Eurovision 2023 Lithuania profile: 'Stay' by Monika Linkytė
Lithuania in the Eurovision Song Contest
Lithuania originally joined the Contest in 1994, but after receiving nul points for their debut entry they took a few years off before rejoining in 1999. Persistence paid off with the Baltic nation qualifying for the Grand Final 10 times across the 2000s and 2010s. Their most successful entry to date was in 2006, with 'We are the Winners' by LT United coming in sixth place.
2023 Entry: Monika Linkytė - 'Stay'
Monika will compete in the 15th spot of semi-final 2
My Eurovision Scoreboard ranking: 26th
Odds to win ranking: 34th
(Rankings as of 31 March 2023)
About the artist
Monika was born in Gargždai in western Lithuania on June 3rd 1992, and has a long history of involvement in Eurovision and national selections.
Monika competed to represent Lithuania at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2007 when she was 15 years old. She would then go on to perform at the former Lithuanian national selection show 'Eurovizija' six years in a row starting in 2010, before finally being chosen in 2015 as part of a double act with Vaidas Baumila and the song 'This Time'.
Fans may remember the performance of 'This Time' at the 2015 Contest in Vienna as featuring a pause in the music for a kiss between the lead singers, as well as same-sex kisses between the two male and two female backing singers. 'This Time' ended up placing 18th at the Grand Final.
Monika followed up her appearance at the Contest with the release of her debut album 'Walk with Me' which was certified platinum in her home country, before taking home awards for Best Album, Best Song, and Best Female Act at the 2015 M.A.M.A. (Music Association of the Year) Awards in Lithuania.
About the song
Monika wrote 'Stay' with Latvian songwriter Chris Noah during an unplanned writing session, and told Lithuanian National Radio and Television despite that it felt like "the words have been hidden in the heart for a long time". She went on to explain the song is "like a reminder of how important it is to pause and come back to yourself".
While the majority of the song is sung in English, the lines in the chorus sung in Lithuanian relate to Lithuanian folk sutras which Monika says feel like "magical incantations" and that by constantly repeating them "we began to hear the voice of our heart more and more".
"Already then, I realised that although the compounds used in the contract cannot be translated into any other language, it is like a magic formula that invites us to hear ourselves, regardless of what language we speak."
How Monika was selected for Eurovision
Monika won Lithuania's national final show 'Pabandom iš naujo!' after tying with another entry. 'Stay' initially came second out of 15 entries in the second heat. In the second semi-final it placed third and qualified for the grand final. When it finally came down to choosing a song, 'Stay' received 12 points from the jury and 10 from televotes. It tied with Rūta Mur's song 'So Low' however because 'Stay' received more jury points, it won both the competition as well as the opportunity to represent Lithuania.
Lithuania will compete in semi-final 2 on May 11 (European time) in Liverpool.
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