It’s not too often that we can say that Lithuania went into Eurovision as one of the bookmakers favourites, but in a cruel twist of fate, Lithuania’s strongest chance has been taken away. The Roop was set to represent Lithuania at Eurovision this year with the song On Fire, but would it have resulted in Lithuania’s best result thus far, or was it all just hype?
Anita (Eurovision Union)
Song and Vocals
Admittedly, there were some great candidates for Eurovision in the Lithuanian selection, and even though I’d seen the charm in The Roop, I didn’t necessarily believe they would win over the more ‘vanilla’ entries in the selection. Nonetheless, Lithuania overwhelmingly selected The Roop, and I can approve of their choice.
If we take the novelty of the performance out of the equation, I would confidently say that this would not have been a winner. Where Lithuania excelled this year is the combination of song and performance, and without the wacky performance, this song would have been mid-table material. It’s still a catchy number that Eurovision fans and the ‘regular’ voters would have grabbed hold of, but arguably more for the visual performance rather than the song itself.
That said, the vocal performance is fantastic, and essentially what we get in the studio version is well replicated in the live performance.
Performance and Act
It’s easy to see why Lithuania was maintaining a high position with the bookmakers, as the group was offering one of the most visually unique performances of Eurovision 2020 (along with Iceland and Russia). I would have suspected that the group would not have changed too much from the national selection, as it’s that visual format that helped gain them the success thus far.
Overall, it’s good to see Lithuania choose something with character. It’s such a complete contrast to last year’s entry, which I can’t help but label as anything other than bland.
Next Up: 2021
I would sincerely hope that we get to see The Roop represent Lithuania next year, and hope that they are internally selected and given a chance to create a killer song. It would be great to see them at the top of the odds in 2021, and really be seen as strong competitors as they were this year. We know The Roop can offer up decent songs, and well thought out performances, so I’d love to see that pan out in 2021.
*Update: The Roop have been invited back to compete in the National Selection for Eurovision 2021*
I would have been surprised if Lithuania failed to qualify. This song and performance package had qualifier written all over it, however I suspect that with entries such as Russia and Iceland all likely competing in the same final, Lithuania may have been the country to lose out. Lithuania may have returned to the Top 10 at Eurovision this year, but of course, we will never know.
Song and Vocals
To be honest, when you hear the studio version of ‘On Fire’, it is not a masterpiece. If Eurovision was a radio contest, Lithuania would not have been as high in the odds as it is was for the late Eurovision 2020.
The vocals are also somewhat shaky at times, but I don’t think it will be a real issue for The Roop. The way they deliver the song overpowers these weaknesses. Yes, I don’t think it is a winning Eurovision song. But it could well have been the best result for Lithuania ever.
Performance and Act
Because Eurovision wouldn’t be Eurovision without a couple of entries that give us some good fun and entertainment. And that is exactly what The Roop would have given us in 2020. Their epic dance routine gave them a unique hook, and made them a potential televote buster.
The performance of The Roop and ‘On Fire’ is probably what makes them a bookmakers favourite, more than the song on its merits.
Next up: 2021
This is a tricky one. Yes, The Roop is popular in Lithuania now and high in the odds with the bookmakers. But beware: this is the case with their song ‘On Fire’ and that epic dance routine. They have taken part in the Lithuanian preselection before and not always delivered the goods. LRT needs to make sure they have another fun song with the same potential in 2021
Lithuania would have been a certain qualifier for the final of Eurovision 2020 in my opinion. There are a lot of ‘serious’ songs after the Dutch victory in 2019 and that is a good thing. But for the balance, a fun entertaining entry will also stand out. In the semi and in the final. Even though Iceland and Russia might have given The Roop a run for their money in the show on Saturday. I’m sad that we will never know how things would have went with this song
Additional Scores from Eurovision Union and ESCDaily editors:
Average Score: 7.25/10
What do you think of On Fire? Follow our Eurovision 2020 reviews here.