Tonight in Latvia, the final of the Supernova competition came to a conclusion with the Latvian public choosing Justs and the song Heartbeat, to represent them in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Stockholm, Sweden on the 10th, 12th and 14th of May.
Latvia will perform in the first half of the second semi final on May 12th.
Catalepsia – Damnation
In the pre-qualifying shows, this song has come second with the public both times. It’s a very dark song, the title alone says it all but the Latvian’s have fallen in love with the song. Gothic would be the beat way to describe it, the band. of course, totally dressed in black. For some reason, it brings to mind, the type of entry to be expected from the Czech Republic. The lyrics are particularly hard to hear, as the lead singer groans into the microphone, with a very low tone. It’s not what usually gets sent to Eurovision, so it’s hard to tell where it would end up on the score-board, though knowing Latvia’s recent history, it seems likely to stay in the semis, should it be Latvia’s entry.
MyRadiantU – We Will Be Stars
This song was a public favourite on its first performance, but had to be put through to the final by the jury. This song sounds better in its recorded version, rather than the live version. A vocal duet, although the band is made up of members Janis Driksna, Ilze Zabaka, Didzis Bordo, Andris Kauliņš and Edgars Jercums – the first verse is sung by Janis while he plays his guitar, Ilze takes the second verse. It’s a thoughtful, pleasant and enjoyable enough listen, but maybe not strong enough to be memorable.
Justs – Heartbeat
While the fans were stealing the “Keep Vienna green” hearts last year, it seems that Aminata had her eyes on the pipes that were holding the spotlights on the Vienna stage. Banging on them with a drum stick, is how the first half of this song sounds. Mixed with Justs vocals, the result is intoxicating. The second half has an angrier synthesizer, and Justs vocals keep up with it. As a recording its faultless, as a live performance, there needs to be more backing vocals and Justs needs to cheer up a little. However it screams the winner from the first note. Latvia means business this year.
Marta Ritova – Not From This World
On both occasions, Marta was put through to the next round by the jury. One girl sitting at her piano, dressed in her white prom dress, singing her heart-felt and classy song. The verses are a bit plodding, but the chorus has a nice hook. A wind instrument and violin adds a touch of class and by the time the backing chorus comes in, the song is a good listen. This would be a fine entry too, the ending is very strong.
The show took place at LTV Studio 6 in Riga and was hosted by Ketija Šēnberga and Toms Grēviņš.
The expert panel, who offered critiques were singers Intars Busulis and Ieva Kerēvica, musician, Guntars Račs and Brainstorm drummer, Kaspars Roga.
Song one over and on came the Latvian beaver teaching the audience how to make a snowflake. Adults all over Europe screamed at the thought of their children making this mess on their floors. The recycling men were waiting off-stage for the wasted paper. Beaver was soon bored with the snowflake, so felt the need for a twerking session. Miley Cyrus began to feel inadequate. At this point it became clear that this will be the longest show ever, to only feature four songs.
Justs finishes his song and then back comes the beaver. Terry Wogan would have loved this. This time it was time for some reggae number, which awful as it was, couldn’t have done any worse than Latvia did at the contest between 2009 and 2014. A call out to the audience to clap their hands created a similar sound to Justs song’s pipes and a quick camera shot to the jury, caught them wondering how much they’re being paid to be here.
Tweeters are asking for the beaver to read out Latvia’s votes this year, in which case Little Mole, and Tinky Winky from the Teletubbies better clear their calendars.
As the public made their decision, Bandmaster performed as the first interval act. Latvia’s mode of music these days, is the minimal the better, as two electronic keyboards accompanied the song.
Intars Busulis performed next at the piano, and in one song, his Eurovision entry from 2001 was forgiven.
Finally the current queen of Latvia, Aminata appeared to perform her new track, Fighter.
The final ad break saw the beaver singing his version of Frozen’s Let It Go, while some poor princess danced about oblivious to the fact that tomorrow she will have to show her face at school. The audience did perk up a little at the beginning but slouched back down as the song progressed. Never did a picture of outer space appear quick enough.
The winner was chosen entirely by the Latvian public.
Listen to the winner below
Latvia In The Eurovision Song Contest
Latvia has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest, sixteen times, debuting in 2000, to a third place finish with Brainstorm and My Star. The following year they dropped to 18th place with Arnis Mednis and Too Much, which made them ineligible for the 2002 contest. However Portugal did not want to participate that year, so the slot was offered to Latvia, who accepted and sent Marie N with I Wanna, and they went and took first place.
From then on, it’s been a bumpy ride for Latvia falling to 24th place with F.L.Y and Hello From Mars, in the year they hosted (2003), then failing to qualify the next year, but returning to 5th place in 2005 with Walters and Kazha and The War Is Not Over. In the subsequent years they received a 12th and two 16th places, before failing to qualify for six years in a row. Aminata fixed that in 2015 by placing 6th with Love Injected.
Latvia have performed 13 of their entries in English, and one time each for Latvian, Russian and Italian.
Below enjoy exclusive back stage clips from Latvia’s recent contenders.