Lithuania could be disqualified from Eurovision

  • 2002-03-21
  • Wire reports

The European Broadcasting Union has decided to investigate if the band chosen to represent Lithuania in this year's Eurovision Song Contest has not violated the event's regulations.

The official Web-site for the annual event says "We All," which is scheduled to be performed by the Lithuanian group B'Avarija, may be ineligible due to the fact it was released toward the end of 2001.

The EBU's rules insist that any song entered in the contest must not have been commercially released prior to Jan. 1, 2002.

B'Avarija released their last album "Is visos sirdies" in December 2001. The album includes two different mixes of the song under the title "Mes Cia!" The song is in fact a Lithuanian language version of the one that now stands to be performed in Tallinn as Lithuania's entry.

As far back as October 2001, "Mes Cia!" was listed in the Lithuanian Top 20 chart.

Initially the European Broadcasting Union dismissed claims made by the contest's observers, trying to suggest that "Mes Cia!" was not the same song.

It would appear that after actually listening to the two songs, they have had to come to the conclusion that they are not merely similar, they are one and the same.

Jill Paulsson-Gaspare of the EBU said a full investigation was continuing.

"We are currently studying this issue. The thing is that until now Lithuanian public TV has told us it was not true. But we have asked them again to provide us with a complete explanation, and most probably we'll be able to solve this issue at the end of the week," she said.

The second-placed song at the Lithuanian final was "Happy You" by Aivaras.

"Although the deadline for finalizing entries for 2002 has passed, it may be that the European Broadcasting Union will permit a late change to the line-up if the matter is quickly resolved," suggests the report available at

According to the report, the final details of the songs for the 2002 contest are required by March 20, meaning that a very quick investigation is the order of the day if Lithuania are not to face complete disqualification this year.