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2020.05.18 11:00

Lithuanian song wins Germany's substitute Eurovision

DPA 2020.05.18 11:00

German viewers chose Lithuania's entry as the winner of their substitute of the Eurovision Song Contest final on Saturday night, after the real version was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lithuanian band The Roop was declared to have “won the hearts” of viewers with its minimalist electric pop song On Fire at the event that was held before empty seats in Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie hall.

Read more: ‘We could have won’. Lithuanians reeling from Eurovision cancellation

Lithuania beat out nine other countries, including Iceland and Denmark, for the honour. Germany's entry, Ben Dolic, performed his song Violent Thing, but not as part of the competition.

The Eurovision Song Contest – a spectacularly camp showcase of music billed as the world's biggest live television broadcast – was originally scheduled to take place this year in Rotterdam on May 12–16, but had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.

The winner of the Free European Song Contest, another ESC alternative co-hosted by Eurovision drag star Conchita Wurst, was Nico Santos from Spain with his rock-tinged pop number Like I Love You. Fifteen countries went head to head for votes from Austria, Switzerland and Germany.

Britain also hosted its own Eurovision event with Eurovision: Come Together, allowing fans to vote for their all-time favourites.

Europe Shine A Light aired on Saturday across the continent. The programme showcased the 41 original 2020 song entries in a non-competitive format, organised by the European Broadcasting Union and its Dutch partners.

At the end of the ESC substitute show, organisers announced that the 2021 finale will take place in Rotterdam.

Read more: Lithuania to pick new song for next year's Eurovision