Lithuania have paired up Monika Linkytė and Vaidas Baumila with “This Time”:
Lithuania’s song selection process is unconventional by European standards, a parallel selection of 12 artists and 12 songs for Europe. Typically the process of pairing the song with artist is done behind the scenes. Taking a short list of songs and artists and putting them in front of the public to match them up… it doesn’t seem like it should work.
But this year, when two competitors unexpectedly teamed up for one of the songs, Lithuania stumbled onto something good.
Monika Linkytė and Vaidas Baumila should be familiar faces to Lithuanian viewers and close Eurovision followers. This was Monika’s 5th attempt to represent Lithuania. She made the final in 2012, finishing 3rd, and she was 4th in 2014, just shy of the superfinal cut. Here is Monika singing “Attention,” last year’s Lithuanian Eurovision entry. It’s not her best work. Vaidas also competed in Lithuania’s national selection last year, and he made the finals. Here he is singing “Attention.” It’s not his best work either.
Together, however, they are a pair that commands our…ahem…attention. “This Time” is an innocent, featherweight country tune. It evokes favorable memories of entries from Malta and the Netherlands from last year. The Lithuanian organizers will need to consider choreography and packaging for Vienna – right now it’s a little messy and the song is at risk of losing its energy in the final 30 seconds. That, of course, could be an artifact of the Lithuanian selection process and how these two came together. Even so, there’s a lot here to like. Monika and Vaidas have good chemistry together, and watching them together fills us with joy. It works.
Lithuania has competed at Eurovision 15 times since 1999. Their best result was 2006, when LT United finished 6th with “We are the Winners.” That was the one and only time Lithuania finished on the left side of the leader board. Whether Lithuania matches or improves on that result with “This Time” we can’t say, but we can say we think this is Lithuania’s strongest outing since they started competing at Eurovision.
“This time I think I’m falling in love.” We think so too, Lithuania, we think so too.