The first entry from the Baltic country of Lithuania in the Eurovision Song Contest was presented back in 1994 and since then, it seems that they have welcomed the participation in the event as something of a must with the right to promote local talent. Earlier this year, they managed to qualify with relative ease to the grand final with the song Love Is Blind sung by a blindfolded singer; Donny Montell. The country managed to finish in an extremely respectable fourteenth place with seventy points in total. The final of the upcoming selection is set to take place on the 20th December 2012.
Following the first semi-final which took place last weekend, half of the acts which will be competing to represent the country in Malmö have now been revealed by the Lithuanian broadcaster; LRT. In fact, whilst the tele-voting results showed which entries the public wanted to see make it through to the final stages, the jury also has to have a pivotal say and thus the results had to be announced later on during the week when the verdict was decided. This evening, the second semi-final in Lithuania will be taking place and hopefully, in a couple of days time, we will also be able to cover the final of the event, live through escflashmalta.com, so we urge you to stay tuned.
In the final stage of the competition, there will be a total of four acts which will qualify directly and apart from that, the broadcaster has also decided to select a wildcard from the eliminated acts as a lifeline, something which normally tends to go down well with audiences as they do tend to have a soft-spot for the underdog. Lithuania have not particularly had exceptional results at the Eurovision Song Contest but its neighbouring country, Latvia won a couple of years back whilst they have also managed to qualify to the final on the past two editions therefore, they will be hoping that it will be third time lucky.
In the past couple of days, the focus of the music community with regards to the Eurovision Song Contest has been focused on the choice of the Belarussian entry which marked the beginning of a brand new season but nevertheless, one nation which has been rather busy with the proceedings is surely Lithuania. In fact, with Christmas around the corner, LRT which represents Lithuania in the music event will be selected their entry on Saturday 22nd December and we're hoping that many would be delighted with the final entry choice as they hope to reach the final for the third consecutive year as they compete in Malmo, Sweden.
Last night the first of two semi-finals was aired in Lithuania. Nine acts took part for a spot in the final. All acts sang one song each, and there was a tele-vote. The top three from the tele-vote were Gerai Gerai & Miss Sheep, Elvina Milkauskaitė and Neringa Šiaudikytė. This could be seen as an unexpected partial result, as Gerai Gerai & Miss Sheep only made the semifinal as a wildcard. The jury result will be out during the week. So the final result will be an amalgamation of audience and jury voting. The second semi-final is programmed on the 15th December and the final on the 22nd December. The editorial board of escflashmalta.com would like to wish all the participants the very best of luck as they compete for that elite ticket with the hope of succeeding Donny Montell whose Love Is Blind had finished in fourteenth place, the third best result for the country. Stay tuned for more news in the coming days.
The semi-finals of the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest are just a week away and our reviewers have come full circle today to speak about the final entry in the running order and that is none other than Lithuania but their journey has not been easy noting that there have been songs which have been given positive remarks and praise with others failing to impress ultimately and therefore falling below the usual standard. Nevertheless, everything might change as from today onwards when rehearsals commence but the experts saw the songs through the official preview videos and thus, there will be differences. The final entry is being brought about by Donny Montell and bears the name Love Is Blind composed by Brandon Stone and penned by the same Brandon Stone alongside Jodie Rose.
For Donatas Montvydas, or Donny Montell (24), creating, singing and dancing is his passion in life, a way to discharge emotionally. "If there is at least one person in the world (including me), for whom my creative work gives pleasure, then I’d like to be a part of the music.” Donatas Montvydas was born on October 22, 1987, in Vilnius. The musical path of Donny Montell began in the song contest Dainų dainelė where he became the laureate.
Later he studied at Balys Dvarionas music school. “That was the time when I understood that music was going to be a part of my whole life” states the young singer. Donny is a successful participant of various TV-shows: his voice mesmerized both the audience and jury at Duets Of The Stars and he won the Lithuanian version of the Dancing With the Stars. He competed at prestigious festivals as well, like Slavianskij Bazar and New Wave. He's also taken part in the national selections for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009 and 2011.
Meanwhile Donatas also found time to participate in the TABAMI project, where he performed songs of Michael Jackson.“It was one of my dreams that came true – to sing Michael Jackson’s songs on the big stage”. Donatas began 2012 successfully as well. He participated in the national selections for the Eurovision Song Contest, where he became the favourite of both professionals and TV-viewers, and received the right to participate in the the biggest musical event in Europe with the song Love Is Blind.
The Critics Voice Their Opinion
- A Lithuanian version of Zorro gets on stage wearing ribbon over his eyes and singing “Love is blind”. The first half of the song is a ballad; second half is a B-side of single from the 80’s by Rick Astley. This is the most terrible song of the evening. Love might be blind and I wish I was deaf. At least during this song. I cannot give this one more than one (1) point.
