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  • Writer's pictureKyriakos Tsinivits

Aussievision’s Lithuanian National Final Eurovizijos Pabandon iš naujo 2020 rankings 1st to 8th

For just over a month with the Lithuanian National Final ‘Eurovizijos Pabandon iš naujo 2020’ 36 artists have competed in three Heats for a place in two Semi Finals. The eight successful acts from the semi finals have now progressed to the Final which will take place on 15 February in Europe and 16 February in Australia.

The successful act will be selected by 50/50 combination of jury and public televoting.

To offer our own opinion on the performances, the Aussievision team ranked all the songs that will be in the Final based on their semi final performances. Below is our full ranking list with comments from our team from 1st place to 8th.

1st - Monika Marija - If I Leave (84 points)

  • Highs: 12 points from Steve, Dale and Kyriakos. 10 points from Mike, Aaron and Guy

  • Lows: 4 points from Laura

Dale: This is one of my favourite songs of the year so far. Great mix of country and pop, Monika delivers it like a pro with a great vocal and strong staging performance. It might not have a the 'whizz bang' of some others, but this is commercially friendly and could indicate jury success. Add an always strong Lithuanian televote and this could be the best thing to send to qualify and do reasonably well.

Steve: A killer vocal combined with contemporary country vibes. I’ve already added it to my national finals playlist for the year.

Kyriakos: Monika was my winner from the Heat 1 and I found myself listening to the song non stop. Every live performance she has done of ‘If I Leave’ on Pabandom is Naujo has been flawless and captivating. She also has a great look! I feel like this will add variety to Eurovision 2020 and be one of the best Eurovision entries Lithuania has sent in a while.

Mike: A quality entry from Monika that I think would be Lithuania’s best option for Eurovision. A very jury friendly song, impeccably performed by a great vocalist. This has bags of appeal. Something tells me Monika may just miss out again however.

Aaron: The US did enter Eurovision after all. I like this. This is country music that is delightfully easy to listen to. The bridge and chorus give this song the life it needs to compliment Monika’s once-again wonderful vocals. As a successor to ‘Run With The Lions,’ it would do a good job but whether that’s a direction Lithuania should take is a different issue.

Emma: Top performance from Monika.  She has a beautiful country style voice and really appeared to connect to the song.  This is the last of the songs that is Eurovision worthy IMO.

Fleur: I simply don’t love this as much as a lot of people do. For me this is an okay song. It could qualify for the final at Eurovision, but I am not confident of its chances. I think that there are stronger songs in this competition.

Laura: This is not a bad song by any means, but I’m ranking it this low because it’s not as good as either of her songs from last year and it has a touch of the Anna Bergendahls about it. That is - it’s nice and inoffensive, but those kinds of songs don’t tend to do well at Eurovision because it’s hard to say if anyone will feel compelled to pick up the phone and vote for it.

2nd - Moniqué - Make Me Human (77 points)

  • Highs: 12 points from Aaron. 10 points from Laura, Steve, Emma and Kyriakos

  • Lows: 5 points from Mike and Dale

Aaron: Vytautas Bikus is back, after writing ‘When We’re Old,’ with another calm and pretty song. This song has a very simple piano and electronic arrangement which builds very nicely into the choruses. ‘Make Me Human’ sounds like something that would be in the end credits of a sad episode of ‘Home and Away’ when everyone’s broken up with everyone else, but I still enjoy it quite a lot.

Laura: This is probably the song that sounds like it’s the most built for Eurovision out of this collection, but that’s not a bad thing at all! It’s quietly powerful, being hushed when it needs to be and building exactly at the right moments. The modern production and vocal effects, as well as the notably quieter-than-most choruses adds to the overall impact of the song.

Steve: Robot/android melancholy with huge staging potential. This would certainly stand out. Maybe just a few vocal issues to iron out.

Emma: Electro ballad which got a bit sleepy in parts for me but the movement & staging was enough to keep me interested.  Would also be a solid choice to send to Eurovision.

Kyriakos: Moniqué was my favourite from Heat 2 and over the course of watching the Lithuanian National Final I was torn between Moniqué and Monika for my favourite. I love the uniqueness of the song and how she evokes emotion as an AI or robot who wants to be human. Oddly it hasn’t been the most popular with the jury, but it is definitely an online Eurofan favourite.

Fleur: This is another enjoyable song although it takes a little while to get going. As much as I like it, I don’t know if it is the best song to send to Eurovision. It may need a slight re-vamp for it to truly stand out. I will probably listen to this post Pabandom Iš Naujo though.

Mike: This probably has the strongest staging concepts and execution in the line up. It really is visually stunning! This song brings me to tears. Tears from the sheer boredom it elicits. I don’t understand what people see in this song?

Dale: I think it's a really nice song with a good staging concept of this robot/AI/human choreography.... but it gets dull quickly. If I was voting on a recap I'd like it, but by three minutes in I'm ready for the next song.

