Eurovisionary

Eurovisionary
04
February
2018

Romania 2018: Results and review of week three of Selecția Națională 2018

Romania 2018: Results and review of week three of Selecția Națională 2018

Tonight, Romania continued their search to find their representative for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. This week three more contestants will join the previous weeks six choices in the final.

The final of the Selecția Națională 2018 for Romania will be held on February 25 in Sala Polivalentă in Bucharest. For now, heat three of five takes place in Teatrul Național in Craiova.

Contents

  • 1 The Hosts
  • 2 The Show
  • 3 The Songs
  • 4 The Judges
  • 5 The Results
  • 6 Romania In The Eurovision Song Contest

The Hosts

Our hosts for all six shows will be Diana Dumitrescu and Cezar Ouatu. Cezar, so far has resisted showing of the vocal prowess like when he represented Romania in 2013 with It’s My Life, which placed 13th in Malmo, Sweden.

The green room host was Alina Șerban.

The Show

Televiziunea Română (TVR) is the Romanian television company responsible for all six shows. The opening and interval entertainment came from FreeStay, Dan Helciug and Mihaela Alexa, this week. We were treated to past Romanian Eurovision entries plus a rousing rendition of Barcelona.

The Songs

Eliza Chifu –  So Good Without You

No nonsense here from Eliza who is enjoying life without you. This is the type of thing Chaka Khan or Gloria Gaynor would be good at singing. As it turns out Eliza maybe just needs some coaching as there definitely is some potential here. Her four backing dancers seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Carolina Gorun – Reach Out for the Stars

A slow haunting ballad, which starts very quiet, but bursts into flames during the chorus. Sung well enough but this doesn’t seem to be what Romania is looking for this year. Pleasant with puffs of smoke shooting out at the right moments. The two female backing vocalists helped it along.

Mareș Pană – Daydreamer

The song plods along at a hand clapping pace. However the vocals never really take off. The two backing singers clap along too, at the right moments. When Mares has had enough of singing, a dance track comes in to help the song along.

Ayona – The Story Goes On

Written by Ovidiu Anton, nice to see he has no hard feelings.This is a full-blown performance complete with a five-piece backing band. Ayona makes good use of the stage, showing off her experience. The song has a very memorable chorus. Good be a good sign.

Aurel Dincă – Fire in the Sky

This look as if they will be a heavy metal number. As it turns out its a little bit of American eighties Bon Jovi type, but with dark hair. This is the type of song the judges are loving in Romania at the moment, so don’t be surprised if it gets into the final. A guitar, piano, drums and a backing vocalist added to the mix.

VYROS  – La la la

Surely that would be the irony of Eurovision if this song was to win and La La La becomes the first title to win twice. It is probably unlikely to happen. This song has a Mediterranean feel to it, without actually working up apace. A bit of unexpected rapping happens towards the end. A false ending does it no favours.

See alsoRomania 2018: Results and review of week two Selecția Națională 2018

Zavera – Come Back to Me

A flute and a violin introduce this bit of a that’s more like it song. The lead singer, looking like someone you don’t want to mess with, belts out this song to wake everyone up. The song has a bit of a dance feel about it, but it is when the instruments come in where the song shines.

Elena Hasna – Revival

More slow pace less warbling, written by a group of Perssons, so that’ll be a Swedish production. The singing was decent enough, and a mournful clarinet added some class. Two dancers added to the drama, whilst two backing singers helped the chorus soar.

Diana Brătan – Paint It Rainbow

Sitting at her piano, this is a very slow song. The pace never speeds up but stays winsome and flighty. Hard to see how any Yodel It’s could appreciate something like this. Countries have lost Eurovision in the past with songs like this.

Tavi Clonda – King

This week is the week of the slow American style rock songs. Tavi is backed by three musicians. Certainly, Tavi has potential as a singer, but the song seems to last forever. However, the chorus has a certain power that our current Romanian judges seem to love.

Erminio Sinni & Tiziana Camelin – All the Love Away

This song starts off pretty good with Tiziana singing, but then gravelled voiced grandpa comes in, and then it becomes a sort of standard duo ballad. Erminio plays the piano, while Tiziana tries to out-sing him. Still, Italy placed 9th in 1989 with something similar.

