The fifth artist in our Who Is series for the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 is The Roop from Lithuania.
The Roop was formed in 2014 in Vilnius and is made up of Vaidotas Valiukevičius, Robertas Baranauskas and Mantas Banišauskas. The group describes their music as a cross between pop-rock and indie. The Roop have released two albums; “To Whom It May Concern” (2015) and “Ghosts” (2017). The Roop has performed around Lithuania and internationally in places such as Belgium, Serbia and Brazil.
In 2018, The Roop took part in the Lithuanian national selection for the first time and finished third in the final with “Yes, I Do”. The group even received the second-highest ranking from the public. After the national selection, The Roop released an EP of the same name as their 2018 entry.
Following their initial success in 2018, it was not long until The Roop would make a second attempt to represent Lithuania at the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2020, they entered Pabandom iš naujo! 2020 with the song “On Fire”. The song was composed by all three band members while the lyrics were written by Vaidotas. The group quickly became the favourite of the 36 competing entries to win shortly after winning the third heat of the show. The Roop would then go on to win their semi-final and then the final of Pabandom iš naujo with a record number of votes from the public.
The Roop were due to perform in the first half of the first semi-final on May 12 and soon after winning Pabandom iš naujo 2020, had made Lithuania one of the front runners to win the 2020 contest. Following Lithuania’s rise as bookies favourites to win Eurovision 2020 both the cites of Vilnius and Kaunas started to even assess the potential to host next years contest.
After the competition was cancelled “On Fire” would go on to win Eurovision 2020 – Das Deutsche Finale, the German alternative TV final which aired just before Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light. “On Fire” would also top the OGAE Eurovision Song Contest Fan Poll for 2020.
Despite not being able to perform at Eurovision in 2020, they still went on to be one of the most-streamed Lithuanian artists of that year thanks to their hit Eurovision 2020 song “On Fire”. “On Fire” was streamed 6 million times on Spotify and its official music video on YouTube was watched over 9 million times. The Roop also received five Lithuanian Music Awards M.A.M.A. nominations for the 2021 M.A.M.A. awards, winning four.
LRT, the Lithuanian broadcaster decided to hold a new national selection for Eurovision 2021, with the rule that should The Roop wish to take part in the selection that they would automatically qualify for the final. Later The Roop was revealed to be one of the 23 acts that would take part in the new selection show.
In late January, The Roop released their song “Discoteque” which they would be entering Pabandom iš naujo 2021 with. The group posted on social media ahead of the release of their song that:
The song “Discoteque” is not a copy of On Fire. That’s what we least wanted. But one thing that connects these tracks (apart from the band members) is that they both sound somewhat unusual. And we like it!
“Discoteque” would go on to win Pabandom iš naujo 2021. The Roop in won by a landslide with 86,5% of all the total 86,123 votes being cast, meaning the group would break their own record for the number of televotes received in the history of Lithuania’s National final.
Since the release of their 2021 Eurovision entry “Discoteque” the song has gone on to break local records for views on youtube and streams on Spotify. The Roop are due to perform in the first half of the first semi-final on May 18th.
Image Source: E. Blaževič / LRT
Lithuania in the Eurovision Song Contest
Lithuania debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994, however on their debut they finished in last place with nul points. Lithuania didn’t return to the contest until 1999 when Aiste finished 20th with the song “Strazdas”. Lithuania’s best result came in 2006 when LT United performed “We Are The Winners”; they finished 6th in the final with a total of 162 points. Lithuania’s only other top 10 finish came in 2016 when Donny Montell performed “I’ve Been Waiting For This Night” in Stockholm, he received 12 points from the public in Ireland, Norway & United Kingdom.