Lithuania: Erica Jennings withdraws from Eurovizija 2018

by Jessica Weaver 2,325 views

A surprise announcement was made from one of the bidding 2018 Lithuanian acts this morning. Former Eurovision participant, Erica Jennings, has confirmed with withdrawal from the country’s national selection, expressing her dismay at the at the judging panel’s approach from Saturday’s show.

Erica Jennings is no stranger to the Eurovision Song Contest: having participated at the contest back in 2001 as part of the group Skamp, Jennings has become a much-respected artist within her own right across her adopted home of Lithuania.

Having tried to represent the nation once again back in 2016, Jennings was announced as a returning artist in this year’s Eurovizija selection, with hopes of representing Lithuania for a second time in the host city of Lisbon.

With her bidding entry The truth, a song she wrote and composed whilst pregnant with her daughter, the Irish-born singer was hoping to once again compete on the Eurovision stage with a song with strong meaning to the artist.

Withdrawal from Eurovizija 2018

Despite receiving high praise from fans across the Eurovision world for her latest release, Jennings has since announced her withdrawal from the competition, with the main reason behind the withdrawal being the desire to see changes to the current selection format.

Following Saturday evening’s first heat of Eurovizija 2018, Jennings expressed her honest thoughts regarding the national selection, as well as her dismay at the jury panel in question for their verbal approach to this year’s show.

In a statement, the singer revealed:

I’ve been mulling it over in my head for a while. Yes I do have a great song – in my humble, but experienced opinion. “The Truth” means a great deal to me. I wrote it while I was still pregnant with my daughter who’s now just turned 7 months. It’s a big song and yes it’s perfect for Eurovision. If I didn’t feel that way about my song I wouldn’t have wanted to take part in the first place.

But I’ve decided to pull out. And I’ll tell you honestly why. I simply don’t want to jump through all those hoops again. I am an established singer. I’ve been to eurovision already, with my own song and we did pretty well as I recall. And so the idea of having to, once again, be in that almost “school girl” position of having to stand there, listening to a commission, after performing my heart out is simply cringeworthy. And with all due respect, most of them are less experienced than me in these particular topics of Eurovision, singing and songwriting. I’m fine with there being a panel in general. I’ve been on commissions myself. But I honestly believe the format should be reconsidered with all due respect to everyone involved.

Just scrolling down fb after the tv show has aired, you see all these so called “experts” complimenting themselves on how they got rid of the “rubbish” and didn’t “hold back”, patting each other on the back and massaging their egos. When most of them have never a) written a song b) written a hit or c) been anywhere near performing at Eurovision. I mean I’m just amazed at their gall. 
When I went to Eurovision, there was a commission then too but their verdict was decided off camera. You performed and that was it. I get it – it’s tv and ratings and I’m fine with that too. It’s just this particular format, is not for me. I would suggest that perhaps they consider making some changes for the future. 
And I hope that those on the commission this year will appreciate their position and behave accordingly. Constructive criticism, empathy and compassion. It’s not what you say but how you say it. If someone would like to try with “The Truth”, let me know.
Lastly, I wish everyone taking part this year the very very very best of luck!!!

#eurovision #eurovizija Ilgai apie tai galvojau. Taip, turiu puikią dainą – mano nuoširdžia, bet patyrusia nuomone. “…

Geplaatst door Erica Jennings op maandag 8 januari 2018

Will we see the return of Jennings in the near future? With the current Eurovizija format, it’s looking unlikely. However it’s not the end for The truth, as Jennings has offered up her entry to any artist interested in competing in the competition.

Eurovizija 2018 continues on the 20 January with the second heat of the competition, with a further set of acts set to be shortlisted to compete in the next stage of the national selection. The winner of the selection will be determined in March.

Do you agree with Jennings thoughts towards Eurovizija 2018? Do you believe more compassion is needed from the jury panel? Let us know your thoughts!