Countdown to Eurovision 2022: #31- Lithuania

#31 – Lithuania
Monika Liu
Songwriters: Monika Liubinaitė

The Kirkham Report welcomes you to my coverage of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest!  From April 3 to the end of the contest on May 14, I’ll be here with all the latest ESC news and info, and of course, that means I’m also bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such.  Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary.

There are 40 countries participating this year, up from 39 in 2021 – Armenia and Montenegro return to the contest after taking 2021 off, while Russia has been excluded this year due to their incursion on the sovereign state of Ukraine;  Belarus was disqualified in 2021 for three years because of rules violations on their song entry, that runs through 2023.

In at #31 this year is the official entry from Lithuania, “Sentimentai” by Monika Liu. It is performed in Lithuanian. The song will be performed third in the first semi-final on May 10.

Liu (full name Monica Liubinaite) has had a musical vibe since the age of five, when she took up the violin, and her life has been mostly centered around a musical career ever since. She’s yet another ESC participant who got her major music education at Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music (woo hoo!), and has been well known in her native land for the better part of a decade, even joining her nation’s Voice franchise as a judge in 2021.

What I’m thinking about this song….Liu is a truly appealing performer, and this old fashioned Chanteuse-style number disguised in a slight dance beat is fun and funky but doesn’t rise to the level it could. I definitely like it – it’s like a dance version of “Voila” from last year, but with a little less pretension and a little more savvy. Overall, it could indeed make it through the semis to the finals, but it’s hard to be sure – she’s following up The Roop, and that’s not going to be an easy task all the way round, considering what huge fan favorites they were in 2020 and 2021….

Lithuania had a rocky start in EuroVision, debuting in 1994 and receiving one of the rare “nul points” scores; they were incensed and pulled out for five years before returning in 1999. Although they have yet to win their first Grand Final – the last remaining Baltic state that has never won the contest – they have participated 22 times as of 2022, and finished as high as 6th place, which happened in 2006, with what many EuroVision watchers consider a “troll” or novelty entry,  We Are The Winners, performed by LT United, the lyrics and presentation of which in fact made a complete mockery of the entire EuroVision contest, which is pretty ironic, all things considered. They missed the finals in 2019. In 2020 The Roop could have taken the whole thing, but it wasn’t to be thanks to the pandemic; in their return in 2021, their fan favorite “Discoteque” finished 8th, their best showing since 2006 above.

Here’s the official music video for “Sentimentai”  – check it out…

Join The Kirkham Report throughout the next few weeks as I bring you the 2021 entries, a look at the 2020 cancelled contest, and more, plus after and during the countdown, the latest updates on this year’s ESC and all the craziness that surrounds this contest every year!

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