Lithuania fighting for attention

It took the Lithuanians close to three months to select their entry for Copenhagen. In what seem to be an endless string of qualifying rounds, where the actual song and the artist were selected separately and then paired together, they ended up with Vilija Matačiūnaitė singing Attention, composed and written by Vilija Matačiūnaitė. Hello? Congratulations on setting a world record in spending unnecessary time and effort. Ever heard of internal selection, national broadcaster in Lithuania? Well, at least the public got to have their say, and those who actually paid any attention (haha) through all 73 or so preliminary rounds were probably pleased with the result.

After qualifying unexpectedly for the big final three years in a row now, with what we think has been only half decent to a load of poop, there’s no reason for the Lithuanians to become too cocky about it. Before they know it they’re left in the dirt with their neighbor Latvia having to watch the final from the sideline for the next 5-6 years. And very likely starting with this year, we might add. We’ll be completely flabbergasted if this is not one of the five being relegated in semi-final 2. Which is a shame really, as we love the concept of the undertipped, ignored underdog powering through with limited recourses to spend on an overpopulated delegation and promotion, but abundantly equipped with smartness and a tenacious drive.

Attention isn’t such a bad song, really. Kudos to Vilija for penning it. And Vilija herself looks like a competent artist. But just because she’s written the song herself doesn’t mean she’s the right match for performing it. A point clearly illustrated in the MGP-final earlier this season when Karin Park, the amazingly cool and talented lady behind Norway’s 2013 entry couldn’t resist the temptation of jumping on stage and stealing the limelight from Margaret Berger. It felt oh, so wrong. IFYML would have ended mid table at best in Eurovision with Karin Park behind the microphone instead of backstage.

Someone should have advised the Lithuanians against sending a girl to do a grown woman’s work. Vilija is clearly out of her league battling this snappy electro-pop number, struggling with the staccato lyrics, and trying awkwardly to look like a fierce dominatrix bashing a bloke around. She looks more like a 10 year old in a cute tutu, ready for her first ballet practice. If she only could go to Copenhagen as a young, talented, female composer, teamed up with an experienced, strong artist who could do the song proper justice. Then it might have had a fighting chance of at least reaching the final. But then again, Lithuania has surprised us before. Feel free to join us on Friday May 9, while we eat our words for breakfast.

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