Latvia, Justs, 1

Yesterday the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — travelled to Latvia and visited the Riga Central Market. Inside the expansive market halls, we discussed Justs‘ song “Heartbeat”. Did we feel his rhythm? Or were we flatlining? Read on to find out!

Justs – “Heartbeat”

“Heartbeat” reviews

Bogdan: Justs was one of my faves from the very first listen of “Heartbeat”, and that was before I saw his handsome face. Unlike many Eurovision fans, I love the minimalist staging and apparent lack of choreography. But make no mistake. This is a mathematically calculated presentation, down to the clenched fist on “heartbeat”. Vocally it needs a bit more work, but otherwise Latvia’s entry is flawless and I see it very close to, if not in the top 3 in May.

Score: 9/10

Patrick: Latvia was close to a last place by nearly picking a bad bad song because of frustration. But Justs saved the evening and Latvia is going straight to the final again. Perfect voice, perfect styling, perfect tune (Hi Aminata) and perfect looks. I find it really unbelievable that the country found the way to do well after all those bad attempts. First Aminata, now Justs. I’m going to love this country in Eurovision more and more!

Score: 8.5/10

Angus: “Heartbeat” was the clear runaway winner at Supernova, but over the course of the season Justs has faded a little. The staging is cool, but the vocal becomes shouty and unlike Aminata, this is really lacking a mystique to make the pitch compelling. Latvia are surefire qualifiers but a second year in the top 10 seems less likely. Justs sings well and looks cute, but in the last minute the song just feels too noisy. Some restraint, which Aminata totally has history on, would do this wonders.

Score: 6.5/10

Deban: The production on “Heartbeat” is slick, and Justs cooks it right. Sparse but driven with heartfelt emotion, this contemporary take on a love song is juxtaposed with Justs’s vintage-esque vocals, and Aminata’s avant-garde production. A musical marriage made in heaven, and hopefully one that’ll be celebrated at the Eurovision finals.

Score: 7/10

Denise: The song is already really good, but Justs is making it even better. His voice is so raw and he hits every note. The staging in the national final was pretty simple, but it made Justs and his song stand out even more. Together with Aminata, it’s a killer combination.

Score: 9.5/10

Robyn: I love the minimalist arrangement of the song. It’s something that can only work with a strong singer and Justs more than delivers. While “Heartbeat” isn’t my top pick for 2016, I’m still getting a very strong #riga2017 vibe. What we saw at Supernova has all the ingredients for a killer performance in Stockholm. It needs work, but as Latvia showed last year, they know how to work it.

Score: 8.5/10

Edd: Another very respectable entry from Latvia, but I can’t see it following last year’s success. “Love Injected” achieved its big impact by having very quiet verses, followed a booming chorus of long, dramatic notes – neither of which are present in “Heartbeat.” Furthermore, Aminata was an Amazonian spider monster, whilst Justs is just a pretty guy in a leather jacket. Make the production less monotonous and give me a striking stage presentation, and I might justs be sold.

Score: 7/10

Judit: I know, I know, almost everyone went crazy about this song, and one of the reason was Aminata. Well, I didn’t like Aminata last year, so she’s not a reason why I would like this song. Justs has the potential. A good voice, and a good looking guy, but “Heartbeat” is not the most powerful song to me — mostly just OK. We’ll see how it can work on a big stage but he needs some powerful background to land in the top 10.

Score: 7/10

Mike: People who know me well will confirm I am one of Markus Riva‘s biggest fans and I really really do not like Aminata. But this year it was a close call between Markus and Justs as to who would be my fave to win Supernova. In the end I was happy with the result. The Baltic countries again in it to win it and Justs’ song is a likeable, quality song with a beat that just won’t leave your head.

Score: 9/10

Padraig: Justs is effortlessly cool. From his styling to his vocals, he tackles everything with such a smooth swagger that it’s hard not to swoon. And then of course there’s his striking blue eyes (be still, my beating heart)! But a Eurovision contestant is only as good as their song, and thankfully “Heartbeat” is up to scratch. Slick and modern, it’s got hit written all over it. The lyrics may veer slightly towards the derivative, but Justs’ delivery elevates the track sufficiently. His raw, raspy vocals just drip with emotion. If accompanied with some proper staging that can fill out the performance, Latvia could be up with the big boys once again.

