First, Georgia gave us Anri Jokhadze. Then the UK gave us Englebert Humperdinck. But ladies and gentlemen, let’s talk about Donny Montell.
Followers of our blog will know that Lithuanian singer Donny Montell (anglicized from Donatas Montvydas) holds a special place in our hearts. Donny has been a fixture in the Lithuanian pop music scene for several years and has entered every Lithuanian national selection since 2009. He also has the distinction of having made our Least Self-Aware list before ever setting foot on a Eurovision stage.
We have followed his career since his memorable showing at last year’s pre-selection, and his performances have brightened many dull, Eurovision-less summer evenings for us. The thing about Donny is that he’s a such a multi-faceted performer. We’ve prepared a PowerPoint to show you.
Last October we predicted that he would finally break through to Eurovision in 2012. And this week, after overcoming allegations of plagiarism, he placed first with the jury and the public vote. Here’s Donny with Lithuania’s 2012 entry, “Love is Blind”:
We are beside ourselves with joy. It’s a tender love song that builds in the right places, and Donny considerately turns the second half into a disco song so we don’t get bored. Donny’s singing is in tune, well-phrased, powerful when it needs to be, and generally good. But you know why this works? Because he tries. Not only is love blind, but Donny puts on a blindfold to show us he is blind too. At a key transition moment, he rips off the blindfold so Donny can emote as only Donny can. When the lyrics talk about reaching out to you, he really reaches out to you. As a viewer, you understand that he understands. In the final, he even gave us an extra special cartwheel.
Here’s our Eurovision dream scenario. Lithuania makes the finals and is drawn right before the UK. Donny does this thing, and as Englebert takes the stage he says to Donny, “That sure was nice. Now move over, son.”