Xandra – Try

Starting a bit like Triana Parks Line, then Vânia Fernandes Senhora do mar, before settling for Andorra’s Jenny and Sense Tu. The singing was probably the most powerful of the night. Two backing male vocalists did some finger clicks and a female vocalist helped the song reach its heights.

The Judges

Liliana Ștefan who wrote the 1998 Romanian entry Eu cred by the late Mălina Olinescu.
Viorel Gavril a famous composer and conductor.
Ilinca Băcilă the Yodel It Romanian singer from last year.
Nicu Patoi who accompanied Mălina Olinescu on the guitar at the Eurovision 1998.
Marian Ionescu member of the band Direcția 5.

The Results

ViorelLilianaIlincaMarianNicu TotalPosition
Eliza Chifu6 3 413 9
Carolina Gorun1565 17 8
Mareș Pană331711
Ayona2132 810
Aurel Dincă4276 19 7
VYROS810883 37 3
Zavera74554 25 6
Elena Hasna27727 255
Diana Brătan1 112
Tavi Clonda61 461229 4
 Erminio Sinni & Tiziana Camelin101210128521
Xandra128121010 52 2

The top three continue to the final.

Romania In The Eurovision Song Contest

Romania first attempted to enter Eurovision in 1993 with Dida Drăgan and Nu pleca. However, it was eliminated in a hurriedly prepared preselection. Therefore the country debuted in 1994 at the Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin, Ireland with Dan Bittman and Dincolo de nori, finishing 21st.

It wasn’t until 1998 that Romania appeared at the actual contest again, with Mălina Olinescu and Eu Cred which finished 22nd.

In 2002 Monica Anghel & Marcel Pavel with Tell Me gave Romania their first top 10 placing, when they finished 9th.

Below is the video of tonights winning song

Categories: Eurovisionary

04
February
2018

Zibbz to represent Switzerland at Eurovision 2018 with the song Stones

Zibbz to represent Switzerland at Eurovision 2018 with the song Stones

Six diverse songs sung in English was what the Swiss had to pick between in tonight’s Die Entscheidungsshow. It was won by sibling group Zibbz. They will now carry the task of trying to bring Switzerland back to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Switzerland last made the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012. After disappointing results in Kyiv, the expectations were high tonight. Many fans were paying attention to this national final, hoping that Switzerland would choose a song that would not leave them in the semis again.

The show started with Timebelle receiving a lot of positive feedback for their performance of last year’s Swiss entry, Apollo. Then, all the artists were presented, followed by some images of the Eurovision history.  Soon, it was time to start the evening. Six songs were performed, all in English. All of them were very different, something for every taste.

At the end, the Swiss public and the international jury agreed to give the victory to the first song of the evening, “Stones” by Zibbz.

The songs

STONES

It all starts with a couple of siblings performing a pop-rock song. She sings while he’s playing battery. With a colorful stage, with two triangles (one red and another blue), she is dressed in a country style and sings very nice, with good vocals. However, the song itself is different from a typical Eurovision song. Even so, still a good performance.

A THOUSAND TIMES

This was time for Angie Ott, singing alone on the stage and dressed in an elegant red dress. She presents us an English ballad, with a strong melody, showing her powerful vocal skills mainly on the last part of the song, when there’s a higher key changing, giving it an extra strength. It’s a type of song that we are usually used to watch, so it’s not to so difficult to bet some money on this, as the next representative of Switzerland on Eurovision, if the country wants to ‘play safe’.

KISS ME

It’s time for the first guy of the evening, Naeman. He’s dressed in white, and presents us an uptempo pop song. Then, four dancers join him on the stage, dressed in black, for dancing with him. It’s a modern song, not a super song, but still an enjoyable one, with very good dancing moves. However, we get the idea that his voice may not be in better days.

SECRETS AND LIES

Well, now is presented the most intimistic song. Alone on the stage, dressed in a white dress, with many searchlights aimed at her, envolved by a big darkness, she sings a very calm a touchable song, remind us of a white angel. It’s an interesting song, not an usual one, but still it would be interesting to see how this kind of song would do on the big European market. The weakest aspect of this song seems to be the lack of clarity of the melodic line…

COMPASS

Another man, this time playing a guitar. Meanwhile, the most impressive thing that’s noticed is that he has no left hand, but still he can play easily the instrument. He is joined by four people who play some drums and dance at the same time, mainly the electronic beat that suddendly appears in the main chorus. It’s an interesting song, different than what Switzerland usually send to Eurovision. But would it be a nice choice for the main stage?

