XTRA Preview & Review: Latvia – Supernova

The national final season is in full swing. On Saturday, February 10th, LTV’s Supernova will continue with its second semi-final. We’ve taken a look at the entries and the procedure below, so here is the XTRA Preview & Review!

XTRA Preview: Supernova

Supernova will resume with the second semi-final of its fourth season tomorrow night. It was introduced in 2015, after six years of non-qualification in a row (and even a last place in their semi-final in 2009, 2010 and 2013). The success was immediate, with the fans (who are many to follow this national selection) and with Europe. Supernova 2015’s winner Aminata finished 6th in Vienna for Latvia, with their song “Love Injected”.

Tomorrow, seven songs will compete for the next two spots in the final, on February 24th. The two qualifiers will be chosen with a mix of televoting (with only one vote allowed per phone), Spotify streams and jury voting. 2016 Supernova winner Just Sirmais and TV presenter Dagmāra Legante will host the show. At the same time, music expert Toms Grēviņš and comedian Edgars Bāliņs will host a live stream with input and reactions from social networks.

The participants of this semi-final include Markus Riva, who has previously attempted to represent the country on several occasions. Riva is also among the favorites of the semi-final, along with MADARA and Monta.

The show will be broadcast on LTV1 at 20:25 CET tomorrow, and is scheduled to last 2 hours and a half. The show will be available on the official LTV Live Broadcast. As in the previous weeks, we will be covering the show on Twitter.

XTRA Review: Supernova

Hypnotic – “Pray”

Vincent: I actually like the chorus and the melody, despite an average production. And I’m very divided about the lyrics: on the one hand they are very cliché (and the videoclip is more about small gestures than about the peace in the world), but I really like this sort of “meta” and authentic intro.
Score: 6.5/10
Dominik: The song has potential. I like the melody. However, the chorus can’t keep up with the rest of the song and sounds a bit flat. Don’t think it would have a chance in Eurovision. Like the meaning of the song tho.
Score: 4/10
Matt: Lyrics are weak and I’m not entirely sure the song knows what it’s trying to be. I would lose the electronic drum kit and strip it back. Maybe even have it accapella? But no, a massive miss.
Score: 3/10
Alesia: TRITE. CLICHE. The production is weak, and the lyrics are pandering. The vocalist is good though. The song is too cliche though.
Score: 5/10

MADARA – “Esamība”

Vincent: This is quite incredible. I’m really starting to like it. The lyrics are a little bit cliché THOUGH they seem to be written in a poetic, spiritual and lyrical enough way, which I like. As for the melody, it is beautiful and yet a bit rough, which adds a nice touch of authenticity to the act.
Score: 8/10
Dominik: This is something different. This could get a stunning performance and do very well. It will definitely stand out. I am just not sure in which direction. Everything is possible for this song.
Score: 7/10
Matt: This is outside of the box and its fate relies on how its staged. It could be full of emotion and visually stunning if the sentiment of the song is respected. This is a dark horse!
Score: 8/10
Alesia: I’m INTO IT! THIS COULD BE A MOMENT and then she started singing, but I’m still with it.
Score: 9/10

Markus Riva – “This Time”

Vincent: I think I will listen to this more often now, because I’m starting to like it. The story might be a bit classic (“cliché” seems too strong), but it flows well and the beat is stirring! I don’t really like Markus’s voice, though…
Score: 7/10
Dominik: This is a great song. Maybe the best of Markus in Supernova. It is catchy and I can see him doing a solid performance and it would be a nice entry. Would be one of the save choices in Latvia. Added to my Spotify playlist, which is always a good sign.
Score: 8/10
Matt: The vocal is not great. The song is better than what it’s getting from Markus. That said, it’s still derivative of many pop songs in the charts at the moment. I think we need something additional to hook us into the track.
Score: 6/10
Alesia: I like this song. I like the production. The lyrics don’t feel trite. The song builds and these are all positives. I am not a huge fan of the male vocalist but everything else works so well.
Score: 9/10

In My Head – “Sunset”

