Lithuania 2021: The Aussievision Team Rank the Six Finalists for ‘Pabandom iš naujo!’
This weekend Lithuania will select the artist and song that will represent them at Eurovision 2021, with the final of ‘Pabandom iš naujo!’.
The National Final has taken place over the last 4 weeks, with two heats, a Semi-Final and now the Final this Sunday morning (Saturday night in Europe).
As usual the winner will be decided by a public televote for 50% of the vote, and an 8 person jury (up from 5 in the previous shows) for the other 50%.
Check out our podcast episode on Lithuania: Pabandom iš naujo! final preview where Dale and Mike, along with Kyriakos go through the competing entries and pick out the potential winner and some dark horses. Check it out on Spotify and Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Ahead of the Final, the Aussievision Team have ranked the songs and shared their thoughts. Each team member ranked the songs and awarded them points (12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 points accordingly). Here are our results:
6. Evita Cololo – ‘Be paslapčių’
Total: 32 points
“Evita has a great voice and I do like the phone schtick, only because it's something I remember. Unfortunately the song is something I'd rather forget.”
“A somewhat straight ford song, ultimately it produces a relaxing atmosphere, though the use of a vertical screen mode is somewhat disorientating.”
“Evita has a great voice and stage presence but that’s about it with this entry. The song is nothing special and goes nowhere, something a Eurovision song should never be. Don't get me started on the ring light and iPhone staging. Would love to see Evita back another year with a song much better than this entry.”
“Two parts to this - the song and staging. I actually don’t like the song at all; it tries to be edgy but it just comes off as annoying, and I don’t really like the melody. Then there’s the staging - I appreciate that they have a concept, but this just does not work for me. Looks cheap and tacky, and they could have at least done landscape, so that half the screen isn’t black, and the other wide angle shots look a bit ruined with a big old pole and selfie stick right in the middle of the stage blocking Evita. Not the biggest fan of this one.”
“I understand that Evita Cololo was going for a sultry jazz number and I respect that there's such diversity in the final six songs, providing a welcome change of pace. But for me, the staging was far more memorable than the song, so much so that it was quite distracting.”
5. Titas & Benas – ‘No’
Total: 62 points
“This feels like a UK ex-boy band members' entry: decent vocals, two pretty young lads and very "X Factor" in sound. It's not a 'no' from me, but nor is it a resounding 'yes'. It's fine.”
“Apparently the boys come from the Lithuanian version of X Factor and this is pretty obvious without being told. There’s a plasticity to this entry that could choke an entire ocean on it’s own. However, the guys do actually sing it very well and I can’t take issue with the vocals they’ve performed so far in the competition. The song itself... I’ve totally forgotten. No doubt you have to.”
“Unfortunately this song just doesn’t work for me – I can certainly appreciate the consent message, but the chorus and vocals, and general tone of the song do not draw me in, leaving a minimal impression.”
“This sounds like something the United Kingdom would send to Eurovision thinking it's the bees knees (in other words, a generic ballad I've heard a million times before). With flat vocals and a dated chorus, I struggle to see this making anywhere near the same impact as The Roop's or Gebrasy's song. It's a No from me.”
“A sad boy ballad that could have been released by any 90’s boy band. The boys generally sound good together but ultimately this was too sad and depressing for me and doesn’t have anything particularly redeeming about it. Not a song I particularly want to listen to again.”
4. Martyna Jezepčikaitė – ‘Thank You Very Much’
Total: 72 points
“I have Martyna's entry as another dark horse. Her stage is very "Fuego-esque" with the choreography and silhouette. The energy is also great. Now release the explicit version!”
“This song is a quality entry that brings some energy to Lithuania's national final. I find this song quite enjoyable to listen to but it definitely isn't a song I'm not going out of my way to play. My biggest problem with the performance is with the costumes, hopefully Martyna and her dancers look a little more cohesive.”
