After five qualifying rounds the first of two semi-finals was aired by LRT in Lithuania tonight. Four acts will qualify from each semi-final via a combination of audience and jury voting and tonight, nine acts were competing for one of these four places in the national final of Eurovizijos.
This is the eighth of ten shows in total leading up to the Lithuanian final on December 22. After five heats, thirty-nine songs have been narrowed down to eighteen for the semi-finals. Now it is time for the first semi-final show that was recorded last Thursday. Four of the nine participants will qualify for the final thanks to the votes of the jury and the audience, in a proportion of 50% each.
1. Gerai Gerai & Miss Sheep – War In The Wardrobe
They came to this semifinal as a well-deserved wildcard although their song was well accepted by the fans being third in the televoting at the quarter-final. The lead singer was wearing the same pink dress from the previous show. On stage there were also a drummer who wore a pink shirt, a golden vest and blue trousers and four female dancers dressed in black with blue and brown skirts and crowns of flowers in their hair. The staging was quite similar to what we saw earlier. The only notable difference were the images that were displayed on the LED screens at the beginning of the performance that simulated two people in a closet. Their song have an interesting electropop style with an excellent vocal performance and good placement on stage, but they do not have it easy to get a place in the final.
2. Neringa Šiaudikytė – Used To Be
She seems to have a legion of fans who voted for her and allowed her to reach the semifinal beating other similar but better produced and better presented songs. Tonight, she wore a very sexy black jumpsuit with sparkling blue lines in the waist area. As accessories she wore a large necklace and bracelet. She repeated staging with an effectively choreography together with three male dancers. In the background on each of the sides of the stage were two female singers dressed in black. Neringa looks confident on stage, but her performance is too predictable as it is just what you are expecting from an electropop song. She has nothing that makes her stand out from the others.
3. Gabrielius Vagelis – Sacrifice
This could be one of the best songs of the competition and tonight it was very well presented by Gabrielius. There are several elements to consider here such as his engaging voice, his charisma and a good stage presence that surely appeals to the audience. For this performance he was he was accompanied on stage by three backing singers and all of them, including Gabrielius, were wearing an elegant outfit all in black. The only drawback so this midtempo ballad might not be the winner is because he has two songs in the same semi-final and the votes of his fans could be divided. Who knows what will happen.
4. Saulės Broliai – Loreen
It is the kind of songs you may love or hate. The arrangements are excellent whereas the lyrics is hideous, but both the Lithuanian audience and jury liked it, maybe thinking that it would please the Swedes. The five members of the band wore gray suits, white shirts and maroon bows, ties or neckerchiefs. Their instruments were decorated with a kind of white and maroon flowers. Their performance was really good and, with different lyrics, this song would be an interesting entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. So far, it is bound to be at the national final.
5. Elvina Milkauskaitė – Closer
The jury did not like much Elvina’s song giving her only five points, in other words, the lowest score but she got her spot directly to the semifinal thanks to the televoting. Her song has nothing special or memorable and the strong point here is just the chorus which gets to stay in your mind as you listen to it. She wore a short gray dress and with her on stage were three female backing singers dressed alike in black dresses. Her performance is good and of course she is a great singer but she should not get the same result at this round.
6. Andrius Pojavis – Something
His staging tonight has been quite different from what we had seen previously. He has left his elegant outfit and his top hat to wear something more casual. He was wearing a navy blue sweater with elbow patches, a gray scarf, gray pants and sneakers. During the first quarter-final he did very well with his song but the musical quality of the other competitors at this round is higher and he does not have much chance.
7. Timohi – Time For Life
Here are those that could be the biggest opponents of Saulės Broliai. These twins have a fun style and also they have a great folk song. About their staging, there is no difference from their messy performance a few weeks ago. As always, they five were playing their hand-made musical instruments and wearing the same colorful attire.
8. Ieva Zasimauskaitė & Gabrielius Vagelis – I Fall In Love
Here we have another Gabrielius’ song and it is as good as the previous one and of course it also deserves a place in the final. The chemistry between the two singers is excellent and their voices match perfectly. Absolutely no difference in the staging of what we saw in the quarterfinals with the same casual clothes, same three backing singers and the same choreography. The whole staging is good and all the elements combine right with the style of the song and the feeling they sure want to convey to the viewers.
9. Božolė – Happy And Free
This is a song that can reach different audiences although it is aimed at a younger audience. That is why its results may be impaired by being presented just after another teen pop song. They arrived to the semifinal thanks to the votes of the jury who chose them instead of the rock band Eden. It is not the strongest song of this round and it is far from an original staging but they have a great vocal quality. Tonight we could listen to that the harmony of their voices has some glitches when the boys do the backing vocals, mostly out of the chorus, but the two main singers are absolutely great. They were dressed in casual clothes with a youthful style and it is nice to see the good atmosphere that is among all of them on stage.
The show started at 20:00 CET and the opening act of the night was in charge of two young female dancers who performed a choreography to Lena‘s 2010 Eurovision winning song Satellite.
As usual, Andrius Rožickas was our host in this first semi-final that took place in the same set than the earlier qualifying rounds.
The last three qualifiers from the fifth heat that took place last week were announced and they are Monika Linkytė, DAR and El Fuego.
addition, the professional juries gave another chance for three more
acts that had not made it to the semi-finals. The three jury wildcards
that make up the eighteen names taking part in the Lithuanian
semi-finals are Giedrė Smolskaitė, Sophie and Gerai Gerai & Miss Sheep.
Each of the artists tonight came into the set in running order as usual with the 2006 Lithuanian entry We Are The Winners by LT United in the background. On the screen you could see the number that the audience would have to use for the televoting and, from that moment, they could start voting for their favourites.
After some of the commercial breaks (which were more than the usual for a two-hour television program) we could enjoy other dance performances of Eurovision winner hits such as Elena Paparizou‘s My Number One, Dima Bilan‘s Believe or Ell & Nikki‘s Running Scared by the two women from the opening act and two male dancers who joined them.
From time to time we could see the televoting standings real time allowing us to guess what could be the final result although these positions were varying depending on the performances of each of the artists.
The audience could vote during tonight’s show and the jury will give their points afterwards. The televoting results were as follows (the four with more votes are in bold):
Gerai Gerai & Miss Sheep – 1712 votes = 12 points
Neringa Šiaudikytė – 1236 votes = 8 points
Gabrielius Vagelis – 270 votes = 3 points
Saulės Broliai – 239 votes = 2 points
Elvina Milkauskaitė – 1434 votes = 10 points
Andrius Pojavis – 1129 votes = 6 points
Timohi – 951 votes = 5 points
Ieva Zasimauskaitė & Gabrielius Vagelis – 1149 votes = 7 points
Božolė – 157 votes = 4 points
The four most voted will qualify for the national final to take place on December 22. These finalists will be announced probably next Thursday when the second semi-final is going to be recorded.
Lithuania at the Eurovision Song Contest:
After its debut at the contest in 1994 Lithuania have participated a total of 13 times. Aside from a much surprising 6th place in 2006 the country is not exactly use to the top positions. When Donny Montell scored 70 points at the 2012 contest in Baku, Azerbaijan and thereby secured himself a 13th position with the song Love Is Blind that was the best Lithuania had achieved since 2006.
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