Lithuania: It’s semi-final time in Vilnius!

It’s the penultimate Eurovizija episode! Did you make it here in once piece? Well, 8 singers did at least. Today you will see the performances of the remaining contestants and the judge’s thoughts on the performancesand it shakes up the field a bit going into the final. The show starts at 20:00 CET on LRT, the national broadcaster of Lithuania.

Ramunas Zilnys and Darius Uzkuraitis, Dalia Ibelhauptaite and Paul Meškėla are the sitting judges for this all-important round of the Eurovizija season. The big decision here is not to get rid of songs that aren’t good enough, it’s the tricky decision to try to pick the best of the best to represent Lithuania. To that end, they have given their comments:

  • Sasha Song “Never Felt Like This Before”

Uzkuraitis still felt the visuals could be improved upon, but did feel as if Sasha was a deserving finalist, and very ready to represent his country again. Ibelhauptaite and Zilnys both agreed the song was a strong piece, but also felt that there were a few elements that could be improved upon. Scoring 6 points, Sasha could make the final, but it is unlikely that he will be going to Kiev.

  • Ieva Zasimauskaitė “You Saved Me”

Ending up on the bottom of this group isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is a pitiable situation. Zilnys summed up the sentiments of the room saying that Ieva deserved to make it this far in the competition, and while the other judges did agree in some fashion, Ieva’s entry just didn’t match up to the rising tide of quality at this point in Eurovizija, scoring just 3 points.

  • Paula “Let U Go”

Paula received quite a show of appreciation from the audience and the judges, deservedly. Dalia summed up the judges’ feelings: she liked the performance and singer, but expected something more, something new to keep the performance fresh. Meškėla agreed, and both hoped to see more of this young singer in the coming years. Scoring 4 points, Paula could continue to the final, but it’s unlikely that even something new would send her to Kiev, but as the judges said about Aistė last year, the first time in Eurovizija can lead to good things.

  • Aistė Pilvelytė “I’m Like a Wolf”

Speaking of Miss Pilvelytė, a clear front-runner for much of the season, but almost deliberately, the judges seemed to cast a deep shadow on this performance going into the final. Zilnys used a metaphor of “waiting for the main show” to express that he seemed to be looking for something extra in this performance as they were in Paula’s. Ibelhauptaite again mentioned the singer’s facial expressions when conveying the wolf-like transformation saying she didn’t like them nor felt they were necessary for the audience to get the message or feeling of the song. Given 10 points for the first time in any Eurovizija show, Aistė is not the lead going into the broadcast.

  • Kotryna Juodzevičiūtė “Love Shadow”

If Paula and Aistė didn’t do what the judges felt was necessary, Zilnys felt like Kotryna did. The choreography, vocal, and visuals were all tweaked from earlier performances, proving that there is something to peaking at the right time. Meškėla felt the singer had “both power and strength” in her performance was quite pleased. The only female judge, Ibelhauptaite love the girl power Kotryna had on display. “Today, the song blew up. You…were absolutely sure you were, what you are, a thousand percent. It was the best performance today.” Kotryna finds herself vaulting over a number of her competitors into third position with 8 points. Well done.

  • Fusedmarc “Rain of Revolution”

Maybe Eurovizija’s dark horse of 2017, Fusedmarc, never seemed to shine as brightly or loudly as some of the others, but a pocketful of sequined surprises and doing the right things at the right time certainly made them Uzkuraitis’ favorite song of the year. Ibelhauptaite gushed over the unique vocal of the main vocalist, while Zilnys praised the backing singers. “Rain of Revolution” may have just made a strong case for winning the tickets to Eurovision, scoring the coveted 12 points.

  • Gabrielius Vagelis “Feel Myself Free”

Another competitor who was at least trying to give the judges something new, Gabrielius….cut his hair! Zilnys was still dubious about the song, even if Gabrielius’ voice is something of a gem. So great even, that Meškėla felt as though the backing singers were bad enough to actually detract from the performance…enough to make him angry about it. Judge Ibelhauptaite praised the singer for being a bridge between the Lithuanian and Eurovision music scenes. Even if he won’t be the 2017 candidate, she felt he was going to be representing his country eventually. Scoring just 5 points, he’s on the bubble for the present year.

  • Greta Zazza “Like I Love You”

Seemingly sitting in a comfortable position 2 for the year, Greta split the panel with her performance, scoring 7 points. Ibelhauptaite had seemingly soured on Greta’s performance, being at one time curious, but now feeling like the group of dancers and singer were more of a mess on stage. Zilnys didn’t mind the choreography, but felt the vocal this go around was a bit flat. Uzkuraitis, being much more classically-minded, was unsure of the continued appeal of the very modern, very now, song, leaving Meškėla the minority in the thumbs-mostly-up side of the argument. Despite some harsh criticisms, she remains in the top half of the contestants, probably at least getting a chance to redeem herself with the judges.

So Fusedmarc capitalize on the momentum of last week. Aistė is still in it, but Kotryna is the big winner of the week, with a star-making performance that people will be buzzing about for a while in Lithuania. May he be able to take advantage of that to win? Who knows. Six will move on to the final, with the bottom two of the judges’ scores most likely setting up their bottom two as the ones to go unless the televote really shakes things up. In the strongest year Eurovizija has ever had, what a final it will be! Each of the top six songs will be easily receiving high points in Kiev, giving Lithuania their best chances of scoring a win.

Remember to watch this entertaining installment of Eurovizija at 20:00 CET on the LRT feed or on our ESC+Plus Live Feeds.

Let us know who your favorites are!

About Derrick Schiff (USA)

Derrick Schiff (USA)
One of those rare creatures, the American Eurovision fans, I found the Eurovision pool and dived in head first. More knowledgeable about the current years, I'm excited to watch as Eurovision evolves into the credible launching platform for the finest pop acts in Europe and the World.

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