2020.03.19 10:57

The Roop regrets Eurovision cancellation: Lithuania could have won 2020.03.19 10:57

Cancelling Eurovision was “very sad news” for the Lithuanian band The Roop which was eyeing victory at this year's song contest.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced on Wednesday it was cancelling the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest which was to take place in Rotterdam on May 12–16.

Read more: Lithuanians greet quarantine with Eurovision song and applause

“It is very sad news for our band,” Vaidotas Valiukevičius, the lead singer of The Roop, said in a video statement. “I think that all Lithuanians are also sad, because were were rated very high in this year's contest. Many were painting a bright future for us and the first place.”

However, he added, the band understands the need to take action to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

“Health comes first and we understand it,” he said. “So we encourage everyone to observe quarantine rules and perform our On Fire dance at home or in balconies.”

The EBU said next year's competition may still be hosted in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. It is unclear, though, if participating countries will select new songs for the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest.

Audrius Giržadas, Lithuania's Eurovision producer, said the EBU made the decision to cancel the competition after two days of intense debate. Where and under what conditions next year's event is held will be decided in future meetings, he added.

Lithuania's entry, On Fire by The Roop, was among this year's favourites. It was ranked second on bookmakers' list with the odds of 10 percent of winning Eurovision.

Eurovizija 2020. Finalas. The Roop – „On Fire“

“I had great hopes that Vaidotas could have been close to the top, if not the winner,” Giržadas told LRT. “But what can you do? No one expected this to happen. But we all know that The Roop were worthy participants and we are grateful to them.”