- The final song does feature a good looking lovely sunny boy with the most beautiful looking eyes I have ever seen btut the song is nothing special actually as it is somewhat dedicated to all the girls he loved before. Nevertheless, three (3) points for the effort.
- A ballad that turns into a disco stomper that turns into a complete mess of a breakdown before finding its way back to the disco. Most confusing, as the whole song tries to hard to be something that it is not. And the over-excited performance does nothing to help either. Four (4) points from my end.
Performer: Donny Montell
Composer: Brandon Stone
Author: Brandon Stone & Jodie Rose
Song: Love Is Blind
History of the Nation
This year marks the thirteenth participation for the Lithuanian nation in the Eurovision Song Contest and they have had somewhat of a disappointing history throughout the years unfortunately. Their first entry way back in 1994 proved to be a negative trial as the country did not even score one point and ended at the bottom of the board with Lopšinė mylimai but nevertheless, their comeback in 1999 was much more successful scoring thirteen more points with Strazdas but then in 2001, they managed their best placing to date with You've Got Style finishing in thirteenth place. Ultimately as the years would go on their best result would come in 2006 with the happy go lucky song We Are the Winners which would achieve sixth place after qualifying from the semi-final. Last year, they did surprise people when their ballad C'Est Ma Vie finished in fifth place within the semi-finals and therefore making it to the finals where a mid-table position was also achieved adding to the positive results of the country.
The Team of Radio International would like to invite to join the weekly Ultimate Eurovision Experience. The Show is broadcast on 106.8FM and Digital Cabel 41 in the Netherlands and also via the internet via www.radiointernational.tv and will also be web-televised via the show's own Live Video Channel via the website. The simulcast will be from 2000 – 2300 hours CET this Wednesday.
Eurovision in Concert 2012:
Last Saturday, 21 April 2012, the annual Eurovision Music extravaganza took place in Amsterdam for the fourth time where this year is a record of 24 countries' representatives performed their entry to the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 which will come from Baku, Azerbaijan on May 22, 24 and 26. The event was a full success with an early start for the artists and journalists meeting in the delegation hotel in Amsterdam for the first session of interviews. After a Word of Welcome from EBU's Sietse Bakker the artists were taken by boat to the centre of Amsterdam for their soundcheck in the venue for the evening - The Melkweg. That also included the second session of interviews with the many international media that was accredited. The Team of Radio International in combination with Poplight from Sweden were also present to conduct as many interviews as possible with the 2012 Hopefulls. This week on Radio International listen to interviews with the representatives of Austria, Belarus, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, San Marino and Switzerland.
Interview with Litesound (Belarus 2012):
After Anastasia Vinnekova's "I love Belarus" in 2011 which did not qualify Belarus for the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 Belarus tries it this time with a young Rock & Pop Band by the name of Litesound. The band is composed of the two brothers Dmitry and Vladimir Karyakin, and Italian singer Jacopo Massa and will perform "We are the Heroes" which is definitely a grower. Belarus will be in Semi Final 2 on Thursday, 24 May 2012 at Number 5. Eric & JP met the singers at the annual Eurovision Promotion event in Brussels last weekend and had the big pleasure of an extensive interview.
Interview with Donny Montell (Lithuania 2012):
Lithuania will be represented by young singer Donny Montell who will perform the song "Love is blind" which will go into the competition in Semi Final 2 at Number 18. Donny was also part of the guest list of Eurovision in Concert 2012 in Amsterdam on 21 April 2012 and the team of Radio International had the pleasure of a short interview with the singer.
Interview with Mandinga (Romania 2012):
In 2011 Hotel FM represented Romania at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Change". This year Romania sends in the happy sounds of Romanian Group Mandinga who is a mix of Romanian and Cuban members. The song is called "Zaleilah" and is based in Mandinga's Dance during the peformance. But more details you can hear in the interview on this week's show. Romania will be in Semi Final 1 at Number 6.
Eurovision Song Contest Sportlight - Eurovision 2012 - The Team's Favourites:
Last week Dermot Manning gave us his lists of the Top 10 what he thinks will be ending up in the Top Ten but also what his favourite Top 10 of the 57th Eurovision Song Contest are. This week is the turn of Alasdair Rendall.
Interview with Valentina Monetta (San Marino 2012):
2012 is the third time for San Marino to take part at the Eurovision Song Contest after Mio Dio in 2008 and Senit in 2011. This year San Marino teamed up with German Song Writer Ralph Siegel who delivered the "Social Network Song" which will be performed by Valentina Monetta at the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Semi Final 1 at Number 11. Radio International interviewed the young lady during Eurovision in Concert 2012 in Amsterdam on 21 April 2012.
Euro Friends Song Contest 2012 with Andy Simon:
Continuing with the Euro Friends Song Contest in search for the ultimate Eurovision song as voted for by the many fans around the world. Andy Simon joins us every week to reveal the qualifiers for the next round. The website of the Euro Friends Song Contest www.euro-friends.com where you can easily vote for your favourite Eurovision song per country and also see The Euro-Friends TV Show as hosted by Andy Simon. You can also join the Facebook Group. This week Andy looks at the next qualifiers from Heat 47 (United Kingdom).