3rd - THE ROOP - On Fire (73 points)

  • Highs: 12 points from Emma and Fleur. 10 points from Dale

  • Lows: 5 points from Steve

Emma: This is crazy and I’m not sure if it’s in a good way!  The song is catchy though and whilst the dance break in the middle seems a bit bizarre, it somehow works.  This gets my top marks purely because it’s the song I’d most like to see on the Eurovision stage out of the eight.

Fleur: I love this song. I have been listening to it constantly. If Gary Numan was to release a song today it would be something like this. In a sea of ballads this year, this surely will stand out. Besides how do you beat those dance moves? It is quirky, but in a way that is accessible. I would love to see this at Eurovision. It would certainly be memorable.

Dale: The song isn't bad but it's the live performance that brings this to life. They have a unique concept and the dance routine during the instrumental is infectious. It's on the right side of quirky but not novelty. Limited jury appeal but would be a fun entry for Rotterdam.

Kyriakos: A huge fan favourite which has been dominating the public vote, the Lithuanians definitely want to take a risk this year. The performance is captivating and again something that Eurovision 2020 needs. Hopefully the jury get on board with it in the Final. I love the quirkiness of it.

Mike: This has a real hook and is incredibly catchy. But for me, there’s something in the presentation of this that is just on the wrong side of ‘novelty’. I expect it to smash the Televote by a big margin, so the jury ranking should decide if it goes to Rotterdam.

Aaron: Lads, the crown gimmick only works if you’re swinging from ginormous poles. I’d like to see them try that, given they’re going for bonkers. The song’s almost secondary, with the breaks serving as the opportunity for the dancing to come in and liven things up. I enjoy their charisma and their chaos, and this would at least be an entry people would talk about after Rotterdam.

Laura: Quite unusual and I love the lead singer’s dancing! But there’s only so many times you can hear the omnipresent (at least in Eurovision) fire/desire/higher rhyme and not groan.

Steve: Great beat, but I’m not a fan of the vocals, the basic rhymes or the “la la las”. For me, the appeal / novelty lies almost entirely in the choreography.

4th - KaYra - Alligator (64 points)

  • Highs: 8 points from Dale and Guy

  • Lows: 6 points from Emma

Dale: This reminds me of some fun indie pop you sometimes come across on Triple J. Add in a strong visual staging and there is a lot to like about this entry.

Kyriakos: This song has grown on me over the course of this National Final. I do prefer her in the pink overalls than dressed up as a clown, she kind of got rid of the fun and quirkiness from her Heat performance. It will remain a fan favourite.

Mike: Super catchy while still maintaining a sense of a quite current indie song. I can’t say I’m a fan of the production and instrumentation chosen however. Odd lyrics and another performance that borders on novelty, doesn’t stop this from being quite a memorable entry.

Fleur: I really enjoy this song. I like the quirkiness of this. Although, I don’t know if it is too much for Eurovision. This would sound great on Triple J. With Montaigne winning Australia Decides, it would be very interesting if this wins through. Someone’s staging will have to change as Australia and Lithuania are both in Semi Final 1- same half too.

Steve: Is this the year of the clown?! As a long-term coulrophobe, I hope not. Despite some questionable rhyming (“alligator”, “gladiator”, “later”), the beat is decent and the performance was well choreographed. I’d like more of the last section, which showcases KaYra’s vocals.

Aaron: Quirky, charismatic, enjoyable. This song is a welcome addition to Lithuania’s final. KaYra has been a great find. She has a pleasant vocal tone and delivers her chosen looks well. Costumes won’t be an issue in Rotterdam. The song is a bit catchy, too. Someone had better ensure her plants stay alive.

Laura: Simple, charming and sweet, this song also has its catchy moments and the lyrics are very unique too!

Emma: Interesting stage performance that uses Cirque du Soleil style costumes and movement to perhaps distract from the quality of the song.  I feel like the songwriters opened the dictionary and just found random English words that rhyme to build a song out of.

=5th - Aiste Pilvelytė - Unbreakable (61 points)

  • Highs: 12 points from Mike and Guy

  • Lows: 3 points (last place) from Aaron. 4 points from Emma

Mike: The realist in me says this isn’t going to win, but I don’t care! This is the song that has stuck with me out of this year’s selection. It’s schlager-tastic and what a story it would be to see Aiste finally make Eurovision.

Steve: A power ballad straight from the Eurovisions of the 2000s. If she hits that big note, “I believe, I believe, I believe” this could maybe do well.

Dale: Yes this song is a little dated, but so am I. The "I believe' parts are an earworm and if she can nail the vocal (it has been hit and miss so far) then it could do rather well.

Fleur: I don’t understand how this has done well with the juries thus far. To me it sounds dated and the lyrics are naff. This would have been fine in the early 2000’s, not now. I guess this is Lithuanian schlager.

Laura: Jessica Mauboy and Carly Rae Jepsen called, they want their song back! The main forced-together metaphor in the chorus manages to actually make sense, but otherwise it’s very Eurovision-by-numbers and is simple enough to remember.

Emma: Typical Eurovision cliché song that you might see at Melfest from a returning act slightly past their prime.  Found her voice a bit grating and she didn’t seem to hit the big notes.

