A woman singing into a microphone. She is wearing an off-the-shoulder minidress with matching tights and is singing on stage in front of a soft-lit backdrop

It’s all been leading up to this – after four weeks of heats and semi-finals, Monika Linkytė will represent Lithuania at the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool! Lithuania’s Prabandom iš naujo concluded tonight and you can relive all the magic here.

Monika narrowly won the top spot in a tie with viewer favourite, Ruta Mūr. Ruta placed second in the jury rankings but first in the public vote, while Monika placed second in the public ranking and first in the jury. Ultimately, the jury vote was taken as the tie-breaker and an ecstatic Monika reprised her song, “Stay”.

Hosts Nombeko Augustė and Giedrius Masalskis shepherded the audience through the top ten performers from the first two semi-final rounds. Tonight’s jury had even more familiar Eurovision faces with singer Jievaras Jasinskis, Lithuania’s representative for the 2010 song contest with the group InCulto joining Vaidotas Valiukevičius and Monika Liu on the judging panel alongside other Lithuanian artists and music industry professionals.

Mario Junes kicked off the show with the brooding “Do What You Do” featuring his unique brand of smouldering chair-iography

Next up, the broadcast went back in time to Moon Bee’s 1970s living room. “Rumor” was last week’s fan favourite with 12 points from the public vote, a stunning increase from her 5 points in the second heat.

Things got futuristic with Justė Kraujelytė and her army of robotic glamazons stomping around to “Need More Fun”, and the dance vibes continued with pop chanteuse and jumpsuit enthusiast Paulina Paukštaitytė and “Let Me Think About Me”.

Last week’s top semi-finalist, Beatrich, closed out the first half of the show with “Like A Movie”.

The jury weighed in on the first five acts, and then TVORCHI took to the stage with “Heart of Steel”, Ukraine’s entry for this year.

Ruta Mūr opened the second half of the show with “So Low”, which placed first in the first heat. The neon saloon stage show is an interesting combination of Western and disco aesthetics, and as a note for younger Eurovision fans, the box on stage is a telephone booth. In the olden days, these stationary telephone rooms existed in public places for making telephone calls.

Il Senso was up next with the cinematic ballad “Sparnai”. Their solemn stage wear was accented with sunflowers, a nod to Ukraine and Radarom, a Lithuanian campaign to buy radars for the Ukrainian war effort.

The audience stayed in ballad-land with Petunija and her torch song, “Love of My Life”. No torches were present in the theatre, however, her staging did feature a particularly splendid lamp.

Gabrielius Vagelis showed up for moody ballads with the dark and stormy “Šauksmas“.

Monika Linkytė closed out the competitive (and ballad) portion of the show with the affirmative, “Stay”.

Duncan Laurence kept the ballad energy going with a performance of his 2019 winning song, “Arcade” during the voting.

Monika Liu then brought her unmistakable sparkle to the stage with new song “Šampanas (bul bul bul)” before delighting the crowd with “Sentementai”. Radarom donations were collected during her performances with the final total from public donations totalling an amazing €205 455! An additional €100 000 was matched by Lithuanian furniture company, Baldai1.

The final scores are here. Congratulations to all the competitors and a special thanks to LRT for making the broadcasts so easy to access for the overseas fans:

  1. Monika Linkytė, “Stay“: 22 points (12 jury, 10 public) *Jury tie-break*
  2. Rūta MUR , “So Low“: 22 points (10 jury,  12 public)
  3. Petunija, “Love of My Life“: 16 points (12 jury, 4 public)
  4. Beatrich, “Like a Movie“: 16 points (8 jury, 8 public)
  5. Paulina Paukštaitytė, “Let Me Think About Me“: 11 points (6 jury, 5 public)
  6. Gabrielius Vagelis, “Šauksmas“: 10 points (4 jury, 6 public)
  7. Mario Junes, “Do What You Do“: 9 points (7 jury, 2 public)
  8. MoonBee, “Rumor“: 8 points (1 jury, 7 public)
  9. Justė Kraujelytė, “Need More Fun“: 6 points (5 jury, 1 public)
  10. Il Senso, “Sparnai“: 5 points (2 jury, 3 public)

What do #YOU think about Lithuania’s national selection? Will #YOU be cheering for Monika Linkytė? We’re on social media @ESCUnited, or join our discord or forum page!

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