Eurovision 2022 Lithuania profile: 'Sentimentai' by Monika Liu
Lithuania at Eurovision
Lithuania first appeared at Eurovision in 1994. After a slow start, receiving nul points on their first attempt, they took a few years off, before returning and participating most years since 1999. The country developed a solid record during the 2000s and 2010s, qualifying for 10 grand finals. They remain the only Baltic country to never win Eurovision, with their neighbours from Estonia and Latvia winning in 2001 and 2002 respectively.
Lithuania's best result comes from 2006, when the supergroup LT United competed with 'We are the Winners' and came sixth with 162 points. There was much hope that alt-rock band The Roop would top this result in 2021 with their popular track 'Discoteque', but they ultimately finished in eighth place - Lithuania's second-best Eurovision result of all time.
2022 Entry: 'Sentimentai' - Monika Liu
Semi-final: Monika Liu will compete in the first half of semi-final 1
My Eurovision Scoreboard ranking: 20th
Odds to win ranking: 32nd
(Rankings as at 27 March 2022)
About the artist
Monika Liu is a household name in her home country of Lithuania, with three (soon to be four) albums and numerous singles to her name. Born in the coastal city of Klaipeda, she has recently appeared as a judge on the Lithuanian versions of 'The Voice' and 'The Masked Singer', as well as Lithuanian musical showcase 'Golden Voice'. She is currently based in Vilnius.
Monika's musical background is in jazz, which she studied at university in Klaipeda. She then moved abroad for several years, studying at the Berkeley College of Music in Boston before spending time writing and performing in London.
She has always been drawn to retro, old-fashioned aesthetics and sounds, with her album 'Melodija' released primary on vinyl. Her musical style has been compared to quirky, idiosyncratic artists such as the Icelandic singer Bjork.
About the song
'Sentimentai' is a retro-sounding pop song that recalls everything from 70s lounge singers to some of Paloma Faith's quirkier mid-2000s hits. The lyrics conjure up the sensation of disorientation and giddiness that one feels upon meeting a new lover - something further conveyed by the staging at the Lithuanian national final, with several giant dancing Monikas appearing on the LED screens behind the real Monika.
The song is presented entirely in Lithuanian, with no English lyrics for the first time since Lithuania's debut at the Contest in 1994. In interviews, Monika has proudly defended this choice, noting that it has been so long since Lithuania used their native language at Eurovision that nobody really knows if it will do well or poorly.
A clear favourite at the Lithuanian national final, 'Pabandom iš Naujo', Monika took out both the televote and the jury vote to win the ticket to Turin. She dominated the entire competition, winning every vote she possibly could in her quarter final, semi-final and eventually the Grand Final, leaving little doubt she would eventually represent Lithuania at Eurovision this year.
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Lithuania will compete in semi-final 1 on May 10 (European time) in Turin.