25 February 2015

Review: Lithuania: Eurovision 2015 | Monika Linkytė & Vaidas Baumila

Monika Linkytė and Vaidas Baumila to sing This Time for Lithuania

Three Baltic states chose their Eurovision songs over the past weekend and Lithuania was one of the first to announce its representative: This Time performed by Monika Linkytė and Vaidas Baumila.

Lithuania's selection process began nearly two months ago when twelve singers were picked to perform twelve songs in a competition to choose the two independently of each other. It sounds complicated, but essentially it was two contests: one to select the singer, the other to select the song. On Saturday, This Time was already known to be the song going to Vienna (decided the previous weekend) when Mia, Vaidas and Monika took to the stage to wrestle it out to become the performer.

The three were meant to compete against each other, but positive feedback from the public indicated that Vaidas and Monika should perform the song as a duet. As it turned out, the public televote was relatively close between Mia and the couple, but the expert jury solidly ranked the duo in first place.

The selection means that there is now a sudden proliferation of duets heading for Austria. Lithuania's near-neighbours, Estonia, also selected a duo. Could this be the 2014 Dutch effect? Quite possibly, but the influence of The Common Linnets is less evident with Monika and Vaidas.

This Time tends to be an affiliation of the sound of Firelight's 2014 effort for Malta - an upbeat acoustic-driven guitar melody which underpins the singers' more-than-adequate harmonies. In fact, the song demands the involvement of two voices. In the hands of just one singer it feels flat, but the addition of another gives the track more depth - another dimension.

That element is defined and augmented by the interplay between Monika and Vaidas, who appear to share a genuine chemistry, even if it is somewhat ruined by a clumsy kiss halfway through the song. Still, fate has thrown this attractive pair together and they have transformed what could have been a semi-final casualty into something much more ambitious.

That ambition could likely see the song score enough points to place it high on the scoreboard on Final's night - especially if Monika repeats her impromptu "wardrobe malfunction".

What do you think?

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