Lithuania (Heat 3) - Michael Jones-Gomez

The third heat of the Lithuanian National Selection proved to be an entertaining evening, with entries varying in genres, staging, and languages.

Laimingu Būti Lengva - "Pasaulio vidury"

The first song of the evening often has a lot of pressure – and expectations – to define the evening. Unfortunately, “Pasaulio vidury” (In the Middle of the World) failed to live up to those expectations, offering a pitchy track that never peaked. The lead singer failed to hit the notes during much of the song, and the random “heeeeey” adlibs throughout the chorus was jarring against the dramatic backdrop of the music. The song received 0 points and placed 12th in the evening.

Voldemars Petersons - "Dancing with the Stars"

“Dancing with the Stars” was not the glitzy performance, as its name would suggest to those familiar with the show of the same name. The guitar ballad was well composed, but the staging for this performance was awkward at best, as it distracted from the singer. His voice seemed to only have one tone to it, which faired poorly for Voldemars, as the song received 2 points and placed 11th in the evening.

La forza - "Leisk tave paguosti"

In what could possibly be deemed the best outfits of the evening, La forza offered a power ballad that left much to be desired. The song, which translates to “Let You Comfort Yourself,” left me wondering how to do so after subjecting me to three minutes of pitchy vocals and dissonant harmonies. These downfalls defined the ill-fated performance, which scored 0 points and came in last place, at 13th.

Sofija Eitutytė - "My 7th Life"

“My 7th Life” brought the first performance of the evening worth enjoying with a dramatic song and sultry vocals. Sofija’s stage presence – or lack thereof – made the performance awkward to watch, and the basic staging left all of the attention on her, but these issues could have been remedied in time for the contest in May. Unfortunately, she earned 4 points and came in 8th place, missing the semi-finals.

Antikvariniai Kašpirovskio Dantys - "Mažulė"

I made the mistake of allowing "Mažulė" (Little Boy) be the first performance I watched of the Lithuanian final, which quickly set the tone for the evening. While a fun song, the ethnic rap track became repetitive and quickly approached “joke act” territory. Somehow, the track received 13 points and placed 4th in the night.

Dagna – “The Rush”

Dagna’s EDM-tinged track was a welcome break from the monotony earlier in the evening, offering a dramatic and unique change of pace. With stirking costumes and visuals, Dagna should have easily flown through to the next rounds; however, she scored 10 points, but with a weaker representation from the jury, narrowly missed the next round and placed 7th. 

Jurgis Brūzga - "CTRL ALT DELETE"

“CTRL ALT DELETE” occasionally sounds like an Ariana Grande reject, but Jurgis’ vocals set the track apart – particularly when he sings in a falsetto. The lyrics are kitschy and the composition of the track is already dated, but with a larger crew of dancers, he could stage an interesting performance. The track narrowly beat out “The Rush” and placed 6th with 10 points, entering the semi-final round.

The third heat of the Lithuanian National Selection proved to be an entertaining evening, with entries varying in genres, staging, and languages.

Kali – “Don’t B3long”

This tropical house track, with Kali’s awkward dancing and shrieking vocals, did not belong in the national final, and fortunately, came in 9th place with 4 points. Lyrically, the track has nothing unique or cohesive, and the simplistic production comes across as lazy.

Cheri – “Again”

Anything could have followed up Kali and stood out, but fortunately, a star with the looks of Britney Spears and a voice similar to Ms. Lauryn Hill’s appeared with a song about a lover continually hurting her. Cheri’s drawling vocals graced the stage with a slinking song that slid into 5th place with 11 points.

120 – “No Doubt”

This performance seemed to come out of the realm of Tik Tok, with the artists performing more dance tricks than actually providing a vocal performance worth writing home about. They’d make great back-up dancers, but their 10th place cements their fate as rappers. 

Monika Marija – “Criminal”

Monika’s strange spider-web hair detracted from the otherwise flawless performance, with stunning vocals and a beautifully-written song. “Criminal” stands apart as a highlight in the night and could easily mesh into Adele’s luscious discography. If Monika improves the backing vocalists for the next performances, and replaces her stylist, we could have our Lithuanian entry in May! 

Jurijus – “Run with the Lions”

The winning performance of the night came from Jurijus, with his ethereal-pop performance and intimate staging. The lyrics of the song are inspirational, and Jurijus offered a stunning vocal performance that exuded joy. Another contender for the Lithuanian entry, and one that could land in the Top 10 with the proper staging.

Jurgis DID + Erica Jennings – “Sing!”

“Sing!” closed out the evening with a fun and playful number about, well, singing, and an outfit that would make Barbara Dex proud. The lively song was the perfect feel-good closer, but with a surprising 3rd place, I’d be shocked to see this make its way to the final of Eurovizija, let alone to Tel Aviv.