On Saturday 18th of February, Monika Linkytė won the Lithuanian national selection Pabandom iš naujo! for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 with her song “Stay“. Already taken to the Eurovision stage in 2015 as part of duo, Monika back this time and ready to own the stage all by herself. We take a look at her career so far and how she got the ticket to perform in Liverpool in May.
Who is Monika Linkytė?
Monika Linkytė is a Lithuanian singer and songwriter whose career has been revolved around singing competitions. The Eurovision Song Contest was a huge part of her career even from an early age, as in 2007, Linkytė competed in the Lithuanian national selection for Junior Eurovision 2007 when she was fifteen years old. She has taken part in various versions of the Lithuanian national final seven times (and should’ve been eight, but was forced to withdraw in 2022 due to illness) and came second on the second season of The Voice Lithuania (Lietuvos Balsas).
As many Eurovision fans will know, one of these chances did result in success and Monika represented Lithuania in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 along with Vaidas Baumila with the song “This Time”, placing 18th.
The Lithuanian national final in 2015; Eurovizijos dainų konkurso nacionalinė atranka (Eurovision Song Contest national selection) took place over eight weeks and involved twelve entries and “This Time” performed by of course, Monika Linkytė and Vaidas Baumila emerged as the winner following the final of the competition.
At Eurovision itself, their dainty pop/country, true love song number finished seventh out of seventeenth in with 67 points which was enough to qualify for the Grand Final. In the Final, the duo placed eighteenth scoring 30 points. This song is still widely talked about in Eurovision circles today, thanks to the “kiss pause” between Monika and Vaidas and the same-sex dancers on stage.
Fast forward to 2023, Monika won yet another long process of a Lithuanian national final – Pabandom iš naujo!, gaining twelve points in the jury and ten points in the televote. Second placed Rūta Mur achieved the same score as Monika – but thanks to the jury tiebreaker rule, Monika won.
“Stay” is a song that focuses on personal reflection, staying true to yourself and keeping yourself grounded. Monika states in an interview with Lithuanian broadcaster LRT that it’s a “reminder of how important it is to pause and come back to yourself.” She also talks about the now iconic “Ciūto Tūto” line in Lithuanian that repeats like a drum beat throughout the chorus.
“It was these phrases (Ciūto Tūto) that were used in Lithuanian folk sutras, like magical incantations, which, by constantly repeating, we began to hear the voice of our heart more and more.”Monika on the “Ciūto Tūto” line of her song “Stay” to LRT
Monika will perform in fifthteen position in Semi-Final 2 on May 11th of Eurovision 2023. With Monika’s fantastic vocals that always sound like they are coming from the heart, we’re sure she’ll touch many around Europe with her mid-tempo entry and we wish her all the best for Livepool!