After just two eliminations from Round 3, Eurovizijos, the Lithuanian National Final Series began of the second phase of Eurovizijos, as we’ll be seeing performers who qualified from the first two rounds, in an effort to further scrutinize the field as we narrow down to our winner. The surprising and visually stunning show will air today on LRT at 20:00 CET.
Acting as the Lithuanian jury this time was Darius Užkuraitis, Nomeda Kazlaus, Ramūnas Zilnys, and Kazimieras Šiaulys. While the international jury members included Peter Freudenthaler, Syron, and Karl Frierson. After the televote and international jury scores are added to the already cast Lithuanian scores, the top eight entries will then advance in the competition.
- Catrinah “Be Free” – 6 points – The songwriter and arranger came under fire for this lead song, but the performer was congratulated for being better the second time round and for adding more of a performance to the effort – make your own conclusions about the new stage outfit
- Erica Jennings “Leading Me Home” – 10 points – The veteran songstress was again given heaps of praise for this ballad, which seems to capture the moment in Europe, which the judges think would do well when shown to the rest of the countries at Eurovision
- Behind the Moon “Did It All” – 5 points – A bit of a surprise qualifier from the earlier rounds, the band took steps to accommodate the judges’ critiques, but still ended up ‘in need of a good stage director’ according to one judge
- Alice Way “Hero” – 4 points – Seemingly everyone thought, ‘Lana Del Rey’, and not in a good way, as the performer was told by the judges they couldn’t find anything to distinguish performance one from two, nothing positive anyway
- Rūta Ščiogolevaitė “United” – 12 points – Rūta seemed to benefit quite well from her second performance as she received overwhelmingly positive remarks which saw her leap past the similar act in Jennings, and placed her squarely facing down the leader of the show
- Valdas Lacko “Stay Tonight” – 5 points – Another sort of conundrum for the judges, Valdas was reviewed fairly averagely last time, but was highly popular with the television audience, and used that to boost his confidence to seemingly get more praise from the judges, but they again left him at the bottom needing an audience life raft should he want to continue
- Petunija “Tomorrow” – 5 points – The judges weren’t feeling this electronic song that seemed to not give them the ‘explosion’ they were looking for, and Petunija was also given some vocal criticisms for tonight as well
- Donny Montell “I’ve Been Waiting for This Night” – 12 points – The aforementioned leader of the show, Donny was always the one with the most to lose, and while some judges seemed to gush over the Eurovision veteran, one judge clearly laid down the smack by calling the song unoriginal and not on the level of his last entry “Love Is Blind”
- Eglė Jakštytė “Let Me Show You” – 7 points – Switching tongues from Lithuanian to English, Eglė found favor with the judges for the choice, and only received a critique for needing some more dancers or staging to help with visuals
- Ištvan Kvik & Ellada “Please Don’t Cry” – 8 points – The next duo played up the romance of being a duo, and were also assisted by Cirque-du-Soleil acrobats, but didn’t really offer the judges much on the musical end of things, getting tasked with being better vocally
Montell’s camp probably had quite the night. Going in Erica probably seemed like the most competition he would have and being the audience favored him in the televote from Round 1, that probably wasn’t a hurdle they were to concerned about jumping over on their track to Eurovision. Then something happened. The Lithuanian judges who seemed to at least be mostly supportive of him (they only offered minor criticism about the author’s non-Lithuanian heritage) turned in a sense, to be a bit dismissive of his song and Rūta was put not behind him, but on the same level as him in terms of their point-giving. Will his national support base be eroded by the comments of the judges? Did tunnel vision not sense Rūta’s injection at his side?
It will be very interesting on Saturday to see if Montell shows any concern in the video presented to us. He remains a popular star in Lithuania, who vaulted over Jennings in Round 1 due to their votes. It would be understandable to expect the same support come Saturday, but will the public find Rūta Ščiogolevaitė to be quite the revelation that the judges are seeing?
One thing is certain, you’ll only know if you watch today!