Lithuania: Eurovizija’s second heat to be aired today

Eurovizija last week cut the first 12 contestants down to 6, and today for round 2, 13 singers will enter the contest with their own songs and compete for the votes of the Lithuanian public as well as a panel of jurors. The program begins at 20:00 CET and you are encouraged to watch it live on the LRT feed. The judges for this episode, singer Darius Uzkuraitis, music commentator Ramunas Zilnys, singer Juste Arlauskaitė/Jazzu, and music critic Kazimierz Šiaulys have already seen the performances of the acts. This is their commentary:

E.G.O. “My Story” (Music: Karolis Šliažas. Lyrics: Vaida Kalkauskaitė)
First up was E.G.O., the boyband who have participated before, and thus have built up a tolerance for the Eurovizijos system. Jazzu gave good praise to the act, saying she had given up hope after last week’s contestants had performed, but that E.G.O. had given her hope again. More praise was given to the band because of the growth and polish they had achieved since last year. Stage presence and conviction being welcome additions to the group. The song was likened to a One Direction sound, in a good way.

Monee “NNN” – Music and lyrics: Elena Jurgaitytė and Viktorija Šatkutė
Monee
was given praise enough to worry fellow female soloist competitors and the song was praised for not only being good, but also for having a Lithuanian pedigree. Detracting from her performance however, was the fact that the video project and her presence on stage didn’t seem to jive for the judges.

Varjetė “My Story” – Music and lyrics: Ylva Persson ir Linda Persson
The second “My Story” song fared worse than the first. The girlband was immediately compared negatively with the boyband because of the similar song title, with the judges pointing out the disparity in the song theme and what was presented on the stage. Judge Zilnys had the most damning criticism, saying that should “all the other contestants got sick and [Varjetė] was the only candidate to represent our country” then “Lithuania will probably decide not to participate in the competition this year at all.”

Gabrielius Vagelis “Feel Free” – Music and lyrics: Gabrielius Vagelis
Gabrielius is no stranger to Eurovizija, and the judges were pleased with his unique style and song. Jazzu claimed it was one of her favorites of the competition. Zilnys praised the song especially saying it sounded like it was from another country, calling it somewhat One Republic-feeling.

Ieva Zasimauskaitė “You Saved Me” – Music and lyrics: Ąžuolas Paulauskas
Ieva’s song sounded to Jazzu like something she had like last year in Eurovizija, but this year she wasn’t entirely sure of its merits, thinking it wasn’t really Eurovision enough. She was praised by the other judges for her look and voice, but was told that her overall performance lacked dynamism on stage.

Rugilė Daujotaitė “Perkūne ugniaveidi” – Music: Tomas Zdanavičius ir Rugilė Daujotaitė. Lyrics: Rugilė Daujotaitė
Marching in with an earthy, tribal look and feel, Rugilė Daujotaitė seemed to be misunderstood by the judges. Jazzu said, “It was so crazy that I just give up” trying to understand it. While Zilnys said it was all over the place and Uzkuraitis called the act “strange” suggesting that, “I think you should refine the idea and think about whether you really need to combine so many things to be independent…” eventually commenting that Rugilė‘s voice was unique.

Mia “Sacrifice” – Music and lyrics: Michael James Down ir William Taylor
Mia arrived on stage in an oversized ornate chair, providing a striking image. Her non-Lithuanian penned song was given high marks. Judge D. Uzkuraitis did say that he felt Mia lost some momentum towards the end of the song. Jazzu made a comment that the accompanying dancers were unnecessary.

Deividas Žygas “Only You” – Music and lyrics: Deividas Žygas
Deividas penned his own song, but as much as the Lithuanian judges root for home-written songs, they didn’t care at all for what Deividas had presented. His voice, song, and staging were all “pretty sad” according to Zilnys.

Rasa Kaušiūtė “Fly” Music and lyrics: Rasa Kaušiūtė
Next Rasa Kaušiūtė fared better with her own original composition. Her voice was hailed as “excellent” and “lush” even if it did seem she was less comfortable nailing the vocal in parts. She was asked to inject more color into the performance.

Gabrielė Vilkickytė “Jūra” – Music: Gabrielė Vilkickytė, Kristupas Jasiulionis. Lyrics: Gabrielė Vilkickytė
Zilnys cut to the point for the next participant. Gabrielė’s song about the sea was not for Eurovision. While he liked the song, it was too far removed in style to the contest. Jazzu did a mini rave about the sing and style, but echoed her fellow judge in that it wasn’t something that she felt would do well at Eurovision.

Laura Steponavičienė (Lawreigna) “Freedom” – Music and lyrics: Philip Bloom
Laura Steponavičien was told she looked great, but the song was not what the judges expected. They seemed to be looking for more of a different sound from the magenta-haired vocalist with her vocals drawing some criticism from the judges as well.

Kotryna Juodzevičiūtė “Love Shadow” – Music: Kaspars Ansons; Richard Ashley Hicklin; Nicolas Moulin. Lyrics: Kaspars Ansons; Richard Ashley Hicklin
It didn’t hurt that Kotryna had been a backing vocalist for Donny Montell last year. The 2016’s winner’s touch and maybe advice helped Kotryna woo the judges quite a bit. The curmudgeon Zilnys gushed to the singer, “Visually – arguably the best performance of the evening.” Adding that the song had a great chorus and beyond that was a song that broke with established traditions to great effect. Judge D. Uzkuraitis repeated the praise for the visual presentation saying,”I think this song is certainly worth the next stage. Well done visually.” This may be one to watch out for in earnest.

Valdas Lacko “It’s So Unfair” – Music: Paulius Jasiūnas. Lyrics: Monika Rotomskytė
The last position was reserved for Valdas, who graced the stages of Eurovizija before too much fanfare. Going in, he was the contestant to beat in the minds of most. However, unfair or not, Valdas’ song wasn’t something the judges were too keen on, even if they felt people would ‘get it’ coming from such a handsome young package. Jazzu said that Valdas was better than the song – that this wasn’t the best choice for him.

When all was said and done, it seemed Kotryna would walk away on top, but we’ll find out for sure today! Did you have a favorite of round 2? Let us know.

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Source : lrt

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.

One comment

  1. I like the fact that you write about jury reactions for those who don’t understand Lithuanian, it makes such articles more interesting.

    I’m with Jazzu here, most of the last week’s acts were kinda awful. Hope this time will be better!

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