PiN GF revamp saved this song and actually made it climb enormously in my top over the past 1.5 month. I mean, it’s SO GOOD! Atmospheric and enchanting, the chorus is absolutely beautiful, the “Ci?to T?to” chant is magical and the live back vocalists add an extra charm to the welcomeness of the ballad. Simple yet so effective. Monika is guiding the crowds with her voice.
My #13, with an 8.5/10 rating. (Accidentally mistaken Estonia’s position, which sits at my #12).
I don’t think you’re overrating this by much. I actually have it ranked even higher!
meh, without the lithuanian lyric, this feels like a Ylva/Linda type of song, very vanilla
shame, as Lithuania were fab last year with sentimentai
this is middle of road, and it can still qualify in the weaker semi 2 however
Something about this track does not want me to play it again and again. It seems to fade into the background against better competition. Singer is great- song- meh.
I dont like this at all. Very dated sound, boring performance… i dont see anyone listening to this outside of eurovision. Hope it stays in the semi.
This song passed me by a little, when I first heard it in PiN, I didn’t think it was unpleasant, but I didn’t really pay attention to it, either, my first impression was one of slight disjointedness – and now I can’t even tell, where this impression came from anymore. The melody is very pretty and conveys a yearning that always tugs at my heartstrings a little bit. Then there is the vocal performance, both by Monika and her backing vocalists. It really is, what makes this song stand out. If I was nitpicking, I would perhaps say that the… Read more »
In my mind, this one is an obvious qualifier, even without the juries. Which means that if she gets a comfortable 7th or 8th place in the semi, the result in the final can even be similar to her namesake Liu.
It’s also pretty comfortably in with the odds, so let’s hope, you’re right.
The studio version of the song that was released is pretty poor on the production side in general. I haven’t heard the final version that made it onto the official album yet but I’m hoping it’s a lot better. Oh and like yourself, I also have this ranked as my no.10 for the year.
Are you really worried how Lithuania will do in a televote only semifinal though? I can’t think of a singular country that could possibly benefit from the voting change more than Lithuania.
So that’s probably it, then, I heard some early demo version. Not that I think that the production is top notch now, as I said, I’d like the soundscape to be a little crisper, but that’s the reason I now rather get the opposite impression from the track, it doesn’t sound disjointed in any way.
And I tend to forget about the Lithuanian diaspora voting their entry up, probably because I don’t approve of this kind of voting behaviour, but in this case, it will be an asset, you’re right.
I generally like and support Lithuania, it’s a very loveable country (ESC-wise) but this song does not resonate with me at all. I think I’ve listened to it twice, no more. Good voice but the song is not my cup of tea and I can’t feel any connection. Good luck Lietuva!
This has really grown on me and I actually like it, her vocals are good, performance simple yet effective and the chorus is catchy. I wouldn’t mind this qualifying.
She will stay… in the semi… she have such a good voice but the song is soo boring…
To me, it’s 8/10. A beautiful uplifting song with some ethnic flavor. Monika is vocally flawless and nails it every time.
I love this sond and performance 10/10
?I?TO T?TO FINALLY MY HEART IS BEATING!!!
Mission failed successfully.
But tbh, this song is soooo beautiful! Maybe it’s a teeny bit generic, but its so damn catchy!!
Pretentious, bland and overproduced. If they qualify is only due to the huge Lithuanian diaspora in Britain, and Ireland who seemed to vote for everything that is associated with Lithuania even if it is literally drivel. Fusedmarc or that guy from 2019 that no one remembers anyone ?
Yea, my bad still does not change my original point. And they still have the UK with them to give them the yearly 12 points.
Not even Poles, which are the largest immigrant group in those areas, vote so heavily for their own country.
Ireland doesn’t vote in the second semi. Fusedmarc and that guy from 2019 didn’t qualify. So you’re just full of… Just say you are a hater and go.
Sorry, sweetie, stating factual information is not being a hater. By the way, what difference does it make if they qualified or not? They still would have received those points regardless of who they sent.
In 2019, they should’ve qualified though. It was only through a televote collection error that they didn’t.
And, tbf to Lithuania, I don’t think they could send an entry that was of the level that their 2017 entry was again, even if they tried.
Completely agree with you. Also she only won because of the jury in lithuanian national final, the public voted for someone else, she robed the other contestant from experiencing eurovision
Although it’s not really for my taste, as it’s a simple ballad that was done many times before, I can definitely understand the appeal it gets. Ciuto Tuto is makikg this more memorable as well.
I don’t think Monika can aim higher than her 2015 placement with this but she’s definitely making a 2/2 in qualification!
Rating: 4/10 (28th)
Not a favorite of mine but it’s a nice song, chorus is catchy and will probably sneak through to the final
I’ve heard this song several times and besides that “Ciuto Tuto” line I couldn’t tell for the life of me the melody or something else about this song. I like the Ciuto Tuto part, but the rest is so forgettable. She seems like a fun, nice person tho!
This is the “little ballad that could” for me. Man, I thought it was a total snoozefest in the first few rounds of PIN. Even after the final, I wasn’t sold, but that new hook has grown on me and grown on me. It’s catchy and has surprising emotional pull. I find myself rooting for it. It’s hanging out just outside of my top ten. 7/10
She sings well and the song is not bad, but nothing special. Not my cup of tea.
MEZING+ / megusta / medaigual / meh.
12th place: LITHUANIA: ‘Stay’ is rather heart-warming and pleasant to listen to. The melancholic but hopeful feel of the song is nice and has immediate impact. The folk influences added are an extra bonus for me. The ‘ciuto tuto’ part adds also a catchy punchline that other similar quiet entries lack. Combine that with Monika’s nice voice that can be showcased through the song and we have a pop-folk song that can be very effective, both considering the televoting and certainly the jury voting. For these reasons I think Lithuania won’t have much trouble qualifying. Maybe the song isn’t among… Read more »
I’ve noticed that this song sits just outside of almost everyone’s top 10. Which means that most people like it enough for it to earn a respectable place, but not enough to come close to the zone of songs that a person would vote for. I am certain the juries will vote for this song a lot if it reaches the final, but the semi is televote only. Nevertheless, I do feel that first-time viewers might be have a good enough first impression to vote for it, also given the favourable running order position.
I do actually think there’s a small pocket of fans who rate this amongst their favourites so yeah, I do believe there will be somewhat of a televote and, obviously, the Lithuanians themselves are almost always motivated to vote.
As you said though, I think juries are going to love this. Every year, we have one song that bizarrely does better in terms of grand final positions than what they got in the semi final, and Lithuania seems a good candidate for that role this year, especially given the voting changes.
And these unpredictable ranks are one of the reasons why Eurovision is exciting 🙂 . Glad we have rated Lithuania similarly!
24) Lithuania – There’s just something really warm and calming about this song. Monika gives a great performance (though I didn’t like her outfit in the NF, but that’s neither here nor there) and the backing singers work really well especially during the ?i?to T?to parts. I have it as a borderline qualifier and hopefully folks will latch onto it more. 6/10
Would definitely be happier if they gave her an elegant dress to wear. In the national final, she was sort of dressed as an NPC from a Sci-Fi role-playing game or something.