LRT the national broadcaster of Lithuania has announced plans to overhaul the format for Eurovizijos Atranka 2020. These include less shows and more investment for the road to Rotterdam.
Eurovizijos Atranka undergoes revamp
With FiKmas and a new season fast approaching, Lithuania is next to confirm their Eurovision 2020 selection plans. In doing so LRT has confirmed numerous changes to the longest format in the Eurovision calendar. This had already been suggested following the contest in Tel Aviv earlier this May. Over the years Eurovizijos has gained a reputation for its lengthy and often times, convoluted process. Now it’s being condensed and modernised to make it more accessible to viewers and a wider range of interested artists.
Rules for 2020 selection:
- A reduced format of six shows, from January to mid-February. Thus an earlier selection than usual. Following the trend in creating a more manageable process after the decrease in shows for 2018 and 2019.
- Only one song per artist. Again this is to avoid over-complicating the format. Whereby in the past artists have been able to swap songs or take part with multiple songs. Such as the situation which saw Monika Marija pay a fine for withdrawing ‘Criminal’ in the 2019 selection.
- More jury transparency. The jury will watch the performances in a separate studio. Usually they watch the show in a side screening room near the main studio audience. Also the jury will comment intermittently and not after every performance.
- More voting transparency. Typically the televoting opens at the start of the show, with regular updates throughout. However this year the televote scoreboard will only appear at the end of the show. Thus allowing viewers to be free in their voting, without knowing the effect it’s having during the show.
- For further impartiality, the voting in every show will be verified by an auditing company.
- On winning selection, the chosen act will have additional investment from LRT. This will fund staging, vocal lessons, directing, costume and other logistical and technical support.
- The song submission period opens 30th September and will close on 8th December.
These changes were presented to LRT by a focus group with leading producers and managers in the Lithuanian music industry. The 2020 selection will be coordinated using a working group led by Gytis Oganauskas, Deputy Director General of LRT. As well as Audrius Giržadas, Producer and Head of Delegation.
We are shortening the selection for the sake of quality, with more carefully selected, more professionally presented works.Gytis Oganauskas, (Deputy Director General of LRT).
Lithuania in the Eurovision Song Contest
Lithuania debuted at the contest in 1994. Their first entrant, Ovidijus Vyšniauskas with the song ‘Lopšinė mylimai‘, finished last with nil points. However, this didn’t deter them from continuing; they have participated every year since 2004.
The semi-final era has seen some mixed results. With Lithuania’s best finish coming in 2006 with LT United’s ‘We Are The Winners‘. Despite the title, LT United could only manage 6th. Lithuania’s only other top 10 came in 2016, when Donny Montell finished 9th with ‘I’ve Been Waiting For This Night‘. Overall, Lithuania has qualified in 9 out of 15 attempts since the introduction of the semi-finals.
Last year in Lisbon, Ieva Zasimauskaitė and her emotional ballad ‘When We’re Old‘ took Lithuania to the Grand Final and the left-hand side of the leaderboard, finishing in 12th place. Unfortunately, Jurij was unable to replicate this success this year. However, it has since come to light that his journey may have been unfairly cut short. It turns out that, based on the correct points totals, Lithuania should have qualified over Denmark in semi-final two.
What do you think of the changes to Eurovizijos Atranka? Do you have a favourite Lithuanian entry? Let us know in the comments and on social media @ESCXTRA