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LT United is a six-piece alternative-pop musical group created in 2006 for the sole purpose of representing Lithuania in the Eurovision Song Contest 2006. The group entered the Lithuanian pre-selection event with the song "We Are the Winners", winning with almost twice as many votes as the runners-up, and finished 6th in the Eurovision Song Contest final with 162 points.
LT United was created in early 2006 after the well-known Lithuanian rock musician Andrius Mamontovas decided it would be a good idea to enter the Eurovision Song Contest. The group consisted of six individuals who were already well known in Lithuania, with all six having some form of musical or television background. Along with Mamontovas, the other members were Marijonas Mikutavičius, Victor Diawara, Saulius Urbonavičius, Arnoldas Lukošius and Eimantas Belickas. Before joining LT United, Diawara had already represented Lithuania in the contest, finishing 13th in 2001 (see Eurovision Song Contest 2001) as part of Skamp. The group were described by Mamontovas on LT United's official website as "the musical equivalent of [a] national basketball team".
The group entered the Lithuanian pre-selection contest, dominating the scoring and receiving 32,669 points - almost double that of the second-placed Inculto. After performing the song, the Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus invited the group to perform at Lithuania's Independence Day. The group also became the Lithuanian ambassadors for the United Nations' "Time To Help The Others" world development programme.
The music video for the song was released for public viewing on 23 March 2006 and was directed by Donatas Ulvydas. The video consisted of clips from their pre-selection performance, along with archive footage of the six members. The press release that accompanied the video stated that the use of archive material was to "prove the experience of each LT United member". The video received a large amount of airplay in Lithuania from March until the time of the contest in late May.
Prior to the Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals, LT United notably refused to perform the song, deciding to wait until the semi-final itself (although a rehearsal performance was released on their official website just before it). The group also contacted radio stations across Europe to request the song be removed from playlists until 22 May (the day after the final). Despite this, the song became well-known within the groups following the contest, with some disgruntled at the lyrics of the song (based around the statement "We are the winners, of Eurovision" - in fact, it appears 15 times in the lyrics -, annoying some who felt it was egotistical, although the song is clearly tongue-in-cheek). This resulted in, upon their appearance in the semi-final, some booing them prior to and after their performance.
Despite that, their stage act (including Arnoldas Lukošius' dancing manically, and Saulius Urbonavičius singing into a megaphone) and the song managed to gain 163 points, which proved to be enough to finish 5th in the semi-final. Upon the announcement of their qualification, loud boos were clearly heard from the crowd.
Their final performance would not differ much from that in the semi-final, and despite (less prominent) booing from the crowd present in Athens, LT United managed to finish 6th with 162 points (with big points from the English-speaking countries of Ireland and the United Kingdom, along with their Baltic neighbours of Latvia and Estonia as well as from Iceland). The 6th place is Lithuania's best contest finish to date (beating their aforementioned 2001 entrants Skamp by seven places). During the final, Lukošius' was likened to the British comedian Harry Hill by BBC commentator Terry Wogan. Contest winners Lordi also jokingly quoted the song's title in the post-final press conference.
After the contest, LT United released "We Are The Winners" as a single (under M.P.3 label), with a World Cup 2006 version of the song also included on the release. This has resulted in some sarcastically noting that their nation Lithuania didn't, and never have qualified for the World Cup. In two weeks the single was sold around 3,000 copies in Lithuania, and thus went gold. Eventually the single became platinum after selling 5,000 copies in Lithuania. It also has reached No. 14 in Finland singles chart, where it was released by Magnum Music.
- Augūnaitė, Diana (15 June 2006). "R.Williamsas dainavo „We are the winners"". www.DELFI.lt (in Lithuanian). Retrieved 19 April 2015.
|Awards and achievements|
Laura and the Lovers
with "Little by Little"
|Lithuania in the Eurovision Song Contest
with "Love or Leave"