Score: 8.5/10

William: I’m not wetting myself over this like the majority of Eurovision fandom, but I can appreciate its merits. Modern, edgy, Swedish — it has all the qualities of Aminata’s “Love Injected,” which makes sense since she wrote it. His gritty, smoky vocals kick ass in that chorus — and they sound as good live as they do in the studio version. But this ultimately leaves me kind of cold. It’s more mood music than main event.

Score: 7/10

Zakaria: I like Justs’ voice, I like the melody, I like the staging… but combined all together, I don’t like the final result. It seems to me Justs should be singing rock and the song would be more suitable for a female voice. Still it’s my favourite of the three Baltic countries.

Score: 6.5/10

In the Wiwi Jury we have 40 jurors but only have room for 12 reviews. The remaining 28 scores are below.

Anthony: 8/10

Antranig: 5.5/10

Bernardo: 7.5/10

Chris: 9.5/10

Cristian: 9/10

David: 3/10

Dayana: 8/10

Diego: 6/10

Forrest: 8/10

George: 8.5/10

Gökhan: 8/10

Jason: 8.5/10

Josh: 7.5/10

Kristin: 6.5/10

Liam: 10/10

Luis: 10/10

Marek: 10/10

Maria: 6/10

Mario: 7.5/10

Max: 7/10

Mikhail: 7.5/10

Renske: 8.5/10

Rezo: 3/10

Sami: 6/10

Sinan: 5.5/10

Steinunn: 8.5/10

Tobias: 5/10

William C: 3/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 3 and a high of 10.

WIWI JURY SCORE: 7.42/10

SEE OUR CURRENT EUROVISION 2016 REVIEWS AND RANKINGS

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sonic0201
Guest
sonic0201

I like the electro-/deep house instrumentals, but otherwise this song is far from winning material. Top 10-12 is the ceiling for this entry. It doesn’t have a real message, and the performance and vocals are too forced. Doesn’t deserve a better review than quality and classy songs like Goodbye (Shelter), Pioneer, and LoveWave.

Peter V
Guest
Peter V

“Heartbeat” is boring, a complete copy of the last year’s song.

Andrey (from Russia)
Guest
Andrey (from Russia)

He’s suffering TOO MUCH on the stage. It’s looks artificially for this song.

ESCaddict
Guest
ESCaddict

Heartbeat was close to the top of my ranking but has started to slide as other songs are pushing upwards.
I do like the song’s sound but it is a cold sound. It does not sound like a love song to me.
Don’t under estimate that red circular lighting effect that appears in the national final stage. It is like a bubble bursting. It works. Bring it to Stockholm.
Currently I rank Heartbeat 12 of 43.

Henry
Guest
Henry

One of my favourites this year, really good song and performer, i hope top 5 in Final. (4/43)

Slightly Biased ESC Fan
Guest
Slightly Biased ESC Fan

As much as I loved “Love Injected” his voice is too gruff for pulling off this type of sound. Not everyone can be an Adam Lambert.

Fergy
Guest
Fergy

Anyone who thinks Latvia’s Youtube views are an indicator of how well they’ll do in the contest needs to know that Aminata had the least number of Youtube views before the contest last year with Love Injected. The rest is history and they’re going to pull the exact same result this year! Just you see 😉

Paul D
Guest
Paul D

Sorry wrong thread lol

Paul D
Guest
Paul D

This song isn’t original, it fells like I heard this song many times in my life but is well produced and Donny is very charismatic and is a great performer, it will have no problem to qualify (Lithuania has support from neighbors and diaspora) and should do a decent result in the final

Julian
Guest
Julian

This so-called ‘Aminata-style’ seems to be very popular. I know it’s just an opinion, but I don’t like it at all. To me Latvia’s entry is like one big waste of energy. The guy is exhausted when he is finished and for what?

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@Daves

well they perform first in semi final 2, so they must make one phenomenal stage performance with this song to make a memorable impression, because if you’re up first, you must wait after all performances until the voting lines open

so the more memorable in the beginning the better i think

Daves
Guest
Daves

This song will do better than we expect. Dangerously better.

