Latvia: Wiwi Jury reviews Aarzemnieki with Cake to Bake

Last night the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals—met with NATO and agreed to help defend the Latvian border in case Russia ramps up its expansion efforts. Then we gathered in the kitchen to review Aarzemnieki’s Eurovision 2014 song “Cake to Bake”. Did it leave us with a major sweet tooth? Or was the experience more akin to being diabetic in a candy shop? Read on to find out…

Wiwi: During the first semi-final of Eurovision this year, there’s a real risk fans might drown in the sea of ballads. So when Latvia’s cake floats by I suggest all y’all hold on for dear life and take a big ‘ole bite. “Cake to Bake” is just so sweet. It’s breezy and light yet still conveys an uplifting message about working together and asking for help. By the time all the backing vocalists are letting rip in the final chorus, I could almost shed a tear. Even if lead singer Jöran is occasionally shaky in the opening bars, this remains my dark horse for the first semi.

Score: 8/10

Angus:  If ‘Cake To Bake’ is a parody of a finished cake Aarzemnieki once made, then his mother clearly missed a few lessons. If you want a good cake you need good ingredients, good butter and cream to go in the centre and good icing to go on top. For a song you need a good singer, good song and lastly good lyrics to spread over three minutes. Latvia lacks all three. The song is also relentlessly and ruthlessly annoying. Nil Points.

Score: 0/10

Aarzemnieki Latvia Eurovision 2

Anthony: Someone has clearly forgotten to tell Latvia this isn’t The Great Eurovision Bake Off. So much for their “Made in Latvia” motto this year, their quality home-grown talent all wasted for this novelty entry. Haven’t Latvia learnt their lesson last year? No wonder they’ve struggled to qualify lately. It’s all very well having a cute and cheerful, but extremely cringeworthy song to jig along to, but this is more like a Baltic lamb to the post-Soviet slaughter. Expect a soggy bottom moment this year. Even Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood would find this sickly sweet entry hard to swallow.

Score: 1/10

Billy: Is that guy always happy? If so, is it because of the song or is his best friend named LSD? I have to admit that the music and rhythm of the song are quite good. But the lyrics are too hilarious to be taken seriously. I cannot stop laughing, which will probably prevent a lot of viewers from voting. In any case, bring some cakes on stage. You might as well complete the sugar overload…

Score: 1.5/10

Aarzemnieki Latvia Eurovision 7Bogdan: Seriously, optimists can be such downers. Are these obnoxious people high on sugar or what? I’m getting fat just watching all this sweet nonsense. Is this a joke? Did Latvia think it’s cute to send a joke to Eurovision instead of an actual song? “Cake To Bake” proves the theory that you should never send a supposedly humorous entry to Eurovision. A joke that may bring the LOL’s in your country will most certainly bomb in others. Try to bake a song next time, Latvia, and I promise you I’ll eat it up.

Score: 2/10

Deban: Aarzemnieki drummed up a simple idea, but hatched it beautifully. This is a good example of melodic simplicity riding on a moral tale. The band’s vocal harmonies work well, the guitar chords are simple and clean, and the group exudes cohesion. Although ‘Cake To Bake’ could easily be mistaken for a comedy entry, make no mistake: it’s actually a cleverly disguised parable. The Anglophone parts of Europe will get the gist of this, and I’m secretly hoping that the rest of Europe does too.

Score: 7/10

Katie: How cute. This should be a song on children’s TV! What I love about the music video is that the singer sits in a field with a guitar, looking like an Emmelie de Forest style hippy, then – all of a sudden – he starts singing about cake. Everyone is so smiley too! They just look happy to be there. As you listen to the chorus, you can’t help but smile. It’s one of those songs, as strange as the lyrics may be, that never fails to lift your mood. What does confuse me, however, is that everyone gets overexcited about baking a cake even though there are no cakes or ovens. Also, how do they manage to use the words cake, unicorn and gravity within 10 seconds of each other? I’m not denying that the lyrics are ridiculous and it’s more cheese than cake, but everyone looks genuinely happy and it’s all so sweet! (Sweet – like cake – boom!)

Score: 4/10

Maxim Montana: I love this. I think it’s amazing. I like the simplicity and the innocence. Unlike so many other acts, they look happy on stage — something that worked very well for Estonia back in 2001. It’s catchy and easy to remember, and a good pick-me-up on a bad day. The song worked really well on a small stage in the Latvian Final, and I hope they can translate that performance to the big stage in Copenhagen.

Score: 10/10

Padraig: This has a very strong whiff of “Smelly Cat” about it. You know, the song Phoebe used to sing in Friends? Because it’s essentially a load of nonsense, yet at the same time, kinda cute. Which is fine for an eccentric singing masseuse in a fictional cafe, but at Eurovision? The effort comes across as amateurish and at best half baked. A sickly sweet exterior with a gooey centre. Yuck.

Score: 2/10

Vebooboo: So in the official video this group’s lip synch is so off track that RuPaul would order them to be executed. Luckily Aarzemnieki isn’t a group of drag queen wannabes and rather a legit group of artists. The lyrics are playful and if you read ruul ruul deep into them you grasp the meaning that sometimes the most trivial things in life can be the toughest. Or perhaps I just want to see that depth and what really appeals to me is the thought of gorging myself on a cake for 3 minutes straight? Regardless, I hope this song makes it through, because it offers up something just a bit different…including such over the top artificial British-English accents in song.

Score 6.5/10

All 19 members of our jury rate each song. However, we only have room to share 10 written reviews. Here are the remaining seven scores.

Francheska: 0.5/10 (But if they need a Matryoshka apron and oven mittens for their stage performance, I’ll lend it to them)

Mario:  4/10

Zach: 0.5/10

Patrick: 0/10

Mike: 1/10

James L: 3/10

William C: 3/10

Sami: 7.5/10

Ramadan: 0/10

The highest and lowest scores are removed before calculating the final score. We have dropped a low of 0 and a high of 10.

The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 3.03/10

You can check out our latest Eurovision 2014 reviews and rankings on the Wiwi Jury page. You can keep up-to-date on the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following the team on Twitter @wiwibloggs and by liking our Facebook page.