It's oddly refreshing to see an up-tempo pop song that isn't inspired by the 80s in a 2021 national final. Martyna delivers sass and energy in spades - she knows how to put on a show! The chorus is super catchy and while 'Thank You Very Much' is not as impactful as other songs in the selection, it's still a highly enjoyable listen!
“This song sounded great in the first couple of bars, but then it became a tedious basic pop song. The repetitiveness was just too much for me in the end. She's a talented lass but the song- no.”
“I really like Martyna and her performance (though I hope for some different costumes for the back-up dancers). It's a high energy performance that she executes well but ultimately the song.... just isn't really that strong.”
3. Voldemars Petersons – ‘Never Fall For You Again’
Total: 80 points
“The charisma of Voldemars somehow turns this cheesy and simple song into something quite enjoyable. Voldemars has the look of a pop singer fronting a hard rock band. The look doesn’t match the sound at all but this added to the appeal of the song for me. The vocals in the live performance let Voldemars down at times and the chorus is extremely repetitive. I do enjoy the bridge where the other band members join in on the vocals.”
“‘Never Fall for You Again’ is an incredibly catching song, and doesn’t leave my head. In fact, it’s been stuck in there for quite some time now. I feel that it would stand out from the other songs in the Eurovision field should it make it to the stage in Rotterdam.”
“This is such a hotchpotch of an entry. The subject matter of a toxic relationship set to a jaunty toe-tapper!? The song and presentation matches this. What looks like a hard rock band delivers a heavily electro based, almost folksy, very melodic pop song. Throw in Voldermars in a campy sequinned jacket playing a ukulele for good measure. I’m not sure this all works together... but I’m equally not sure it doesn’t!”
“This is a pleasant entry without offering up anything new or exciting. In fact, it does feel a tad monotonous by the second-minute mark, despite having something of an "ear worm" quality to it. Oh, and I like the sparkly red heart on black t-shirts.”
2. Gebrasy – ‘Where‘d You Wanna Go?’
Total: 116 points - 1 set of 12 points awarded
“For me, the only decent song to emerge from the full Pabandom iš Naujo process this year. I’ll somewhat forgive the clunky lyrics and ‘Arcade’ vibe, because Gebrasy does pull this off live. He can impeccably reproduce the studio vocal and even with the limitations of the PiN 2021 staging, he makes this a very solid package. Let’s hope we see him again with a better song and a better opportunity of making it to the Eurovision stage.”
“Not usually my style of music but this is a quality ballad. I really enjoyed Gebrasy’s vocals and the emotion that comes across in his delivery. I’m glad they livened things up a bit in the second verse though as this would otherwise be in danger of straying into boring territory. Would score well with juries.”
“Though I don’t think 'Where'd You Wanna Go?' has the most inspiring lyrics, Gebrasy's delivery of the song is superb. He is the closest competition to take out the contest and cause an upset for The Roop. He won the televote and jury in his heat and in the semi final. He is unstoppable. I'm very curious to see where he ends up in the jury vote on the final.”
“I seriously don't mind this song. It would do well if it was 2014 but for this year it's a distant second. Just about all of the songs in this year's line up are rather dated but this one kept my interest. It has the makings a solid song with a revamp, but unfortunately it's not Gebrasy's year. Looking forward to hearing what he comes up with in the future. I'm sure we'll see him back.”
“Gebrasy’s ‘Where’d You Wanna Go?’ is a beautiful song, but not necessarily incredibly memorable. While the song would make for a great winner in Pabandom is Naujo, there is every chance it will fade into the background on the Eurovision stage.”
“This is a really nice, easy listening pop number. Staging is paired back to let the vocal shine through, which it does. Hits the falsetto, and his diction is great for a non-native speaker with a wordy song. There’s nothing amazing about this song, but the production is tight and it works well. Thoroughly enjoy this.”