For a small nation like Latvia to reach so good results in some of the preliminary polls is a proof for that.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@John Doe

i wish your favourites all the best of luck, it’s a shame we can’t get along well on this blog

John Doe
Guest
John Doe

NO

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@wtf

seriously, Malta has got a better song than this, Justs is good looking i must admit, but his song is average, and go with your own opinion instead of the wiwi juries, they only give their opinion as well 🙂

Hugh
Guest
Hugh

For me this is the best written and produced song of the year, and right up at the pointy end of my list, flittering between #1 and #3 along with Ukraine and Bulgaria. Justs’ performances have been hit and miss for me – sometimes, it works brilliantly, others it’s come up a bit short. Hopefully on the night he gives his very best, Riga 2017 could be on the cards. 9.5/10

Ewan
Guest
Ewan

Honestly I can’t fault aminata’s composition but as others have said Justs just does not fit this song, his voice and stage presence are just a bit too pop/rock to really make the song work like how aminata did last year.

Jerome
Guest
Jerome

9.5/10 Another success from the Baltic nation, once again written by the fabulous Aminata. Because of Love Injected, Heartbeat is still somewhat mysterious but a little more mainstream now. Justs has killer vocals in this track which is really cool and the sombre electronic backing is a great complement to that. Aminata was my favourite last year so of course I was rooting for Justs to win and I was so happy when he did. There is, however, one entry that is better that this. But I will still root for him to achieve a great result. I guess all… Read more »

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

I was not a fan of Latvia’s entry last year (as a matter of fact, I did not really like any of the songs that came in the top five) but I do like this! Aminata seems much more talented a songwriter than she is a vocalist and she does the business here. This is gritty, cool and radio-friendly. Justs does a great job of making a song that is very dependent on his vocal interesting for the full three minutes. I am not getting carried away. I do not think this is a winner but I do think it… Read more »

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Gareth :- There are about 5 or 6 countries smaller than Latvia with more YT views, one of which is Malta. It is not just the people of one country that view the videos, it is open to everyone around the world!!!!

However, YT views is not the best indicator and I certainly do not take any indicator in isolation and I did say we should look at iTunes. What it does tell me is that Latvia will not win this year.

Andrey (from Russia)
Guest
Andrey (from Russia)

Sorry, though his song is not too bad, his stage performance is rather clumsy. And he is not so experienced like Sergey. So, he definitely won’t be able to take a high place.

Colin
Guest
Colin

@cumbrialad

I guess people have different tastes. I can understand David since I also prefer both Poland and Moldova to Latvia. I am, for instance, surprised by the bad reception of Romanian entry, which I find awesome, while I think Bosnian song is awful and yet, decently received by Wiwibloggs.

People will have different opinions and sometimes they will be different than the jury consensus. At least you can be happy that the song you like has an average of 7.4, which is a lot considering all results so far.

DIT
Guest
DIT

How people can say this is overated I dont know, its about 9th in the polls and is obviously not everyones cup of tea. Overated would be Croatia or Sweden not this.
This is atleast modern and has a credible singer and is obviously gonna wow more than half the other song in this years contest. Im not sure about the juries but if Aminata made top 10 on the televote then Im pretty sure this will aswell. Also calm down with the “Love Injected” is better, “Heartbeat” isnt competing with it so no one cares.

Gareth
Guest
Gareth

@EugeneESCUK It is weird that someone can take youtube views as a straightforward merit. There will always be more views for bigger countries (Spain, Russia) which puts smaler countries (e.g. Latvia) in different shoes.

The same happened with Aminata, the same will happen with Justs. Only after Eurovision their youutube numbers increase significantly.

Numbers, boi!

Tom
Guest
Tom

When I first heard this I loved it. It has qween Aminata all over it. Love Injected was my favourite last year and I could see many of the elements here.

Heartbeats is slowly fading on me now though. Justs lacks Aminata’s presence, I have issues with the lyrics and I struggle now to get through the whole song. My partner hates it.

