LITHUANIA: Jurij Veklenko “Run With The Lions”

LITHUANIA: Jurij Veklenko "Run With The Lions"

You may remember this man from the 2015 Lithuanian entry with my "Eurovision wife", Monika Linkyte. He was the backing dancer who kissed another man onstage...!

(But this article is not about Monika so shush Mark...)

“This Time” (oh, I am doing it again) Lithuania is sending Jurij Veklenko as a soloist to Tel Aviv with the song Run With The Lions. Danie tells me that Jurij is very easy on the eyes so I believe her. 

Jurij, born in 1990 in Klaipeda, has been singing professionally since 2010 and says he inherited the singing gene from his mother. While he has no formal music eduction (he studied Recreation and Tourism at Uni) he performed in the Lithuanian edition of Got Talent and came 9th. In 2013 he competed in The Voice of Lithuania, and also was a part of a 1950’s themed boy band called The Rollics.

Jurij is no stranger to Eurovision. He tried out at the Lithuanian national final Eurovizija in 2012 and was a backing vocalist for Andrius Pojavis in 2013 (the shoes!). He then returned to the national final in 2014 as a solo act, and in 2015 with The Rollics but was knocked out in the second week - twice! In 2017, he was back at Eurovizija as part of Lolita Zero’s act. It was later revealed that Lolita lip synced her performance and the voice was actually Jurij’s. Since he was actually on stage with her, it wasn’t against the rules. Technically. 

Even though I really wanted Monika Marija to win the national selection this year (yes, Lithuanians called Monika are my thing), I have warmed to Run With The Lions since its revamp. It’s definitely a grower and a provides a great ear worm. Jurij has the charisma and the voice, so let’s hope staging rounds out the package. 

Come on, come on let your feelings out!