Ever since Lithuanian band The Roop announced their return to the national pre-selection to represent Lithuania at the Eurovision Song Contest 2023, the country has seen its chances of winning the contest rise with the bookies. Despite the hype surrounding The Roop — or maybe because of it — other artists have been eyeing the recently rebranded national final Eurovizija.lt. In an interview with the newspaper Žmonės (People), the French-born singer and songwriter Antoine Wend expressed his intentions of submitting an entry.
Antoine burst onto the Lithuanian music scene back in 2021 when he and Mindaugas Pundzius and formed a duo called ‘Mando’ and took part in the Lithuanian adaptation of X Factor. The duo quickly attracted attention not only because of their talents but also because of the fact that while having no previous connection to Lithuania, Antoine auditioned alongside Mindaugas only after having met him 5 days earlier. Despite this recent connection, the Lithuanian and French collaboration kept on receiving the most votes from the public at home week after week, including the final where they gathered almost 28,000 votes. ‘Mando’ consists of Antoine (vocals) and Mindaugas (piano). Antoine covered Gjon’s Tears’ ‘T’out l’Univers’, which you can listen to below.
Ever since winning the X Factor Lithuania, Antoine has attracted attention in his homeland as well. But he decided to continue sharing his music with Lithuanian audiences. While promoting his new solo music he expressed his interest in representing Lithuania at Eurovision if not this year, then in the next few. He sees it as a great opportunity to introduce his music to more people and to perform on one of the biggest stages in the world. Antoine has teased his fans by releasing new songs every month leading to his album release next March, including a few options that he’s considered for Eurovizija.lt.
However, this is not his first connection to Eurovision, as ‘Mando’ was an opening act for Barbara Pravi’s concert in Lithuania in May 2023. Antoine has expressed his admiration for the talent of the Eurovision 2021 runner-up, saying: “This is an incredible opportunity to perform my words, melodies, arising from my feelings and emotions to the audience. I can’t wait to sing and share my story with people, in which as many people as possible will be able to recognize themselves”. You can watch the backstage video of the concert below.
What do you think about this X Factor winner’s attempt to represent Lithuania? Do you think there’s anyone who can compete for the ‘Eurovizija.lt’ trophy against The Roop? Let us know in the comments!