Lithuania – Eurovizijos Atranka final preview

After what seems like months and months of shows that surely must involve every single Lithuanian citizen (there’s only just over a million of them), we now, at long last, come to the final competition.

And what’s in store for us?

Henry and Tommy Modric – Neverpart

This song just gets weirder every time that Henry and Tommy perform it on stage, and I think I love it. It’s like watching your accountant and your slightly seedy personal trainer show up at a wedding and hold hands.

In a contest full of affirmations of sexuality – I’m thinking here of Bilal and Maruv and the Lovers of Valdaro – Neverpart is the coyest LGBT anthem in the contest. I can’t tell if Henry and Tommy are dating, or have a Bert-and-Ernie style relationship, and any of the cultural clues that might give me a hint are simply not translating to a non-Lithuanian audience. And that would be fine except the whole song seems to make a point of mentioning Tommy (Henry’s?) sexuality, so I really have no idea what the point is here.

If this is a gay pride anthem (and that’s a BIG if), it’s the coziest cardigan of an anthem to exist. This isn’t the song that blares on the dance floor, but the one you put on over a romantic dinner for two – but remember to hurry up, because it’s only 2:16 long.

Justina Budaitė-Junà – Strength of a Woman

The good: That outfit!

The meh: That performance!

I love myself a good bop, but there’s something about the monotonic melody of the verses that doesn’t quite translate. It makes the whole song sound more like a shout than a song, which is a shame, because Justina can really belt it out.

Also, did they spent so much money on crime scene tape that they couldn’t afford any backup dancers?

Monika Marija – Light On

Lithuania’s answer to Adele (she even references 21!) belts out a big classic Eurovision ballad. Monika is great at what she does – so much so that she even has two songs in the final. But as someone who wants an all-banger final – and yes, I understand that is not happening – this song leaves me a bit cold. It feels very Austria 2018, but it’s also tipped to win, so what do I know?

Jurgis Brūzga – Ctrl Alt Delete

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the classic 2001 film Josie and the Pussycats, but I need you to watch Seth Green’s performance as one of the members of the boy band DuJour:

I think we know from where Jurgis gets his inspiration, no?

Monika Marija – Criminal

What? Monika gets a measly three-minute break between her songs? Anyway, she’ll be back on stage for a second time with Criminal, the song that she doesn’t want to go through.

Monika, you are a fool. Don’t you know that Eurovision voters love ballads that hint of misdeeds? Look at how well Deborah and Morland did with Monster Like Me! Your performance of this will be the intrigue of the night – everyone will be trying to figure out what laws you actually broke.

Besides, the build on this is so much better, and it gives her the chance to do some lite popera trills at the very end of the song. Look at how many boxes can be checked with this one song!

Antikvariniai Kašpirovskio dantys – Mažulė

The Eurovision gods have truly blessed Lithuania with two great WTF acts this year – first Henry and Tommy Modric, and now this Lithuanian folk dance troupe. They are fantastic and fun and will cheer everyone in the arena up. Plus, imagine how amazing it would be to learn this dance and impress everyone at your Eurovision party.

Jurijus – Run With The Lions

I would be all about this song if it were performed a half-octave lower. Okay, maybe a full octave lower. But instead, we’ve got someone pulling a falsetto which works about half the time. The other half of the time, Jurijus just looks like the hottest person at karaoke.

All I’m going to say is – imagine how good this song would sound coming out of Juri Pootsman’s mouth.

Jurgis DID and Erica Jennings – Sing!

We end the evening with the most annoying song of the night. I don’t know if there’s an exclamation point in the title, but if there’s not there should be.

I feel like I’ve suddenly been transported into a community theater production where Jurgis and Erica have just come up with the idea to put on a show! Get the gang back together! Bring everyone in the community around for a good old hoedown!

Look we come to the Eurovision song contest to listen to YOU sing, not us.

THIS ISN’T THEATRE CAMP. Leave us alone.

CONCLUSION
Eurovizijos Atranka is a tough contest to call. Will the Monika Marija voting blocs cancel each other out, giving us Jurijus? I think that’s the most likely scenario, although my dream is to have Henry and Tommy Modric win, and then just spend the next few months wandering around Europe, leaving the rest of the continent as befuddled as we are.

Is it worth watching live? Probably not. We’ve heard this songs live at least twice now, and the judges do go on a bit, and all the performances will be on YouTube the next day anyway. Plus, I don’t the eventual Eurovision winner is in this bunch.

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