An admission: When we first saw The Roop’s “On Fire” in heat three of Pabandom iš naujo!, our son Kieran and I looked at each other confused. What is this, and why is Stanley Tucci doing performance art in Lithuania?
But Jen understood that The Roop had created a moment, and declared that they were going to win.
Because Jen gets this Eurovision thing.
There is so much that we could criticize here. Vocalist Vaidotas Valiukevičius over-enunciates his vocals: “But there’s fire in my SOOOuuuuullll.” He and the back-up dancers emote something fierce. And The Roop rhymed “fire” with “desire,” one of the venial sins of Eurovision.
But here’s the thing: it just works. Do you think rhyming “fire” with “desire” is cliché? The Roop are going to show you that no other lyric will do. “On Fire” is about having confidence to move forward and overcoming self-doubt. So when the world is your desire, you’re going to feel like you’re on fire. It’s a fact.
Do you think the choreography is wacky? Well, The Roop are going to commit to it so hard you are going to dance along by the end. It’s the perfect choreography for the sparkling synth melody they are dancing too. Plus it takes full advantage of Vaidotas’ limbiness: if you’ve got long fingers and arms like that, you gotta flaunt them.
As we said at the top, The Roop created a moment at Pabandom iš naujo! They overwhelmingly won both the televote and the jury vote because Lithuania sensed they had captured lightning in a bottle. Regardless of whether or not you buy into “On Fire,” you’re going to remember it. The next time Sweden hosts Eurovision, Petra Mede and Måns Zelmerlöw are going to be doing that dance in the updated version of “Love, Love, Peace, Peace.”
We’re already exited to see our Eurovision party’s reaction to this one. And we’re also looking forward to blasting it when we’re feeling low. The Roop accomplished what they set out to do, and we’re on board.