You fancy yourself a Eurovision master? So you think you know… Latvia? Our country-specific series is returning for the Eurovision off-season, covering the entire history of countries at Eurovision. For Latvia, this means a much shorter history than that of Italy last week, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t interesting trivia, because there absolutely is.
Latvia may not be the most successful country in Eurovision, but rarely is a Latvian entry a song where there is nothing to talk about, whether it’s about their unusual lyrics, their stage costumes or their extreme (in both good and bad) results placings.
So You Think You Know… is a series that will arrive each Wednesday, each time focusing on a new active Eurovision country. We are continuing alphabetically and so Lithuania will be next. In the meantime, how well do you know Latvia?
Latvia first entered the Eurovision Song Contest in what year?
They were the last of the three Baltic states to sign up for the contest and only started entering at the turn of the millennium.
Which of the following Latvian entries actually won the Eurovision Song Contest?
Yes, I wish it was 'My Star' too. 'I Wanna' gave Latvia their win on their third go around but remains one of the less well-remembered winners in all fan circles I've been a part of.
When Latvia hosted Eurovision in Riga, their host entry sent greetings from a planet other than Earth. Which planet?
F.L.Y - Hello From Mars, effectively 'Brainstorm - My Star' part 2 in sound and style, though sadly it did a lot worse.
Mārtiņš Freimanis, member of F.L.Y, who sadly passed in 2011 at the age of 32, also wrote another Latvian entry besides the one he entered with. Which Latvian act did he write it for?
He wrote 'The War Is Not Over', which gave Latvia their third-best result and to date, their best result since their win.
Latvia's very fun 2008 entry about pirates included the lyric 'pirates are all we can be'. Immediately following this entry, with notably no piratical entries, Latvia did not qualify for the Eurovision final for how many years (number of non-qualified entries)?
I'm not saying they're related... but they should have embraced the niche. The nation didn't qualify again until Aminata in 2015, making six hapless Latvian entries sitting the contest out in the semi-finals. Minor trivia point that I can't really make into a question but want to say: Scottish pirate metal band Alestorm sung a cover of this entry because of course they did and it's typically brilliant.
Other than Latvian and English, Latvia has entered songs to Eurovision in two other languages, which are they?
Please select 2 correct answers
Boniparti.lv with their operatic entry opted for Italian, while Intars Busulis in 2009 originally aimed to be the second ever entry in Latvian after 2004's Dziesma Par Laimi, but changed his entry into Russian because Russia were the host nation that year. Every Latvian entry bar those three has been in English.
Aisha's What For tackled a number of existential questions in its lyrics, answering them with 'Only Mr God knows why'. Which of these concepts did she NOT ask 'what for, are we...' about?
See I thought it was a pretty good song myself. Better than the last place in the semi. And the lyrics make it pretty legendary.
After a string of bad performances, Latvia finally returned to the final with Aminata. What record for Latvia did this entry break?
Getting 10 points more than their winner managed, Love Injected was the only huge success for Latvia in the 2010s. It was under a different point system which means that I Wanna got more percentage-wise for possible points (64% versus 40% if you want the numbers). Aisha and Aarzemnieki (the latter of which clearly only entered to steal this record) beat Aminata for the alphabetical record.
How many Latvian entries this decade have made it to the final out of those that were not written by Aminata?
The point I'm making isn't that Latvia are bad at Eurovision, but more that Aminata is incredible. Their only other qualifying entry this decade was Justs - Heartbeat, notably also written by Aminata.
At Supernova, the Latvian selection show, an animal suit entertainment act has gained this selection some Internet attention since it started in 2015. What is the act's name?
He's otherwise known as Ad-Break Beaver and he is adorable.
To play last week’s quiz from Italy, please go here.