Lithuania's broadcaster LRT are organising this year's competition to select Lithuania's entry for Eurovision 2019. A total of 81 artist submissions have been reduced to 49 acts that will take part in the televised National selection show called "Eurovizijos Atranka 2019".
This comprehensive competition will commence with the first of four weekly Elimination Heats on 5 January. Each week, half of the contestants will be eliminated by a combination of jury and public votes, then that will be followed by 2 Semi- Finals with more culling, and eventually a Grand Final on 23 February, where the last act standing gets to represent Lithuania in Tel Aviv later this year.
The official judging panel consists of 3 men ( LRT music expert, a DJ and a composer) and their votes have equal weight along with the public vote. The composer, Vytautas Bikus, has credentials as he composed Lithuania's 2018 ESC finalist entry "When We're Old". So, what can they uncover this year?
The twelve contestants included some from the weird and the wonderful and showcased Lithuania's depth of talent and broad range of musical genres.
In the end something from both the weird, the wonderful, and the popular progressed, so everyone should be happy. Although the jury vote and the public vote were at complete odds in this Heat.
1. "Blind Bird" performed by MaNNazz - funky duo showcasing how electronic music can win the hearts of fans despite lacking in tempo variation. It has a beatbox interlude and a couple of big notes at the end that gives the female performer an opportunity to really shine. Loved it.
2. "Rozes" performed by Migloko- polished voice with good range, sung entirely in Lithuanian. It was the Jury favourite, and described as an "off the wall" swing/punk/rnb/jazz/bossanova song with Migloko wearing a large set of headphones for her entire performance. Easy listening for her and for me.
3. " I want your love" performed by Aldegunda - sensual performer, Latin rhythm, dance number but took her a long time to seduce us before she got up off her chair to boogie. It's popular, it's catchy...you got the drift.
4. "1000" performed by Twosome - Lithuanian serial competitors, think Il Volo with an extra brother, 2 sisters and a big twist. This is packaged to entertain and covers more genres than Migloko!
5. "Anyone" performed by Glossarium - hard rock band, classic feel, high energy but starting to age a bit.
6. Traukinys performed by Sarunas Maciulis - a seasoned performer, a Lithuanian Roy Orbison singing about trains. The audience loved him.
Honourable mention goes to "Paradox" performed by Ruta - a slow sexy song that is about Terrorism! Say no more.
You can watch the Heat 1 winner here.