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Lithuania: The last set of six acts go through to the Pabandom Iš Naujo 2020 semi finals

Lithuania: The last set of six acts go through to the Pabandom Iš Naujo 2020 semi finals

The Roop

This week saw the third and last week of the initial rounds of the Eurovizijos Atranka 2020 to find Lithuania’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 to be held in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in May.

In the last two weeks, twelve acts proceeded to next week’s semi final stage and they were joined by six more acts tonight.


  • 1 The Hosts
  • 2 The Judges
  • 3 The Songs
  • 4 The Results

The Hosts

The pair with the greatest job in Europe at this time, Giedrius Masalskis and Gabrielė Martirosianaitė returned with help from, past Lithuanian representative Ieva Zasimauskaité joining them in the green room. Gabrielė was in a black pant suit like dress, whereas Giedrius had white trousers and a black jacket. Ieva was in a tan coloured suit tonight.

The Judges

The silver haired fox Ramūnas Zilnys, returned to offer his opinion. In an unusual move this week he actually cracked a smile. Joining the talent finder was Jievaras Jasinskis singer and composer of the Eurovision favourite “In Culto” group, one of the most famous producers In Lithuania and LATGA representative Leonas Somovas, ex Eurovision participant Monika Linkytė and music agency producer Vaidas Stackevičius.

The Songs

The Backs – Fully

It appears that the Mamas from Sweden are not the only previous years backing singers vying for Eurovision glory as its claimed The Backs were the backing singers for Jurijus last year. Justina isn’t in the group so not sure if this is totally true. Anyway a well sung song , dressed all in black with Trilby hats, was a decent choreographered number with pleasant singing.

Bernardas – Dad, Don’t Be Mad at Me

Accompanied by a female cello player this was a heartfelt song  dedicated to Bernardas’s father,. He played the piano on the song with lyrics that meant a lot t him but perhaps it is too personal for Eurovision. You will either love it or think it’s too corny.

Justina Žukauskaitė – Breathe In

Justina returns and she’s been doing her homework. This is a moody easy on the ear song which she perfoms really well without any bells or whistles. This needs s few listens but its very good indeed in a Melanie Martinez kind of fashion.

Rokas Povilius –  Vilnius Calling

This is a great song for all students who once had to live in a bedsit. If not that’s what is sounds like and it’s actually very good and moody. Quite Elton John like to be honest and its also original despite being not original at all. Moody and atmospheric. Oddly it was inspired by LT United,s We Are The Winners.

KaYra – Alligator

This has just the right amount of novelty without heading into satire. In fact this would be a very good entry for Lithuania. Hardly ground breaking but the song has a catchy hook and begs repeated listening. This week more than six songs deserve to go through. What a pity they hadn’t been interspersed in the last two weeks groups.

Lukas Bartaška – Where Is That Change?

Lukas has a very soulful voice in the style of Mick Hucknell of Simply Red fame. The backing singers were also very good and the message is excellent. Unfortunately the melody of this song was hugely disappointing and totally wastes Lukas’s voice.

Evgenya Redko – Far

This is a bit more like it with a song that wouldn’t be out of place in the R and B charts. In her white costume, Evgenya is very influenced by Jennifer Lopez and actually has better songs than this submission. Nonetheless this is very modern and seems a little out of place in this years contest.

Ruslanas Kirilkinas – Soldier’s Heart

This song is very much from the era of Modern Talking and F.R David, very nineteen eighties. There is a mid tempo dance beat and Ruslanas is here to sing as good as he always does in his flashy black suit. Shame it belongs in a prior decade.

Nombeko Augustė – Reikia man

Nombeko  is another singer with a terrific voice let down by the song. This is a soulful little song which should get another turn due to the fabulous singing, but she is way better than the material she’s been given to work with.

Vitalijus Špokaitis – Nemušk savęs

This song has a sunny beach feel about it and could easily have been Spain or Portugal’s entry this year. This is another that would have gone to the semis in the last two weeks but with so many better ones this week it may just miss out. If it gets through though that’ll be just fine. The English translation is Don’t Kill Yourself. The staging was a bit of playing silly buggers.