REDLIGHTS

This is Vanessa, a former The Voice contestant. She’s dressed in black and she does her entire performance inside a red cube, alone on the stage. It’s a mysterious ballad and she sings it very well, with very nice vocals. It has an awesome staging, and it seems to be one of the best songs of the evening, with many Eurovision ingredients on it.

Results

International Jury Points

STONES by Zibbz76
COMPASS by Alessandro Reyes72
REDLIGHTS by Vanessa Iraci42
A THOUSAND TIMES by Angie Ott26
SECRETS AND LIES by Chiara Dubley22
KISS ME by Naeman14

Public Vote

STONES by Zibbz77
COMPASS by Alessandro Reyes48
SECRETS AND LIES by Chiara Dubley44
A THOUSAND TIMES by Angie Ott39
REDLIGHTS by Vanessa Iraci25
KISS ME by Naeman19

Overall

STONES by Zibbz153
COMPASS by Alessandro Reyes120
REDLIGHTS by Vanessa Iraci67
SECRETS AND LIES by Chiara Dubley66
A THOUSAND TIMES by Angie Ott65
KISS ME by Naeman33

In the video below, take a look at this year’s Swizz Eurovision entry Stones performed by Zibbz.

Categories: Eurovisionary

04
February
2018

Melodi Grand Prix 2018: Aalborg warm up to Danish final

Melodi Grand Prix 2018: Aalborg warm up to Danish final

Next Saturday, the Danish final kicks off, but in host city Aalborg the celebrations have already begun. Come and taste the special cocktails, the Melodi Grand Prix cake, try Eurovision yoga, or the many other special events the city offers. 

In Denmark they don’t just choose a host city for the national final, they choose a Grand Prix city. The city will host first the Danish Melodi Grand Prix final, and the week after, the Junior Melodi Grand Prix. Aside from that, the city usually host various fun and also sometimes quirky events.

This year’s host city, Aalborg is not holding back. The North Jutland based city is hosting the contest for the 7th time, and their celebrations started last Thursday where a hotel held a party specially for the disabled people with ‘special needs’. Former national finalists entertained at the party, which had been given the title “Grand Prix unites everyone”. On the 9th of February there will be a special party for the homeless – again with music from a former participant.

Contents

  • 1 Food, drink and exercise
  • 2 Want to calm down?
  • 3 Singing trees

Food, drink and exercise

Starting from last Friday – and until the night of the final on the 10th, you can go from bar to bar on a pup crawl, and try the special cocktails, eight bars came up with. Each cocktail is named after Danish Eurovision entries like Vi Maler Byen Rød (1989), Smuk Som Et Stjerneskud (2000) and Cliche Love Song (2014). A jury will crown a winning cocktail, which for the rest of the month will be sold at reduced price.

If you are more hungry than thursty, there will also be special bread and cake to taste. And should you be in the need for exercise after that, there will be Melodi Grand Prix Yoga on the 10th, in the afternoon.

See alsoConchita Wurst as guest act at Danish final

Want to calm down?

If a pup crawl or yoga doesn’t sound appealing to you, the city also offers more relaxing events such as various Eurovision decorations to be used for Selfies or a special Grand Prix buss driving around the city.

You can also attend a Grand Prix bingo on the 7th of February, test your knowledge in a Melodi Grand Prix Quiz or attend a lecture by journalist and president of OGAE Denmark Johann Sørensen on the 8th.

On the 9th of February, the day before the Danish final, this year’s Danish finalists will take part in a special Fastelavn event. This is open to the public as well. In the evening, a special Grand Prix karaoke edition will take place – and of course, don’t forget there is also a big public After Party after the final.

See alsoWhy we all talk about Whigfield – and will continue to do so

Singing trees

If you are in Aalborg for the Danish final, you have to visit the big park Kildeparken. Over the years famous Danish and international singers who visited the city has planted a tree. Next to the trees is a little speaker. When you press a button, a song by that artist will start to play. It is based on that the trees are called ‘De syngende træer’ (the singing trees).