Vincent: Alright, this is different, but, it’s bad different (to me at least). It’s just boring, the voices don’t save anything, and the lyrics are either cliché or a nonsense.
Score: 3/10
Dominik: This is interesting. I like the different sound and the production overall. Choosing this would be a risk. I would listen to it again and add it to my Spotify playlist. Great song!
Score: 7/10
Matt: Something a little more interesting and different from the usual polished pop music at Eurovision. I can’t see how this will grab votes, either at home in Latvia or at Eurovision. Points for variety.
Score: 5/10
Alesia: I am not a huge fan of the vocal but the song is different. It is out of the box and modern. The pre-chorus lets me down a little bit and I keep waiting for the song to “go somewhere,” and it kinda stays safe.
Score: 5/10

Ritvars – “Who’s Counting”

Vincent: I hate how two-faced this song is. The lyrics seem to be another trite cliché at first, but then you realise it’s about his son, and it gets much more intimate, original and emotional. But the melody itself is hardly absorbing (even though I like the chorus).
Score: 6.5/10
Dominik: I could see this song gets performed in a small bar or something like this. I don’t see it on a big stage. Still you get the feeling, that the artist really put a lot of emotions into the song.
Score: 4/10
Matt: I’m feeling the sentiment of the song, but, the lyrics are baffling and the vocal is off.
Score: 5/10
Alesia: This is a quality song but it isn’t for Eurovision. The production isn’t the slickest, but at the end of the day it is simply out of place and not fitting for the contest if Latvia wants to win.
Score: 5/10

Monta – “1000 Roses”

Vincent: I. LOVE. THIS. This sound is so uplifting and soothing at the same time… There’s something calmly euphoric about this song. I can’t understand all of the lyrics and that’s for the better because they seem cliché. For once, the music takes it all for me, and as much as it’s not very “eurovision-esque”, it’s a great song.
Score: 9/10
Dominik: It is a solid song. Dreamy and catchy. Even though the chorus could be stronger. I would like to see the performance for the song. Could do very well on the radio. Let’s see how this will end up in Supernova. Spotify playlist material 😉
Score: 8/10
Matt: An uplifting sound and a strong vocal. It almost gets going but not even a key change can take it to where it needs to be energy wise. It’s a decent entry. Not quite Eurovision ready.
Score: 7/10
Alesia: This is good. The chorus kinda lets the song down a bit. The vocal is good and I like the fact that the song manages to MOVE.
Score: 7/10

Riga Reggae – “Stop the War U2”

Vincent: The chorus isn’t that bad… That’s probably the only positive thing I have to say. I mean, when you end the chorus you get a messy and terrible transition, and then the rest of the song… Nah. And I’ll be kind enough not to mention the lyrics.
Score: 2/10
Dominik: Is this part of Supernova, because of showing a wide variety? This song let’s you worry about the songs, who did not make it. Have they been even worse?
Score: 1/10
Matt: I can’t stress how bad this is. Nothing is authentic here. Almost to the point I think it might be borderline offensive. If this was a joke then we would not be laughing, so I’m not sure why it’s different just because it’s being billed as a credible Supernova entry.
Score: 1/10
Alesia: No. Let the islands have their reggae back.
Score: 1/10

Who do we want?

The XTRA Jury, this time consisting of Vincent (France), Dominik (Germany), Matt (UK) and Alesia (US) has spoken. Below you can see the average each song achieved. Their qualifiers for tomorrow’s show are MADARA, with her song “Esamība”, and Monta with “1000 Roses”!

  1. MADARA – “Esamība”: 8
  2. Monta – “1000 Roses”: 7.8
  3. Markus Riva – “This Time”: 7.5
  4. Ritvars – “Who’s Counting?”: 5.1
  5. In My Head – “Sunset”: 5
  6. Hypnotic – “Pray”: 4.6
  7. Riga Reggae – “Stop the War U2”: 1.3

Below, we’ve included a playlist for you. Which of these seven do you like best? Make sure to let us know who you like by commenting!

[ypt playlist_id=PLZzraMOF5G3Mb2AAY3Yg8_FORWzw__nKa]

Dimitris Ioannou

I'm Dimitris, from Cyprus. Eurovision has been a big part of my life for so long now. My first memories of the contest go back to 2005, which was a special year as Greece had won with Helena Paparizou. But 2009 was truly the first year I became a die-hard Eurofan, which is why that year holds a special place in my heart.

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