Aistė Pilvelytė – Unbreakable

Can we just send this song and be done with it. Poor Aistė has been trying to represent Lithuania since before Eurovision was even invented and its her time this year. The judges described the song as old-fashioned which makes you wonder if they’ve been listening to any of the other entries this year. Also fans will be able to vote for a Swedish song without having to vote for Sweden. This probably won’t win Eurovision but who knows, euro trash for sure and it needs to be in Rotterdam.Written of course by Euphoria’s Thomas G:Son.

THE ROOP – On Fire

Lithuania have kept the only song that could make in roads into the charts with this Maroon 5 influenced song, to the end of the show. This is a catchy little song definintely destined for the semi finals and probably the final, but since we have Aistė they may need to be happy with second place. There also was a bit too much nonsense going on with this performance too.

The Results

The Backs2796Qualifier
Justina Žukauskaitė11211
Rokas Povilius65115Qualifier
Lukas Bartaška00012
Evgenya Redko104144Qualifier
Ruslanas Kirilkinas4378
Nombeko Augustė6287
Vitalijus Špokaitis30310
Aistė Pilvelytė810182Qualifier
THE ROOP1212241Qualifier

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Kristin Husøy wins semi final three of Norsk Melodi Grand Prix

Kristin Husøy wins semi final three of Norsk Melodi Grand Prix

Kristin Husoy

Tonight we went to Central Norway as we discovered four more acts competing to represent the Nordic nation at this years Eurovision Song Contest. After three rounds of battles Kristin Husøy was declared the victor of tonight’s show.

Two weeks of exciting and intense shows has made Norway’s 2020 Melodi Grand Prix a talking point on the National Final circuit.  Last week saw Musical theatre star Rein Alexander take the second spot in the final with a rousing performance of his haunting EDM song One Last Time.

This week we continue the semi final format of two duels and a Gold duel to finally declare tonight’s winner.

Duel 1

Alexandru Vs Sie Gubba

Country band Sie Gubba won the first duel of the night with a light and heartfelt performance of their country pop song Kjaere Du. While the band is obviously accomplished performers, the song is just slightly underwhelming and feels like it would have done well at the contest 30 years ago, also the staging for the song is non-existent that unfortunately brings nothing to the performance.

Duel 2

Thomas Loseth & Erica Norwich Vs Kristin Husoy

Kristin wins this duel, and unsurprisingly, a great singer with a soulful and funky song.  Kristin performs the heck out of the song and the staging is interesting, if a little dated, she starts by being backlight and the screen is black and white before turning to colour as she struts around the stage while 4 backing singers do a great job of supporting her. It was definitely the most contemporary song on offer tonight.

Gold Duel

Sie Gubba Vs Kristin Husoy

It was quite a predictable night in Norway as Kristin Husøy won against Duel 1 winners Sie Gubba after a second performance that cemented her continuation in the national selection.

Kristin Husoy now joins Raylee and Rein Alexander along with the five pre-qualified finalists and three more acts to be determined in the Grand Final on February 15th.

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Newsletter: Tickets, Draws and more National Selection Madness…

Newsletter: Tickets, Draws and more National Selection Madness…

The Week Ahead…

It’s a slightly calmer week for National finals this week, with heats airing tonight for Lithuania and Norway plus live auditions in Belarus the only major points of interest. But with February just around the corner, things are going to heat up quickly. Here’s what to look out for in the meantime…

Belarus will kick off the first stage of their national selection for Rotterdam on Monday, when 49 shortlisted hopefuls face the first round of live auditions. Participants include the ever-present Napoli, who has competed every year since 2014, Artem Mihalenko of the group 3+2 and former Britain’s Got Talent contestant Vitaly Voronko. Tragically, Daz Sampson does not appear to have made the cut this year…

From this intimidating event, 12 finalists will be selected for the televised Grand final, which will be broadcast at a later date.

Lithuania will continue their Eurovision journey with the third Semi Final of „Pabandom iš naujo!” 2020 on Saturday night. Participants in this heat will include perennial bridesmaid Aistė Pilvelytė, who has enlisted ‘Euphoria’ scribe Thomas G:son for the Sanna Nielsen-esque schlager banger Unbreakable, popular indie band THE ROOP with ‘On Fire‘ and KaYra with the quirkily Kate Nash-esque ‘Alligator‘.