For the Danish final, half of the songs have been replaced with the 46 Danish Eurovision entries. Elton John has as such been replaced with Anti Social Media, while Cliff Richard ‘turned into’ Olsen Brothers.

Stay tuned on EuroVisionary as we will report from the 2018 Danish final. On our Instagram page, you can already see a picture of the countdown Aalborg set up for this year’s Melodi Grand Prix.

Aalborg's countdown for the Danish final, Melodi Grand Prix 2018, on the 10th of February. #drgrandprix #melodigrandprix #Eurovision

A post shared by Eurovisionary (@eurovisionaryofficial) on

Categories: Eurovisionary

03
February
2018

Lithuania 2018: Eurovizijos Atranka Week 4 – the final six qualifiers are announced

Lithuania 2018: Eurovizijos Atranka Week 4 – the final six qualifiers are announced

This week saw the final preliminary heat of Lithuania’s Eurovizijos Atranka 2018. The show is used to find Lithuania’s Eurovision Song Contest entry 2018.

The Atranka saw more surprises this week, with late announced entries, no females on the judging panel tonight, and a low score for an early favourite. What’s going on, Lithuania?

Contents

  • 1 The Hosts
  • 2 The Songs
  • 3 The Judges
  • 4 The Results
  • 5 Lithuania In The Eurovision Song Contest

The Hosts

Someone has obviously been donating a lot of purple cloth to LRT, as the colour keeps appearing week after week. Given a limited allocation Ugne clearly asked the costume department to do their best. Sadly they must have run out of material, as there was none left over for her shoulders. And let’s face it, the dress ended up not being very long either. Mantas had similar problems, as his jacket stopped halfway down his arms. He complemented it with an H an M sweater.

The Songs

Rūta Loop – Positive Thoughts

The vibe from this song gave the judges positive thoughts, due to the energy. The problem was that they didn’t like Rūta’s box which prominently featured. Realising it’s not easy to hide her box, the judges asked that it featured less in any future performances. The judges should also have suggested that Rūta find a pair of trousers that fit. The back wall video was lips with the Union Jack flag.  Very bright and breezy.

Jurgis Brūzga – For Love

A subdued performance pleased the judges, who also liked the arrangement. Visually perfect and some good singing delighted our foursome. Hidden nuances drew some disgust and Jurgis was asked to show them in future. Jurgis was very smartly dressed in his blue suit, ready to head back to the office if the singing doesn’t work out. His dancing waiters added extra visual delight.

Ofelija – Butterfly

Ofelija’s controversial performance was likened to school theatre. The performance was described as blank. The butterfly wings didn’t please anyone either. While Ofelija may have talent, the judges felt they did not see it tonight. So that Ofelija didn’t feel left out, she had dyed her hair purple. This record is a gangster production but it really didn’t feel that way. It was all spacey and indeed confused. The audience loved it though. It was the first time in four weeks they proved thay were alive.

Dainotas Varnas – Merry-go-round

As this song sounded like Diane Warren had wriitten it, the fearless judges couldn’t find anything wrong with it. Fans of John Legend will love this romantic song. The performance was described as quiet, cultured and best of all – cozy. Will it play at Eurovision pondered, Lithuania’s Simon Cowell. Then Ramūnas remembered that Dainotas was Ruta Loop’s lover – are children watching – and should only one qualify, will the other be made to sleep on the couch. To try to avoid any lover’s spats, the jury marked both songs equally low.

Rugilė Daujotaitė – Love Is The Flower of Life

Most of this song is sung in Lithuanian, so what a waste of time giving it such a long English title. It could have been called Busy, as the judges described it as that. Too much going on scolded the judges. The Oriental images pleased our hard to please panelists though. Interesting, Lithuanian, complicated, said Arnoldas. Rugilė has a future as a seamstress as she turned an old pair of curtains into a nice long blue stage costume.

Kotryna Juodzevičiūtė – That Girl

If you were watching last year, surely the words ” I’ll Be Your Love Shadow” are still ringing in your ears. Well she’s back. the Love Shadow herself, with a different type of tune. However, the judges thought it was a good one. Kotryna did not smile enough though, but that was the only problem. Oh yes, apart from that should Kotryna win, she will need to give up her studies. They can wait, said Kotryna getting her priorities right. Eurovision is a dream and way more important. A very colourful performance of an up-beat song, Kotryna wore the best boots of Eurovision 2018 season so far.

