I had to resort to a random number generator tonight, I was afraid I might end up picking all my favourite songs to write about first, leaving all the crap until the end and really having to force myself to finish this marathon on time. So it’s under this arbitrary guide we look eastwards to Lithuania for our fourth stop on the road to Baku’s Eurovision final in a little over 6 weeks.
Lithuania, as a part of the former Soviet Union have been involved with Eurovision for nearly 20 years now, despite a rocky start, getting the infamous ‘nul points’ on their first attempt in 1994, and taking a humiliated 5 years before they returned to the fray.
Since then, they’ve had one of the poorer track records, scraping through about half the semi-finals they’ve been in, and performing poorly in the finals on the occasions they made it. They came as high as 6th in 2006 with the horrible novelty track “We are the winners”, but thankfully they’ve resisted the temptation to go down the novelty route and have attempted a… well I’m not sure WHAT this is.
Taking things a little literally, he spends the first half of “Love is blind” in a blindfold. A rather pedestrian but well-sung ballad, even if it’s a little old-fashioned. It sounds like a slow intro to a dance stomper, only it only reaches the dated disco segment after the blindfold comes off and he launches an unexpected cartwheel. He doesn’t do any other gymnastics, so after another minute you begin to wonder if you imagined that completely.
Sadly for the little Baltic nation, I think this may well be their ‘off year’ that fails to see them through the semi-final. It’s nice enough certainly, and despite some rather questionable artistic choices in the performance he’s a likeable performer, and there’s always time to spruce up the performance for Baku.
Perhaps seeing the spectacle of Melodifestivalen have raised the bar impossibly high for other nations’ selection shows (I mean the Greek one was in a shopping mall!), so I hope that given more freedom on the big Azeri stage (assuming they finish it), and maybe a remix to bring the beat in earlier (and lose the blindfold sooner), a few dancers etc., they might be onto something.
For me though, it has the flavour of a song that might luck out and qualify, but will flounder at the bottom of the scoreboard in the final, and I’d be inclined to see that as a justified result.