The show will be available for live-streaming from 20.00 CET at lrt.lv

Norway will also press on with their extensive selection process on Saturday, as four more artists compete for a ticket to the Melodi Grand Prix final. These include former boyband member Alexandru with ‘Pink Jacket‘, The Voice of Norway winner Thomas Løseth with ‘Vertigo‘, popular country-rock outfit Sie Gubba with ‘Kjære Du‘ and newcomer Kristin Husøy with ‘Pray For Me‘. In addition, auto-qualified contender Akuvi will present her song ‘Som du er.’

The show will air from 18.50CET on NRK1

You can read more about this week’s news by signing up to the ESC Insight Newsletter. Read this week’s edition online here.

Categories: ESC Insight


Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2020 – and the qualifiers are…

Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2020 – and the qualifiers are…

Ben & Tan

Ben & Tan, Kenny Duerlund and Sander Sanchez. These three regional winners are still in the run to represent Denmark at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Two wildcards are still to be selected

Nine acts competed in the pre-qualification round, or semi-final it is also called. The songs have been played on local radio stations and have been available for online listening. Voting took place on DR’s website.

The nine acts were divided into three regions, East, South and North. People could only vote for the three songs available to their area. At 12:00 CET today voting ended, and the result just revealed. Besides the three winners, two wildcards will be announced as well. They have been picked by a special jury and will together with the five pre-selected ones be revealed on the 31st of January.

All ten acts will compete in this year’s Danish Melodi Grand Prix final on the 7th of March. The winner will represent Denmark at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.


  • Winner of region East: Ben & Tan – Yes
  • Winner of region South: Kenny Duerlund – Forget It All
  • Winner of region North: Sander Sanchez – Screens
  • Wildcard will be announced later
  • Wildcard will be announced later

This year’s Danish final will take place in Royal Arena in Copenhagen. The show will be hosted by the two actors Hella Joof and Rasmus Bjerg.

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Finland : Six acts announced to compete in UMK 2020

Finland : Six acts announced to compete in UMK 2020

Erika Vikman

After failing to qualify with Norma John and Blackbird in 2017, Finnish Television decided to internally select Saara Aalto and Darude the following years. With disappointing results there too, this year they have decided to return to UMK.

UMK stands for Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu and is the show that Finland will bring back this year. This will be the ninth time Finland has chosen their Eurovision entry using this platform.

A few moments ago YLE announced the artists who will participate in the UMK 2020 in the hope of representing Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Rotterdam in May. The acts were announced by Mikko Silvennoinen and Krista Siegfrids, who represented the country in 2013 with Marry Me.

The acts selected are:

TIKA – I Let My Heart Break

Erika Vikman – Cicciolina

Aksel Kankaanranta – Looking Back

F3M – Bananas

Sansa– Lover View

Catharina Zühlke  – Eternity

Catharina placed 2nd in 2017  with the song Perfect Villain.

The songs will start to become available to listen to, one at a time on the YLE UMK site this Friday until the following Friday.

The UMK final will be held in Helsinki on March 7 2020.

Below is the last winner of UMK from 2017

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Eurovision Insight Podcast: A New Kid In Town

Eurovision Insight Podcast: A New Kid In Town

More results from the weekend, more artists confirmed for Eurovision 2020, more National Final music being released, the pace of the Song Contest continues to build up.

Eurovision Insight Podcast: A New Kid In Town

This week’s news from the Eurovision Song Contest world; weekend results, 260 parties for Rotterdam, and a new Executive Supervisor. Ewan Spence and the team round up the latest news, dates, and thoughts for this year’s Song Contest.

More details on Eurovision In Concert, ESPreParty, London Eurovision Party, and this week’s Ne Party Pas, can be found at their respective websites.

Our Spotify playlists for Qualified Artists, Australian Artists, Estonia Artists, Lithuanian Artists, Sanremo Artists, and Swedish Artists.

As the National Finals for Eurovision 2020 continue, stay up to date with all the Song Contest news by listening to the ESC Insight podcast. You’ll find the show in iTunes, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. A direct RSS feed is  available. We also have a regular email newsletter which you can sign up to here.

Categories: ESC Insight

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