See alsoLithuania 2018: Results and review of the third week of Eurovizijos Atranka

Marius Petrauskas – Kol Meilė Gyva

Death by a Kiss for all you non-Lithuanian speakers out there. The song was described as not bad. Again singing in Lithuanian drew much pleasure from the judges. These same judges usually chastise the singers for singing in Lithuanian, as the rest of Europe won’t understand. The language though is not the issue, this was another of those slow mournful ballads that Lithuania won’t let go. Great to end an out of control party.

Silvija Pankūnaitė – Real

Early favourite, Silvija told GeraiGerai to stay home this week, as she fancied trying out as a soloist. Razzy, that’s what his friends call him, or should call him, felt this song did not let Silvija project her voice the best. He preferred last weeks song better. Another judge felt a stronger vocal performance would have livened up the song a bit. Silvija is certainly a fashion icon wearing an unusually shaped white combination.

El Fuego – I Do Believe

One of the chappie’s wives wrote this song. Women, said Vytautas, would love this song. The vocal skills of the trio were highly praised. Flashbacks of Il Volo came to mind. The song was described as a little too complicated and deep. The group was also given the advice all teenagers get when they go to their first disco – don’t dance and dress a little differently. Pop opera.

Marija – This Love

Arnoldas could not see himself listening to this song in his car. The song failed to allow Marija to shine. L had a different view though. He thought it was one of tonight’s strongest pieces and felt he would see it in the final. Razzy felt the song would be performed better by an international star. All synthesizers here, the Lithuanian public loved it before they even heard it. The judges got into a bit of an arguement causing poor Marija to break sweat. A face towel was needed quickly.

Rasa Kaušiūtė – The Silence

An abstract text spoiled this dreamy song. The judges felt that the lack of screens and video projections in Lisbon this year would hinder the dynamics of the song. Arnoldas was particularly taken with Rasa’s voice. This was a very strong, powerful and meaningful ballad. Lithuania will have no use for it.

The Roop – Yes I Do

What would have been better if our lovely hosts were able to announce Rūta Loop and The Roop. Sadly not to be this year, so here we are with The Roop all on their own. L liked the image of the rock band. The repetitive nature of the song made it memorable. Suitable for Eurovision, agreed all our judges. They could be right but can Lithuania risk two groups in successive years.

That was it then, all the songs. Not so fast, came a voice from mid-air. Remember that song The Truth by Erica Jennings that she withdrew as the judges are nasty. Well turns out Erica is fine with the judges being nasty to someone else. So step in Voice Of Lithuania, Monika Marija, why don’t you give The Truth a try.

Monika Marija – The Truth

The judges all agreed their hearts were broken when Erica withdrew from the show. But, here comes a star, shining even brighter. The judges loved the voice and the song. The audience waved their Lithuanian flags. The judges said Monika must be a favourite to go to Lisbon. Erica sat watching at home regretting she could have gotten a free trip to Lisbon. Then she remembered, hey I can go as the songwriter. Monika could have flown herself to Lisbon with costume she wore tonight – it looked like a Boeing 747.

The Judges

Ramūnas Zilnys – Lithuania’s answer to Simon Cowell, in guess what – a bright purple polo shirt, with a jacket to match his hair colour
L. Somov – music producer
Arnoldas Lukošius – musician
Vytautas Rumšas actor and video producer

The Results

JuryPublicTotalPosition
Rūta Loop4 597
Jurgis Brūzga124162
Ofelija102126
Dainotas Varnas5 3`88
Rugilė Daujotaitė00013
Kotryna Juodzevičiūtė86145
Marius Petrauskas21311
Silvija Pankūnaitė10112
El Fuego0779
Marija88163
Rasa Kaušiūtė30310
The Roop610164
Monika Marija1012221

The top six acts go through to the next round.

Lithuania In The Eurovision Song Contest

After Lithuania had to miss out in the 2003 contest, the EBU introduced the semi-finals so Lithuania would never be demoted again. Something like that anyway.

