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Lithuania’s heart is beating: Monika Linkytė is here to stay

08 May 2023 at 15:40 CEST
Monika Linkytė from Lithuania in the Eurovision 2023 studio Corinne Cumming / EBU
It’s easy to love someone like Monika Linkytė, and she’ll be representing Lithuania at Eurovision with her song ‘Stay,’ hoping to put an end to broken dreams.
Monika Linkytė rehearsing Stay for Lithuania at the Second Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena Sarah Louise Bennett / EBU

Monika took part in a 5-week long competition to earn her place at Eurovision. Pabandom Iš Naujo! is Lithuania’s national selection event, starting with 30 songs and ending with a public televote and expert jury vote — Monika walked away with the win. And it’s not her first time on the Eurovision stage. She competed alongside Vaidas Baumila in 2015 with their duet, This Time. Now, she’s hoping it’ll be second time lucky.

Monika’s performance at her national final was moving enough, but she stepped it up another level for Liverpool. Alongside 4 singers, she took to her first rehearsal on Tuesday 2 May with an emotional performance of Stay. She stepped onto the stage wearing an orange dress with a ribbon effect, as the stage lights gave a warming sunrise behind her. Our hearts were certainly beating by the end of the song.

Monika Linkytė rehearsing Stay for Lithuania at the First Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena Corinne Cumming / EBU

The official Eurovision Live Blog could feel the love after Monika’s first rehearsal. They wrote: "This is such a captivating ballad, and if the vocal harmonies between Monika and her four backing singers weren't enough, the pulsing drumbeat pounds through the arena floor, so you can't help but feel part of it."

Stay might be a song from the heart, but there’s already someone special in Monika’s life — her dog, Sigis. He’s a toy poodle (an extremely tiny, curly-haired dog) and she says she loves him more every day. No doubt Sigis will be sitting in front of the TV, cheering on Mama Monika.

Monika’s taste in music includes soulful tunes like If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys and Too Good At Goodbyes by Sam Smith. She’s also a big fan of Beyoncé’s Renaissance album and can’t resist a bit of Coldplay. It’s clear that whatever she’s listening to, Monika is inspired by songs that come from the heart.

The Official Eurovision Song Contest Podcast caught up with Monika, and our host asked exactly what the lyrics ‘čiūto tūto,’ mean. Google Translate wasn’t much help, but Monika had the answer, which is that it can’t be translated at all. 

“This is a folk music phrase, and it represents nature sounds,” she told us. In the olden times, way before Eurovision, Lithuanians would stand in circles and sing these meditative words, and they would heal their souls. “This ‘čiūto tūto’ phrase, this ‘čiūto tūto’ song, it’s going to be some kind of medicine for all of us. For our own journeys, for ourselves, and for the whole of Europe.”

There’s more from Monika on Episode 7 of the Official Eurovision Song Contest Podcast.

Monika Linkytė rehearsing Stay for Lithuania at the First Rehearsal of the Second Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena
Chloe Hashemi / EBU

You can learn more about Monika Linkytė from Lithuania right here.