The opening show of Lithuania’s lengthy 2016 selection process was broadcast tonight with 5 acts proceeding onwards and 3 being eliminated. Will Erica or Donny last the pace or will Lithuania be sending a new act to represent them in Stockholm?
As previously reported, this show featured 8 artists who have already presented a song to Lithuanian state broadcaster LRT. All acts have to be Lithuanian but an exception was made for Erica Jennings who has been married to a Lithuanian citizen for many years.
Alice Way – Heroes
Alice opened the show looking like a real-life Ariel with her red hair and stylish silver/black mermaid type dress. Alice sang a very modern song with no connection to last year’s winning song. The appearance was very Debrah Scarlett-like and the song a very upbeat type of ballad, akin to Birdy. This would make an appealing entry for Lithuania.
Dovydas Petrosius – Starlight
This was a more upbeat song than Alice’s, more in line with previous entry Something. More in the pop dance vein. Dovydas was joined by two backing singers in flowing black skirts.. The song has a Sinplus/Litesound vibe but didn’t seem to impress the juries quite so much.
Behind The Moon – Did It All
The four piece, three male, one female, group presented a more guitar-driven rock-type sound, very much like Georgia’s One More Day. The lead singer, dressed in leather, ended the song on the floor while two male dancers wrapped her in two flags.
Erica Jennings – Leading Me Home
Despite just being interviewed, Erica showed no nerves and was in fine voice. A gospel-type intro led into a very inspirational-type song which she sang with 4 backing vocalists accompanied by a piano player. After the performance, she shot to the top of the scoreboard.
Elena Jurgaityte – I Won’t Come Back
Electronic beats led the blonde Elena through a down-beat dance number. She was accompanied by three male dancers wearing clown masks.
Vlad Max – Don’t Wanna Let It Go
Poor Vlad seemed to be the least experienced performer tonight as he fumbled his way, totally out of tune, through an eighties-type dance number. This performance landed him at the bottom of the scoreboard.
Petunija – Tomorrow
A lilting airy fairy type of new-age song with occasional uplift beats would best describe this song if you can imagine. Petunija along with Erica chose to wear black. The performance pushed her to second place on the scoreboard
Donny Montell – I’ve Been Waiting For This Night
A slightly nervous start for Donny, perhaps he was missing the eye mask, but he soon gained confidence as he continued with this very good pop power ballad. This must stand a good chance of going to Stockholm.
The show was hosted by Andrius Rožickas and Gerūtai Griniūtei and took place in LRT’s TV studios. LRT describes Andrius as professional and humorous, while Gerūtai is complemented for her elegance. Gerūtai opened the show by playing Te Deum on the piano, to the audience’s delight.
After introducing the judges, the scoreboard appeared with the numbers for the public to vote. The scoreboard was shown constantly throughout the show. A short video introduced all the artists before each of their performances. After Behind the Moon’s performance, Donny And Erica were interviewed, when they revealed no nastiness between them. The scoreboard at that time placed Alice Way in the lead. After the interview, Donny’s score increased. There was no interval act and, after the reprise, the show went straight to the results.
An international jury consisting of Peter Freudenthaler, the lead singer of the German band Fools Garden, Denis Ingoldsby, the British producer, and musician Dave Holmes also gave its votes, combined and listed as ‘I’ below.
Prior to the broadcast, LRT published the national jury results. The jury was made up of a 4-person panel, Dalia Michelevičiūtė, Ramūnas Zilnys, Darius Užkuraitis and Donatas Ulvydas. Their results are reflected in the “J” column.
Finally, the public’s votes were translated to the 12-3 point scale – ‘P’ below. The top 5 acts will continue their journey.
|Behind The Moon||8||7||7||22||3|
Lithuania in the Eurovision Song Contest:
Lithuania has appeared in the contest 16 times with 6 male soloists, 3 female, 5 groups and 2 duos. They made their debut in 1994 with Ovidijus Vyšniauskas performing the song Lopšinė mylimai (Lullaby for my Beloved). Sadly the song received the infamous zero points and Lithuania stayed away from the contest until 1999 when Aiste opened the Israeli hosted show with the song Strazdas (Song Thrush). Having been placed 20th, Lithuania then skipped the following year and returned in 2001 with SKAMP and You’ve Got Style, who gave the country their best result to date coming 13th. Aivaras with Happy You returned Lithuania to the lower placing of 23rd in 2002 and the country dropped out again the following year.
The country returned in 2004 and have been competing each year since then. In this period, they have only been placed in the Top 10 once, with We Are The Winners by LT United in 2004. Enjoy that clip again in the video further below.
All of Lithuania’s songs have been sung in English since 2001 but, unlike some other countries, this does not seem to be helping them reach the upper echelons of the scoreboard. Since the introduction of the semi finals, Lithuania has failed to qualify on 5 separate occasions, the last time being with the EMD influenced track Attention by Vilija.
Donny Montell, one of the favourites this year, gave Lithuania their best result in a semi final in 2012 when he was placed 3rd, finally reaching 14th place in the Baku Final with Love Is Blind. To date, this is Lithuania’s 3rd best placing.