Realising they could no longer be demoted, Lithuania no longer cared what kind of nonsense they sent. So began, the “what were thinking years”, ]2004-2011. During those years Lithuania sent a bunch of songs, possibly with the exception of 2009, that had no chance of winning whatsoever.

What’s Happened to Your Love in 2004 was followed by Laura and The Lovers in 2005 with Little By Little. Despite a good performance, Laura and The Lovers, finished last in their semi-final. Then came We Are The Winners by LT United. No-one thought that song had a chance, originally. Ireland though, thought the song was so good, they gave it 12 points. Ireland has never won the contest since. We Are The Winners came sixth and is to date Lithuania’s best showing ever.

Love or Leave, Nomads In The Night, Eastern European Funk and C’est Ma Vie seldom appear on Eurovision fans all-time favourites – if at all. In 2009 Lithuania didn’t play by their own rules, and sent the respectable entry Love by Sasha Son. Opening the show, and up against some of Eurovision’s strongest entries, Sasha could only manage 23rd place.

Below is the original version of tonights winning song

Categories: Eurovisionary

03
February
2018

Malta selects Christabelle Borg’s Taboo for Eurovision 2018

Malta selects Christabelle Borg’s Taboo for Eurovision 2018

The Mediterranean Island of Malta will be represented by Christabelle Borg at the Eurovision Song Contest held in May in Lisbon, Portugal. With the song “Taboo”, she just won the big advertising show they call their national selection. 

129 songs were submitted to the Maltese national final Malta Eurovision Song Contest (MESC). They were first cut down to 30, and then again to the 16 acts competing tonight – and let’s make it clear right from the beginning that Malta clearly wins the first prize for most adverts in a show. With adverts every 10 minutes, and even on screen during the performances, no one can take that award away from them – but of course, that’s nothing new, as followers of their shows will know.

The show did however find space for Malta’s 2017 Junior Eurovision Song Contest participant Gianluca Cilia to entertain with a few songs, one of them being his entry Dawra Tond. We also saw, last year’s Eurovision participant Claudia Faniello as interval act.

In a combination of 50% jury, and 50% televoting, Malta found its winner, who will go on to fly the Maltese flag as their 31st Eurovision participant.

The participants

To the Maltese viewers, and also the international finals, the national final was a good mix of well known names who has taken part several times before, and even a former Eurovision participant in terms of Richard who was part of the band Firelight in 2014 (This time he performed with his father), plus some new comers hoping to win on their first attempt.

Aidan – Dai Laga
Mariana Conte – Rocket
Jasmine – Supernova
Matthew Anthony – Call 2morrow
Danica – One Step At A Time
Dwett – Breaking Point
Lawrence Grey – Love Renegade
Richard & Joe Micallef – Song For Dad
Tiziana – First Time
Eleonor Cassar – Back To Life
Rhiannon – Beyond Blue Horizon
Brooke – Heart Of Gold
Christabelle Borg – Taboo
Deborah C – Turn It Up
Avenue Sky – We Can Run
Petra – Evolution

Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest

Since its debut at the contest in 1971, Malta has participated 30 times prior to 2018. It’s participation was irregular in the beginning, and it wasn’t until 1991 the country became the committed member we know today.

The Mediterranean Island is yet to win the contest, but they have been close. In 2002, Ira Losco came second with the song 7th Wonder, and just three years later, Chiara and her Angel repeated that.

In recent years, the country has had problems reaching the final of the Eurovision Song Contest. Since the 2007 contest, they failed six times. Last year, Malta was represented by Claudia Faniello and the song Breathlessly, which also didn’t advance from semi-final to final.

This year, the country will compete in the second semi-final, which on paper looks to be a bit stronger than the first one, however Malta will perform in the second half. Listen to the song Taboo in the video below.

Categories: Eurovisionary

03
February
2018

Latvia Supernova 2018: Edgars and Liene through to the final

Latvia Supernova 2018: Edgars and Liene through to the final

Tonight in Latvia, the Supernova 2018 began, with the first seven songs performed. After months of waiting the action is finally happening in Riga with two performers through to the final on February 24. 

The winner of Supernova 2018 will represent Latvia at the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon, Portugal in May.

