Eurovizija is at a stage now that sees acts who dominated their early, individual heats now coming into a true competition with each other. Frankly, this set of 8 performers includes nearly all the heavyweights of the 2017 Lithuanian hopefuls, save one or two.(Paula & Fusedmarc, especially) Most interesting will be how the scores end up as the judges certainly will have their favorites, but the fans will also carry a few acts based upon popularity. This round of Eurovizija really is must-see TV. Aistė, Ieva, Edgaras, Sasha Song, Greta. This set is stacked.
However, after the televote scores are tallied live today, they will be combined with the judges’ points, given out earlier this week, and chances are we’ll see some good songs go home. Ramunas Zilnys and Darius Uzkuraitis, are our standard judges again, joined by opera singer Nomeda Kazlaus, and music producer Gediminas Zujus. Their points and scores will be shown today so the Lithuanian public can have their say.
- Ieva Zasimauskaitė «You Saved Me»
Darius started us out with the comments on the first performer, complimenting the improved arrangement and the combination of Ieva’s vocals, «the arrangement sounded very nice tonight,» followed by a wish for a more Eurovision sound. Experienced singer, Nomeda Kazlaus, however heard a voice that was showing signs of illness. He pointed out that the singer was ill and that it was noticeable in the performance.
- E.G.O. «My Story»
A popular choice with the locals, E.G.O. have done well enough in the competition, but have been told by the judges they needed to get better to really be contenders. The boys stepped up their game tonight and received notice for doing so. Uzkuraitis was impressed, but found that the song was now more of a problem. Zujus seemed to agree that there was some missing diversity and contrast to the song for it to be a real Eurovision winner.
- Greta Zazza «Like I Love You»
Zilnys set the tone for Greta’s critique. «Lithuanian Rihanna.» Many of the judges have spared little praise for this modern pop song, which will be a strong contender in the final rounds. Not everyone was pronouncing titles for Greta, with new judge Kazlaus hoping to see more fluid and sexy moves from the singer.
- Lolita Zero (Gytis Ivanauskas) «Get Frighten»
Coming off a tremendous, upset win of her group, the wildly popular Lolita Zero has no work to do to encourage the public to vote. The judges however, remain less than impressed. One theory is that they will value this entry low to offset the high public televote, to ensure a ‘more credible’ song and act make it to Kiev. Kazlaus summed up the ideas of the judging panel saying that Miss Zero is not on the level of Conchita or Verka, he wished for a higher level of refinement to the drag singer’s looks, which, while shocking are maybe a bit on the cheap side.
- Aistė Pilvelytė «I’m Like a Wolf»
The judges’ favorite of the night, unsurprisingly. Aistė is the smart choice for Lithuania, as opposed to the one with a frenzy behind her. The singer has battled with a cold as well this season, but now is working to maintain her imagined lead in the competition. As most people agree she will AT LEAST be in the final, Aistė begins the process of perfecting and crafting an interesting visual performance to accompany an incredible song and vocal. This is the time last year when Donny Montell intruduced the stage flip to his performance which excited fans in Stockholm. The judges did caution her against doing too much and getting ‘ugly.’
- Edgaras Lubys «Could It Be?»
Zilnys wondered what the blue temples were for, saying there is a fine line between looking weird to be strange and eye-catching, and looking weird to be funny. He didn’t want Edgaras to shy away from aiming for weird, and in the end felt that the look was successfully entertaining. Kazlaus also gave this a positive review as he liked the singer’s voice and song together.
- Sasha Song «Never Felt Like This Before»
This was Uzkuraitis’ favorite of the year, even after he’s heard it a number of times, and Zilnys agreed with that. He also felt sonically unique tune was the perfect backdrop to any number of activities or events…we’ll call that a positive for now. Sasha is another big name in his native Lithuania, but with a score from the judges that places him just barely in the top four, he will need Ieva to lose points from the televote, as one imagines the vote will be heavy for Lolita Zero to take one spot in four moving forward.
- Gražvydas «Paint the Sky Blue»
Zujus wasn’t completely in love with the visuals of this performance. He suggested a choreographer could help make things a bit more natural and befitting to the song. Uzkuraitis was of the exact opposite mind. He liked the visuals, but wished the singer would have a better song to sing, possibly one written by Gražvydas or one specifically written for him.
The problem with having a lot of talent in one show is eventually you have to cut it. Aistė, Ieva, Greta, Lolita Zero and Edgaras all won earlier rounds of Eurovizija 2017, with Sasha Song being strong throughout the competition. Sasha sits a point ahead of Edgaras, but the most recent televote score would favor Edgaras. Lolita Zero will make a move from the last position after the judges’ scores, but will it be enough to make top four? Most likely there will be four women moving forward…or three women and a female impersonator. Should that be the case, hat will be most interesting will be how far into the top four Lolita gets as it will set up the next exciting round of Eurovizija…after next week. Next week will be relatively calm by Eurovizija standards.