Eurovizija, the epic Lithuanian selection process comes to its penultimate round today. Heat 4 – of 5 – sees 11 hopefuls perform for judges and viewers alike, with the idea that they just may be the act that will represent the Baltic nation at the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest. Most importantly, they all dream of making history and being the act to score Lithuania’s first win! One thing to note here is that two acts dropped out of the competition before performing, so what was to be 13 singers tonight, becomes 11, and everyone’s chances get a little bit better. Ruslanas Kirilkinas and
Soliaris were the acts in question. You can read more about that here.
The show begins at 20:00 CET and you are encouraged to watch it live on the LRT feed. If you’d like to watch more than one show today, try out ESC+Plus Live Feeds. The buzz around the Eurovizija acts this year is very high. The bar has certainly been risen and tweaks to the rules and format are encouraging for the artists, fans, and judges…well, some of them. The dragon-tongue, Ramunas Zilnys, is again the judge who will cut straight through the fluff to tell it like it is. LRT Opus, Darius Uzkuraitis, also rejoins the judging panel, and sees singer P. Meškėla and the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra Chief Conductor, Gintaras Rinkevičius, join us for the evening. The judges watched the performances earlier in the week and have doled out their coveted scores. This is a recap of their commentary.
- Elvina Milkauskaitė “Try”
The singer who started out the evening, probably wish she hadn’t followed her song’s title. The judges were less than impressed with the song, written by a foreign writer, something that is a relatively new addition to the contest. Rinkevičius noted the singer’s multiple attempts to rep her country, but said her ‘hopes and dreams collapsed’ with the song. Judge Meškėla did pay a compliment to the backing vocalists and the performance. Elvina will no doubt “Try” again.
- Julija Jegorova “Higher”
With the hope that the title of the next song would raise the level of the room, fate played an awful joke on us all. Jegorova was showered with one of the worst critiques of the night, even if she didn’t place last with the judges. Less the fault of the singer, Zilnys thought this song on a Eurovision stage would have been a “crooked fantasy.” Uzkuraitis commented that he knew more of Jegorova, but this wasn’t the vehicle that was going to take her….“Higher.”
- Evaldas Vaikasas “Fire Kisses”
Evaldas finally stoked the flames a bit with his song. Zilnys, in a more favorable moment, said the singer’s vocal timbre was good, though the camera angles could be worked on. He felt it was a ‘Eurovision’ song. Meškėla also favored the singer’s voice, but did comment that the song seemed to be a tad formulaic.
- Neringa Šiaudikytė “Running Out of Time”
Neringa is no stranger to the judges, having appeared before them many times. Rinkevičius pointed out the song was similar to the others that Neringa had presented in previous years with the composer, but it did have a good effect on him, even if he felt the climax could be adjusted for a better effect. Uzkuraitis also made a nod to composer Vytautas Bikus, and felt that overall the effort was worthy of a move to the next round.
- Vlad Max “I’ll Never Let You Down”
Vlad did let the judges down, vocally. Zilnys was ever quick to cut to the chase. He said Vlad lacked the voice to make a journey to Eurovision, even if the singer had the ambition to do it, wrapping up by saying that a Vlad-lead delegation would only end in upset for Lithuania. In an epic pile-on, Meškėla also cautioned that just because someone wants to sing for their country, they should probably think twice about whether their voice is even worthy of going on the stage.
Shiny Raia “All You”
LRT man Uzkuraitis parted the clouds a bit after hearing Shiny Raia. He exclaimed that the singer was his revelation of this year’s fresh faces saying, “Do I like? Yes, very much. Do [I] think that such a song can go to Eurovision? Hardly, I think it is – too much alternative.” The classically-minded Rinkevičius wasn’t as intrigued by the composition’s funk, feeling like it was too much experimentation. Zilnys took glee in the thought of the perplexed audiences of Europe trying to sing along with the song, pining for an audience cam should the song be chose for Lithuania.
- Alanas Chošnau “7 Days”
Zilnys switched tones for this one, saying the song was easily a “hit.” Uzkuraitis praised the song: “This is…a very cool pop song. I liked that song immediately began with the chorus,” and felt it was very memorable because of that choice. Meškėla echoed that Alanas had a strong performance as well. The whole package.
- Valerija Iljinaitė “You Made Me Glow”
Her song did not add much “Glow” to Valerija this evening, leaving some judges disappointed to not see the singer fully showing her talents. Zilnys said the song was “pretty standard” not in a good way. “You amazingly beautiful deep voice...You are my discovery,” said Uzkuraitis, bizarrely continuing his night of ‘discoveries.’
- Queens of Roses “Fisherman”
Zilnys faced the team of composers and proclaimed, “complete nonsense,” in response to the lyrics of “Fisherman,” followed up with a joke that this writer can only imagine is lost in the translation of Lithuanian colloquialisms about farms and fish. Zilnys was pleased with it though, so it must have been biting. These girls will probably be sent back to the song pond.
- Audrius Janonis “Run”
“I think you still need to learn.” said Rinkevičius, even if he felt the song was acceptable enough to move to the next round. He tasked Audrius with working on ‘cleanliness and professionalism’ for further appearances. Uzkuraitis had the oddest comments of the night claiming the song was strange being sung by a male, but maybe it was is age.
- Aistė Pilvelytė “I’m Like a Wolf”
In this land of the great white wolf, returning performer Aistė had debuted in the Eurovizija format last year, to high accolades. She was the predator, is search of higher levels of distinction. With the help of Latvian songstress, Aminata, who scored in the top 10 in Eurovision 2015 AND who is credited with turning around Latvia’s Eurovision mojo, Aistė had the song. She also had a cold. Meškėla expressed admiration for the singer’s perseverance, for performing ill, as well as her talent, commenting how hard it is to make gains when previous feats were already high. Uzkuraitis didn’t seem to notice the singer’s cold affecting her voice calling the song an ‘interesting piece.’ Zilnys confirmed that Aistė was the one to beat this evening, cold and all, commenting that the song was intriguing. He further mused that it would be ‘unfortunate’ for the song to not progress further because he was very interested in how the performance would evolve around said song. No surprises here, Ms. Pilvelytė walked out of the evening with the judges’ 12 points. That Aminata is good for business. Damn!
Do you love tonight’s judges’ favorite? Are you rooting for someone else in Eurovizija Heat 4? Let us know in the comments!
Source : LRT