Contents

  • 1 The Hosts
  • 2 The Show
  • 3 The Songs
  • 4 The Results
  • 5 Latvia In The Eurovision Song Contest

The Hosts

Back to let you hear his heartbeat, Justs Sirmais hosted the show along with model and Latvian TV star, Dagmara Legante. The green room was hosted by Toms Grēviņš. Justs, of course, represented Latvia at the 2016 contest in Stockholm, Sweden. To remind us of this he reprised the song, Heartbeat at the start of the show.

The Show

Triana Park returned next to give a performance of Line. Judging by the audience response they have been forgiven for their poor results last year.  Agnese was even one of the judges. The queen of Latvia, Aminita, then gave a rousing performance of Love Injected, dressed in a very nice red suit. As there are only seven songs in this show tonight, and it lasts two hours, there was a lot of needless time filling talking. Everyone is on edge in case that beaver appears.

The Songs

Katrīna Gupalo and The Black Birds – Intoxicating Caramel

Opening this years competition was Katrīna and her blackbirds. Described to EuroVisionary by Katrīna herself, the song is a form of art pop style, which can break down boundaries. The song is a mix of jazz and circus. Katrīna’s vocals were on point, both singing and shrieking and the burlesque nature of the song made it the perfect opener.

Rahu The Fool – Oh Longriver

From the circus, we head to a Tennessee old-time honky tonk bar next. This acoustic driven song was perhaps a joke, to begin with. However now that the song has made the TV show, things start to get a bit more serious. With its fiddle playing all the way through to the finish, it’s a song to be danced to after a good nights drinking.The six-piece folk band had a blast and invite you all out for a drink should they make it to Lisbon.

DVINES – More Than Meets the Eye

The twins have a more subtle song than the previous two entries. The song was described to EuroVisionary by the twins, as a mid-tempo classic song with harmonies and background vocals. The song lived up to its expectations with the ladies performing some pretty complex harmonies. The title was perhaps repeated a few too many times, but already only three songs into the show, it is easy to see the diversity in Latvia’s choices this year. The twins sang perfectly.

Agnese Stengrevics – You Are My World

Next up Agnese, whose song of obsessive love seemed like it would be difficult to perform live. Instead, Agnese breezed through the song, drawing you in, as she became more involved with the man who is her world. A reasonable song to dance to, although it does have quite a few tempo changes. This is begging for a 12-inch version, the song is over too soon. Agnese had a pair of boots to compete with Lithuania’s Kotryna. Her two hoodie-clad backing dancers did just fine too.

Sudden Lights – Just Fine

The first pop-rock group in the competition. This featured a guitar playing the same refrain all the way through. The group performed as competently as any chart making group, with the song building as it progressed. This is a little Radiohead, a bit Brainstorm. The group hasn’t done as much promotion as some of the other acts, so this might be its downfall or its blessing.

Edgars Kreilis – Younger Days

Edgars has a powerfully strong voice. The upbeat song which tells the story of a young life living with arguing parents was performed with conviction. Edgars sang the song with no frills trying to project the story. He succeeded despite tonight’s first appearance of a pair of red shoes.

See alsoLatvia 2018: Edgars Kreilis – the serious story behind Younger Days

Liene Greifāne – Walk the Talk

With an already impossible task of picking only two acts, Liene makes the choice even harder. Closing the competition with another strong song and possible finalist, she performs the song with the attitude it deserves. The vocals were faultless.

The Results

The Latvian public and the panel of jurists chose the two artists going to the final. They are Liene Greifāne and Edgars Kreilis.

Latvia In The Eurovision Song Contest

This year will be the nineteenth appearance for Latvia at the Eurovision Song Contest. Debuting in 2000, only Denmark and Russia stopped Latvia from winning in its first year with My Star by Brainstorm.

The following year Arnis Mednis was a little Too Much for the judges and it finished in 18th place, meaning Latvia would have to miss the 2002 competition.

However, this year’s hosts, Portugal didn’t fancy appearing in the 2002 show, so the organizers had a slot to fill. Promising not to send another song like the previous year, Latvia was allowed to fill the vacant slot.

To the chagrin of Malta, Marie N performed second to last and won the European public over. Latvia won Eurovision on its third time lucky attempt with I Wanna.

Below is Liene’s Video for Walk The Talk.

Categories: Eurovisionary

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