Interview with Sinplus (Switzerland 2012):
Gabriel & Ivan are Sinplus and were also on the guest list of Eurovision in Concert but as well part if the Eurovision Promo Event in Brussels on 29 April 2012. There Radio International's Eric chattet with the boys about the preprations for Baku. "Unbreakable" is the Eurovision entry of Switzerland in Semi Final 1 at Number 7.
Eurovision Song Contest News with Luke Fisher from escXtra.com:
Check out the latest developments connected to the Eurovision Song Contest. Whether it is music releases of Eurovision performers, appearances, special concerts, gossip, news, etc. Luke will have the latest updates during this week's edition of the show.
Interview with the Trackshittaz (Austria 2012):
Part of the guest line-up at Eurovision in Concert was also the Austrian representatives to the 57th Eurovision Song Contest - the Trackshittaz who will perform "Woki mit deim Popo" in Semi Final 1 at Number 16. This song is in total contrast to what the country sent in 2011 when Nadine Beiler performed "The Secret is Love". You either love or hate "Woki mit deim Popo". Check out the interview the Team of Radio International did at the event with the Rappers from Austria.
Eurovision Music Requests/Eurovision Quiz:
Interview with Filipa Sousa (Portugal 2012):
The winner of the Portuguese national selection to the Eurovision Song Contest called Festival da Canacao this year is Filipa Sousa who is the Portuguese Ambassador at the 57th Eurovision Song Contes. Unlike last year with Homens da Luta, Filipa bring back to Eurovision the traditional "Fado-like" sounds of Portugal to Eurovision in the song "Vida Minha" (My Life) which wil be in Semi Final 2 at Number 6. Listen to a short interview with the singer done at Eurovision in Concert 2012.
Join Radio International on Wednesday, 02 May 2012 from 2000 - 2300 hours CET, via the website or on FM. Radio International is available live via www.radiointernational.tv and on FM 106.8 and Digital Cabel Channel 41 in parts of the Netherlands. Should you not be able to listen live, the show will appear in the Programme’s Show Archive a few hours after it’s airing on the radio.
Source: Team of Radio International
Proud-to-be-Malta’s representative in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, Kurt Calleja, has lately been touring around Europe promoting his song. On the 25th April was infact his very last day of this tour which took him around most part of Eastern Europe. His last stop was Amsterdam, in Netherlands, where he took part in the event called “Eurovision in Concert” last Sunday, 21st April, where not less than 24 countries promoted their entry. Before returning to Malta on the 26th April, Kurt made a stop in Milan where he will be appearing on a show aired on RAI Due.
During his promotional tour, Kurt met with other Eurovision contenders including Sabina Babayeva who will be representing the host country Azerbaijan, Can Bonomo representing Turkey, Sofi Marinova of Bulgaria, Ivi Adamou of Cyprus, Soluna Samay of Denmark, Donny Montell of Lithuania and Anggun who will be representing France. Kurt Calleja made various appearances in TV shows and performances in nightclubs and also in some National Selections, including Lithuania’s National Selection. Kurt described this promotional tour as “a great adventure” and he surely made a good name for our country, thanks also to his bubbly and super out-going character.
Now, the emphasis of Kurt’s work will surely be on those important 3 minutes on the stage on the 24th May, that is, the second semifinal. Maybe odds will treat us bad once again, but everyone is more than sure that Kurt and his team will do not only their very best, but their utmost to assure a great performance on that night … and hopefully ‘that would be the night’. In an interview done by escflashmalta.com, Kurt said that the performance will be as simple as possible, nearing very much the performance which led him to the victory last February.
Source: Facebook, escflashmalta
Earlier this month, in a slightly lengthy national selection process, Donny Montell ended up being announced as the representative of Lithuania with the song Love Is Blind, which is actually starts as a big emotional ballad before becoming a rythm and blues type of number with jazz elements. There have been mixed comments about the entry and whether it will ultimately qualify and in fact, this idea is also reflected in the bettings odds where the best ones are at 50/1 with the lowest at the current moment being those at 100/1, meaning that the result could sway in both ways.
There has been a lot of talk on whether the studio version of the song will be released anytime soon and it seems that the day has come because the submitted version to the European Broadcasting Union, meaning the one shown on the video was also a live performance and therefore, one had to see whether the new, remastered version had any particular differences but this does not seem to be the case. Apart from releasing the studio version in English, the singer who is quite renowned in his country released two other language versions, one in Russian and one in his native Lithuanian tongue which you can listen to by pressing on the respective languages mentioned. Lithuania will be competing alongside Malta in this years' Eurovision Song Contest within the second semi-final where Kurt Calleja will be performing his song 'This Is The Night' alongside the vocals of Amber as confirmed last night by the Public Broadcasting Services.