Donny Montell is a familiar face to Eurovision fans, having participated on two occasions. Both of his participations yielded qualifications for Lithuania, with his most recent participation even reaching the Top 10.
Who is Donny Montell?
Donny Montell is the stage name of Donatas Montvydas, a Lithuanian singer-songwriter. Donny comes from a talented family, with his mother a gymnast and his father a drummer in a rock group. His interest in music began at an early age, but his first big prize was winning the International Festival of Arts Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk in 2008. A number of other Eurovision artists have won the contest, including Ruslana, Alyona Lanskaya, Željko Joksimović among many others. Donny is currently the only Lithuanian to have won the contest.
The Journey to Eurovision
Donny Montell first attempted to represent Lithuania at Eurovision back in 2009. He competed in the selection, Lietuvos Dainų Daina with two songs. The first was a solo entry titled ‘From The Distance’ which finished first in the Quarter-Final, second in the Semi-Final and overall finished in second place. He also featured in a duet with Rosita Čivilytė with a song titled ‘Dainų Daina’ which did not qualify to the final.
Donny competed again in 2010 with the song ‘Running Fast’, which finished in 1st place in the Semi-final, however was later disqualified for being performed before the eligible date. Despite the disqualification, he returned in 2011 with another two competing songs. The first was a duet with former Eurovision representative, Sasha Son, titled ‘Best Friends’. He also competed with a solo song titled ‘Let Me’. Both entries advanced to the final. ‘Let Me’ finished in 5th place in the final, and the duet finished in 10th place.
Donny returned in 2012 with just one song, ‘Love is Blind’. He qualified into the final in 1st place, cementing his place as a favourite of the competition. He ended up winning the competition, and went on to represent Lithuania at Eurovision. He qualified into the Eurovision final in 3rd place, however overall finished in 14th.
In 2013, Donny became a judge on Lietuvos Balsas, the Lithuanian edition of The Voice. He has been a judge on the show since season 2. He has had three successful participants on seasons 3, 4 and 5. In 2013, he also released the studio album, ‘Norim Dar’.
Prior to his second Eurovision appearance, he released the single ‘#BLCK’, followed by ‘Viskas Bus Gerai’, the latter charting at number 3 on the Lithuanian charts. In 2016, he released the album ‘#BLCK’, which featured singles such as ‘Don’t Touch Me’ and ‘Fly’.
In 2016, Donny participated in the Lithuanian Eurovision selection with the song ‘I’ve Been Waiting for This Night’. He dominated the competition, finishing in first place in the first two rounds. He placed second in the semi-final, and went on to win the competition. At Eurovision, he qualified in 4th place from the semi-final, and finished in 9th place overall.
What Happened Next?
Donny has released a number of singles since his Eurovision appearance. In 2017, he released ‘Screw Me Up’ which charted at number 2 in Lithuania. He followed that with ‘Move Your Body’ which reached 15 on the charts. His next single, ‘Nieko verta’ reached number 3 on the charts.
In 2018, he released Žiūrėk ką padarei which also reached number 2 on the Lithuanian charts.
The following year, he released a number of singles including Ryto Saulė and Man Patinka. It was in 2019 when he also began his role as a judge on Lietuvos Balsas: Vaikai, the kids edition of The Voice. He has been a judge on all three seasons of the show.
Donny released a handful of new singles in 2020, including ‘No Strings’, ‘17’ and ‘Kol Vakaras Ilgas’ among others.
In 2021, he released the album ‘1987’ which featured a number of the previously released singles. He recently released the single, Baubas.