Last month, LRT announced the 23 acts that will take part in Lithuania’s national final for Eurovision 2021. However, since the announcement, two acts have withdrawn from the selection.
At present, it is not known if LRT will be replacing these two acts to bring the number of participants back up to the intended 23. However, with the first heat due to take place next week (January 16), it is unlikely. The Roop, the winners of last year’s edition, have been granted a pass to the final with their entry “Discoteque”.
Gintarė Korsakaitė cancelled her application
The first act to announce their withdrawal was Gintarė Korsakaitė, who informed ESC Portugal that she will not be competing in the selection after all. In fact, she had intended to withdraw her application ahead of the announcement, however, the list of participants was published before she had withdrawn.
I was going to participate but then I canceled the application. However, the information will not have arrived in time and the article was launched.Gintarė Korsakaitė speaking to ESC Portugal
LRT has yet to confirm that Gintarė will not be competing in Pabandom iš Naujo! or whether a different act will get her place in the selection instead.
Evelina Sašenko withdrew due to restrictions
Evelina Sašenko, who represented Lithuania in 2011, was the second act to withdraw. She gave COVID-19-related restrictions as her reasoning behind the withdrawal:
When I came up with the request to participate, the situation was different. Now everything is complicated, even leaving home is not easy. I live on the outskirts of Trakai, the police are standing near the house, even when going to the store you need to show documents. I realized that in such circumstances, when there are a couple of weeks before filming, I will not be able to properly prepare for the selection, rehearse. And if you are already going to Eurovision, you need to take it seriously.Evelina Sašenko explaining her withdrawal
However, fans of Evelina will be glad to know that she is not ruling out returning to the selection in the future:
I certainly do not give up the idea of trying our hand at selection in the future. This year would be a beautiful anniversary – I participated in Eurovision ten years ago. After that, I said for several years that I would never go there again, but now I feel that I want to try again.Evelina Sašenko stating her intention to come back in the future
She has also revealed that she was due to compete with the song “We Are Strong” and its Lithuanian version “Malda”. She will still release the song despite her withdrawal.
A piece about these strange times, about this situation. About the elements of life. I will definitely present the song, but later.Evelina Sašenko on her withdrawn entry
Lithuania at the Eurovision Song Contest
Lithuania first entered the contest in 1994 with “Lopšinė mylimai” by Ovidijus Vyšniauskas, which finished in last place with zero points. This remains the only time ‘nil points’ has been scored by a debut nation.
Last year, in Tel Aviv, Jurijus Veklenko sang “Run With The Lions” and placed 11th in the semi-final with 93 points, narrowly missing out on the grand final. This year, in Rotterdam, would have been the Baltic nation’s 21st Eurovision appearance, if the contest hadn’t been cancelled.
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