With their song, 'On Fire', The Roop was chosen to represent Lithuania in 2020. In light of the unfortunate cancellation of the 65th Eurovision Song Contest, we wish to highlight the impressive acts that were set to appear. This is 'In the spotlight', our feature honouring the artists that would have made up this year's edition of the world's largest live music event.
Second time's a charm for this Lithuanian trio! The Roop first competed in their country's national selection back in 2018 with their song Yes, I Do, placing 3rd overall. This year, The Roop narrowly secured their spot in Lithuania’s Pabandom iš naujo! - the countries’ national selection show - with 24 points, closely followed by 2nd-place holder Monique, who gathered 20 points, and Monika Marija who came in 3rd with 15 votes.
The band, consisting of Vaidotas Valiukevičius-Naive, Robertas Baranauskas and Mantas Banišauskas, beat the 7 other competitors with their song On Fire. Due to the cancellation of this years’ Eurovision Song Contest, The Roop have been granted the right to pass automatically to next year's Pabandom iš naujo! Grand Final.
The lively music video for On Fire was produced by director Indrė Juškutė and cinematographer Adomas Jablonskis.
Who are The Roop?
The band have been working together since 2014 with their debut single, Be Mine, released that same year and their debut album, To Whom It May Concern, released in 2015. Their musical style is described as a mix of rock, pop-rock, soft-rock, dance-rock, indie and pop. Their live shows are characterized as lively and honest, with a strong relationship with the audience.
The band named their third and latest record – an EP entitled Yes, I Do – after a song the group wrote for the Lithuanian national selection show for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2018. Despite coming in 3rd place, The Roop was frequently asked about participating again and were eventually persuaded to return to the competition.
The Roop explained that the name of their Eurovision song, On Fire, refers to being in a state of excitement, a passionate feeling, engaged and full of energy. According to the band leader Vaidotas Valiukevičius-Naive, it's “...about something I carried within and observed around myself. It’s about writing yourself off too quickly. We are underestimating ourselves too often”. With this song, Vaitados wishes to send their listeners confidence and good vibes and the message that we are all capable of being who we want, when we want, and at any age.
READ MORE: The Roop's participant profile
According to the bands’ Instagram page, Vaidotas is currently working on new music in a "wooden house deep in the forest”. He also sent a "warm video hug" to Romania's Eurovision Song Contest 2020 participant, Roxen.
You can follow The Roop on the following social media platforms:
Lithuania in the Eurovision Song Contest
Lithuania joined the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994. After scoring nul points with its first-ever entry, the country swiftly withdrew from the competition, only to return again in 1999. Lithuania’s best placing was in 2006, with LT United coming in 6th place, with We Are The Winners. Since then, the country has only made it to the top 10 in the Grand Final once - in 2016 with Donny Montell's I've Been Waiting For This Night.
Lithuania’s national selection, Eurovizijos dainų konkurso nacionalinė atranka, usually begins in January and continues into March, making it the longest national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest.
READ MORE: Lithuania's country page
Jurij Veklenko was Lithuania's representative at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. He performed Run With The Lions in Tel Aviv and placed 11th in the Second Semi-Final with 93 votes.