Aaron: Aistė is so much better than this song. This is paint-by-numbers and dated. It’s like G:son has taken bits from his Eurovision songs that aren’t Euphoria (particularly Denmark 2010 ‘In A Moment Like This’ with the “I believe, I believe, I believe” being quite like the “wanna know, wanna know, wanna know” in that, among other similarities). When Lithuania’s got so much interesting and local songwriting in this final, selecting this G:son-penned snore would, I feel, be a mistake. No.

=5th - Rūta Loop - We Came From The Sun (61 points)

  • Highs: 12 points from Laura. 10 points from Fleur

  • Lows: 4 points from Dale. 5 points from Aaron and Guy

Laura: This song is just something else, on another level, from another planet (or dare I say it, the sun), and that’s why it’s my favourite. Otherworldly and futuristic, this song is unlike any other (save from perhaps some songs in MØ’s discography), I’ve had it on high rotation in my playlist for weeks now!

Fleur: I like this a lot. The staging is fantastic too. It has a commercial sound to it but sounds unique at the same time. I can see this do well at Eurovision. Rūta’s voice suits the song perfectly. Not many songs sound like this. This is a treat.

Emma: Enjoyed the tune and dance but lyrics were very basic.

Steve: This felt clunky in parts to me and somewhat overly repetitive. I did like the general vibe though.

Mike: Benefited from improved staging and styling in the Semi Final. For me, Rūta is the biggest asset to this entry and her vocals carry this through. The song is a little repetitive at times and only really gets going in the 2nd half.

Dale: Reminds me of a chillout remix CD track from the early 2000s. Enjoyable but not for the big stage.

7th - MEANDI - Drip (38 points)

  • Highs: 8 points from Laura. 6 points from Dale

  • Lows: 3 points (last place) from Guy, Mike, Steve and Emma. 4 points from Kyriakos, Fleur and Aaron.

Laura: I know it may controversial for me to rank this song so high when there are so many high quality songs on offer, but this song is fun, catchy, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously - it’s really hard to ask for more!

Dale: Absolute guilty pleasure here. Novelty act with a 90s house beat, it does at least have a strong staging concept. Enjoyable fluff.

Aaron: Every year, Lithuania has something like this. Every year, I find myself seeking refuge elsewhere. This isn’t my style of music at all, and I’m not finding the hook or the features to get me involved. Sorry.

Fleur: I do not think that this would be best choice to send to Rotterdam. This type of novelty song might have been fine in 2007 but Eurovision has come a long way from this. I doubt very much that this would qualify for the final of Eurovision if it was chosen. This will be slaughtered by the jury and given that this is the final, the bulk of the televotes would more than likely be distributed amongst the more polished acts.

Steve: He’s “looking to drip” and is really into his “brand new jacket and pants”. Totally not my kind of thing, musically or lyrically.

Emma: Thought I would like this from the beginning but was sadly mistaken.  Terrible lyrics that smacked of being lazy in parts.  Doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near the Eurovision stage.

Mike: I don’t do ‘novelty’…

8th last place - The Backs - Fully (37 points)

  • Highs: 6 points from Aaron and Guy

  • Lows: 3 points (last place) from Dale, Fleur, Laura and Kyriakos. 4 points from Mike

Aaron: For what this is, it’s good. Some lovely harmonisation and a nice backing track make this a pleasant listen and an enjoyable performance. Should it go to Eurovision? Probably not, there are better choices here, but this is a good entry, nevertheless.

Emma: The Lithuanian Wilson Phillips plus one.  Nice voices but a boring song.  And the outfits...they look like extras from a Harry Potter film.

Mike: A strong vocal group, that given a better song would be quite pleasing to watch. Unfortunately ‘Fully’ is totally forgettable. The only memorable thing about this, beyond the vocals, is the questionable ‘Mafia Widows’ styling they have gone with.

Steve: I found this dour and slow. The occasional nice harmonies aren’t enough to save this.

Fleur: I really do not like this. I found it rather boring to be honest. It felt like it went for more than 3 minutes. The song doesn’t go anywhere and their vocals do not mesh well together. I don’t think a revamp would make any difference.

Laura: Not a bad song, but it really doesn’t stand out as much as the other songs and while the lyrics are relatable, I find myself forgetting how it goes.

Dale: Early 90s female group vibe aka Wilson Philips aka O'G3NE.... but more like one of their album tracks. Nothing wrong with it, but doesn't do anything for me.

Kyriakos: A miracle got them this far, but I am afraid this is the end of the road for The Backs. I prefer the Dixie Chicks.

You can watch the final of ‘Eurovizijos Pabandon iš naujo 2020’ in Europe on February 15 at 20:00 CET and in Australia February 16 at 06:00 AEDT online

For continued updates on all the national finals follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, find us @aussievisionnet

1 Comment

Feb 12, 2020

Re: The Roop. "Fleur: I love this song. I have been listening to it constantly. If Gary Numan was to release a song today it would be something like this." Gary Numan is indeed still releasing material and it sounds nothing like this vapid shite.

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