Ah. Donny Montell. The present-day Eurovision equivalent of Austria’s latterday ‘heart throb’ Gary Lux. Welcome back to Eurovision, Donny.
But the thing is that Donny’s all grown-up now, or rather he’s moved into a slightly ‘older’ phase. Having leaned-up, worked-out and become a little bit more aware of his pretty-boy looks, he’s lost some of the exuberant charm he oozed on stage when he last competed for Lithuania with ‘Love is Blind‘ (14th, 2010).
Yes, the bejewelled blindfold was a literal and shameless gimmick, and the song a little dated, but his performance was committed, and his choreography remarkably assured. He had a chutzpah about him in 2010.
This year, I’m wondering whether the shorter hair, the gaunt look and the smoking broodiness he’s projecting means he might just have jumped the shark a bit.
Donny’s vocal performance is secure in the Lithuania’s National Final (above) in which he also displays a similar confidence on stage as he did in 2010.
But the personality he’s projecting is contrived. Donny is channelling Justin Bieber with the over-sized jacket momentarily slung over the shoulder, wandering around the stage like a would-be gangster who’s just had his hair dyed.
Musically, the song misses the mark too. The vocals are so swamped by the thick drum-driven mix that any sense of the melody is lost. Come the second chorus, the hook has become tired, the anthem hollow, and the aspiration a distant memory.
It’s not a bad song, by any means, but its trying so hard to be meaningful that it’s in danger of sinking without a trace.
Donny appeals to a number of different audience demographics, so his place in the Final can hardly be in question. I just can’t see it being a long-lasting Eurovision memory.