After years of a drawn-out and bloated format, this year saw Lithuania present one of the most consistent and polished selections of the year. This was achieved whilst still maintaining that distinct Lithuanian charm that we know and love. This means that we will be going into a final where half of the line-up could realistically have a path to victory. In this editorial, we break down the four-horse race the selection has turned out to be…
The story so far…
This year, LRT’s selection for Eurovision underwent a rebrand. The slogan for this year’s competition is Pabandom iš naujo, which translates to ‘Let’s Try Again’. Previously Eurovizijos Atranka, a producer of the show commented last year that they were in it to win it for 2020.
[Lithuania’s best result is in 2006 with ‘We Are The Winners’], so let’s try again and let our representatives go higher this year.
LRT also revealed that the final of their selection will be upscaled, and will be held in the Žalgiris Arena in Kaunas. Following the second and final semi-final of Pabandom iš naujo 2020, we were presented with the eight songs in contention to represent Lithuania in Rotterdam:
- Aistė Pilvelytė – Unbreakable
- Rūta Loop – We Came From The Sun
- KaYra – Alligator
- Monika Marija – If I Leave
- MEANDI – Drip
- The Roop – On Fire
- The Backs – Fully
- Monique – Make Me Human
You can catch up on the shows of the selections to date below:
- 1st Heat (11 January)
- 2nd Heat (18 January)
- 3rd Heat (25 January)
- 1st Semi-Final (1 February)
- 2nd Semi-Final (8 February)
A four-horse race
With Round 6 of Eurovision Prediction underway, it’s only right that we look at who the contenders are for the win on Saturday. The great thing about Lithuania’s selections is that you get to see the voting stats from both the televote and the jury throughout. We LOVE transparency, don’t we? This means that we can see who the true contenders are.
Below, we can see the respective results from four of the finalists – Moniqué, Monika Marija, The Roop and Aistė Pilvelytė:
|Semi 1||Aistė Pilvelytė||“Unbreakable“||12 (56)||10 (2521)||22|
|Semi 1||The Roop||“On Fire“||10 (45)||12 (5192)||22|
|Semi 2||Monika Marija||“If I Leave”||12 (56)||10 (1652)||22|
|Semi 2||Moniqué||“Make Me Human”||10 (54)||12 (2618)||22|
From the table above, you can see clearly why I have called this final a four-horse race (sorry to any Alligator stans reading). We’ve seen close finals many times, but this close? This is frankly bizarre, and makes the final of Pabandom iš naujo 2020 absolutely worth your time.
Breaking it down
From each semi, you can see clearly that there is a jury pick, and a televote pick, with little crossover. If the selection was based purely on televotes, The Roop would win easily, however, their jury score has consistently put this into doubt. This allowed Lithuanian selection veteran Aistè to sneak into first place in semi one. And despite winning the jury vote with a perfect score in her heat, Moniqué’s jury vote didn’t quite match Monika’s in last week’s semi-final despite her televote lead.
The unknown component here is who will come out on top across the board, since the four have never competed in the same show together…until TOMORROW!! How exciting. From a televote perspective, The Roop will likely have a sizeable lead, but this will only convert into 12 points with an almost inevitably lower jury score. This means that whoever of the other three contenders manages to grab those 10 points from the televote would likely snatch the win. However, this also relies in this being the same person to claim either 10 or 12 points from the juries. This is harder to predict since Moniqué, Aistè and Monika have all topped the jury vote at some point in the series. And note, the jury have the deciding vote in the event of a tie…
The unpredictability of where the four entries will fall when pitted against each other, and who a fresh jury line-up will get behind, makes this a nail-biter of a final. By comparison, Jurij and Ieva lead the vote by both counts throughout their respective years, making the 2018 and 2019 selections far less tense. But then again, the year prior in 2017 saw the infamous Fusedmarc win…so you never really know with Lithuanian voting. Regardless, it’s gonna be one hell of a show…
Lithuania at the Eurovision Song Contest
Lithuania made their debut at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994 with Ovidijus Vyšniauskas and his song “Lopšinė mylimai”. It finished in last place with the dreaded nul points. It took Lithuania several years to make the top 10 at Eurovision. Indeed it took them until 2006 to pull off a top 10 finish with a song entitled “We are the Winners”. The song managed to finish in 6th place with 162 points.
Since then, Lithuania have only managed to grace the top 10 on one other occasion – in 2016 with Donny Montell. This year, in Tel Aviv, Lithuania failed to make the final with Jurij Veklenko’s “Run With The Lions”. It placed 11th place in the semi-final with 93 points, just one point away from qualification.
Will you be tuning in tomorrow? Who would you like to see represent Lithuania in Rotterdam? Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter, @escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! Also, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to see our reactions to the news in the run up to Rotterdam!