1. The Roop – 'Discoteque'
Total: 142 points - 11 set of 12 points awarded
“'On Fire' was my Eurovision winner last year. Again, I'm impressed. This is fantastic. Like last year's entry this is slick and well produced, but unlike 'On fire' it is more accessible. I really like the clever way in which they have presented a song about Covid-19 lockdown, without it being obvious at all. It's also handled in a positive way which is a welcome change. This has the potential to be Lithuania's best ever result at Eurovision.”
“It's hard for lightning to strike twice but it has with The Roop. This quality infectious pop, and although the performance may be a bit convulated at times, it really is a smashing song. They look like the international superstars doing the interval act, not a competitor in this national final. Just a cut above the rest.”
“'Discoteque' is memorable and has more appeal that 'On Fire'. It is a sophisticated dark song which is balanced with strikingly bright staging and aesthetics. It is digestible quirk with colour. I am concerned with how it will be ranked by the jury though as the song lacks peaks and troughs and vocally is very in the middle. They will win though.”
“Easily the frontrunner of Pabandom is Naujo, The Roop’s ‘Discoteque’ is an amazing song that holds the same energy as their winning song from last year, ‘On Fire’, also held. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the song when it was initially released, but it has since grown on me in recent days, quickly becoming my second favourite to win the competition outright.”
“Leaving aside the frankly weird winking and eyebrow wiggling, 'Discoteque' is the standout NF entry from Lithuania this year. As with 'On Fire', I do feel it's more of a dance-heavy performance than a particularly interesting song, but it does have a hook and the "Roopstans" should ensure that we see this flying the yellow-green-red flag in May.”
“This is just fun. We knew they were going to bring this type of music, and the trap was there to send ‘On Fire 2.0’, but this is so different but so good. He doesn’t need to smash out big vocals to nail the live performance; the choreography is absolutely on point, so rehearsed but so effortless. This has been released quite early, so I hope people don’t get sick of this if (realistically, when) this goes to Rotterdam, but I can see a great televote result for this, and I absolutely love it.”
“It was always going to be a challenge for 2020 artists to come back this year with a song that is better than their previous entry, and The Roop do exactly that. Discotheque in my opinion is much better than 'On Fire', it has a great dance song that has retro vibes and is easily consumable again and again. The Roop can definitely get Lithuania's best ever placing at Eurovision if they win PiN this weekend.”
“One of last year’s biggest front runners and the biggest ever hope for a country who has never won the contest returns with a bang.
We were all rooting for them!
After a few listens, this song has quickly become a fave of mine and I think they’ve done the unthinkable and have struck lightening in a bottle twice. This song has it all.
The dancing is elevated from last year and will translate well on stage, the song has many hooks and the dark synth beat makes it more competitive and contemporary.
While it may struggle slightly with the jury, I think it’s going to smash the Televote. This will give Lithuania their best ever result.”
“Admittedly, the Roop would have to have come up with something pretty bad to not get my 12 points. This song is a grower. On first listen to the studio cut I preferred ‘On Fire’ but ‘Discotheque’ is more complex in both song structure and dance routine. Whilst ‘On Fire’ was considered a strong televote contender, this is a much more well rounded package that should score well with the juries and televote alike should it be selected to represent Lithuania in Rotterdam.”
“This is a Eurovision-ready package. From the choreography to the staging, costumes and vocal delivery, 'Discoteque' blows all the other songs out of the water in my opinion. I love that the Roop are being true to themselves yet also embracing some silliness that was missing in their 2020 entry 'On Fire' and even making COVID references in their lyrics without it being cringey or missing the mark. While I admit that on first listen, the first verse confused me a bit, by the time the drop hit after the first chorus, I was hooked! Lithuania would be daft not to send it!”
So there we have it – The Roop were the clear winners with the Aussievision Team, with all but one member giving them their 12 points.
Could we be in for a surprise upset this weekend, or will the Lithuanian public and jury hand The Roop their long awaited ticket to Rotterdam?
You can watch the show here.
6:00am Sydney / Melbourne / Hobart