Lithuania remains as the only Baltic nation yet to win Eurovision, and their best result thus far was 6th place. The nation is hit or miss with qualification at the contest, however the nation perseveres, and spends a *lot* of time choosing their representatives. This year was no exception, with another marathon selection in which Jurij Veklenko, or Jurijus was selected with the song Run with the Lions. Will this be the song that helps Lithuania crack into the Top 5?
Song + Vocals
Lithuania’s national selection is an interesting one, and this year was no different. There were many of the competing entries in which would certainly not make their way to Eurovision, perhaps including the interestingly named entry, The Smell of Your Eyes, however there were a handful of songs that had potential, likely pending a revamp. I would say that Run with the Lions was one of those songs, and I wasn’t surprised to see it win the competition in the end.
My first impression of the song was back before it had won the national selection, and it did stand out as a contender to win the competition. It is definitely a very generic pop song, but it’s quite charming, as is Jurij as a performer. Listening to the song now, especially in comparison with its fellow Eurovision competitors, this is in the middle of the pack, pun intended.
To me, this song is just a skeleton, or a draft to which needs to be built on. There’s not really elements I dislike in this song, but it just needs power, especially with a song title as Run with the Lions. After a while, the song becomes a bit one dimensional, especially with the lack of power in the chorus. As much as I don’t mind a bit of falsetto every now and then, I just don’t know if I see the value of it in this song, and I just crave more vocal power.
That being said, Jurij comes across as a fairly calm performer, and his vocals are on point during the live performance. I would say though that there aren’t too many of those Eurovision winning notes in there, or in other words, he isn’t about to belt out an extraordinary note. On one hand, that may play to his strengths, but in another feels like the safe option.
Act + Performance
Despite the song not reaching the heights that I would have hoped from Lithuania, this is a song that could actually elevate depending on the stage performance. To give it interest, the team could have utilised lighting, props, backing imagery all to work in their favour however as far as I know, they will be staying with the same or a similar staging to the national final.
This seems like such a waste for this song, and even if it is cliché – I WANT TO SEE LIONS. I just feel as if both the audience and jury really need something more from this, otherwise it’s almost guaranteed that this will be forgotten in the scheme of things. Jurij has good chemistry with the camera, so there’s that, but please Lithuania, give me more.
Although this is a decent entry, it’s just not enough. Between Malta and Russia in the running order, I can’t see this standing out for the voters, and as a result I can’t see this qualifying to the final. It’s a shame, as I think this is a strong ‘skeleton’ but the song just needs a bit more work, and the staging needs more interest – let’s hope that they are secretly planning for something on stage!