That said the production is slick, I love the synth beats and it’s a cool song. I personally love Justs voice too. I want this to qualify.

Good luck Latvia!

J UK
Guest
J UK

People forget that songs divide people. Australia has a higher score, yes, but they probably got less 10/10 (which is what really counts because you’re only going to vote for a 10/10) Like Ukraine that song divided people but they received the most 10/10’s so far. If this is an indication Latvia and Ukraine will do very well.

Danish
Guest
Danish

Latvia has generated a song of 2016.

Small Baltic nation has slayed again. And will slay even more in Stockholm!

wtf
Guest
wtf

This deserved a better score than Malta, seriously. ._.

Steven
Guest
Steven

This is tripe. He has the worst stage presence I’ve seen all national final season. I think this will flop come the final.

cumbrialad
Guest
cumbrialad

I can’t help to notice that David gave Latvia 3/10, yet he gave 7/10 to Moldova and 7.5/10 to Poland. How can someone with such an atrocious taste be a part of the jury?

Gullskoify
Guest
Gullskoify

My most played song from this years contestants. So a favourite on my playlist.

georgekirkas
Guest
georgekirkas

I have a question for everyone here on wiwibloggs: do you know what happened to Mario, the gay guy who called Eurovision ”My Vision Of Gay Love”? He hasn’t posted a comment since last November and I’m really surprised about that!

David Who
Guest
David Who

Song titles like this remind me of Buddy Holly… 🙂
In short, there’s something missing this year with Latvia. The song is good (thanks Aminata), the singer is good (thanks Justs), but put the two together and something isn’t quite right. Best of luck to him though.
P.S. Aminata, please return to sing one of your songs again next year, you are amazing. 🙂

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@Nicky91: If you’re good (like Aram was in leading off the 2014 ESC), you have nothing to worry about. If your chances are dubious AT BEST, then you haven’t got a prayer in qualifying from the death spot.

Justs will qualify. My #14 overall, after my first review.

MiguelGarcia
Guest
MiguelGarcia

As soon as they released this song, it became my favorite and still is one of my favorites.

I loved Aminata last year. My fav act.

Remarkable how a little country can produce this quality stuff year in, year out.

zoolander
Guest
zoolander
SLY
Guest
SLY

I im love with this song from the first sight! Vinner for me!
Good luck Justs!!!!

Bis
Guest
Bis

The best song on offer this year. 10/10 and 12 points from me

Leo
Guest
Leo

This is a maximum 4/10 for me ! Justus is a fantastic singer but the song is just dull and very monotonous ,Love Injected was unique but this is just weird

jacob
Guest
jacob

10/10 – He’s lower than Australia? Seriously?

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

7.42 is way too low if Australia is a 7.92… Seriously.
I love this. I’ve loved it from the first listen. It is my 2/43, only France is ahead of it.
Last year Aminata came 2nd with juries and about 8th with viewers, I think this year it will be the other way around (maybe not AS good though).
Has to make the top 10 at least.

Marc
Guest
Marc

@Nicky91
Draw kinda matters but I guess Latvia will be sure in final. A lot of countries qualified past years despite being 1sr or 2nd in their semis. (And yes Justs is very good looking but the most handsome guy this year is Douwe juju)
Btw Netherlands is right now all blue in the odds and it’s placing 15 and going up! It’s looking good for Douwe 🙂

WTF
Guest
WTF

@Nicky91: I never said such a thing, I only called you out on the numerous random Malta posts that have absolutely nothing to do with the article they’re posted on… It’s become quite the art form, to be honest. “Well, hello, and what do you think about Malta’s song for this year?” Lol…

Anyway, Latvia are bringing another great song this year and if there’s any justice, they’ll obtain themselves a second straight top 10 placing, at the very least.

This is my opinion (TIMO)
Guest
This is my opinion (TIMO)

Most painful song this year….this is not entertaining at all…A man suffering not singing shouting out his pain….

Hastings
Guest
Hastings

Latvia is becoming one of my favourite countries of the contest, and this is the proof they’re really back in the game (after last year’s MASTERPIECE).
This is certainly not as good as Love Injected but it still remains a very good song, that really stands out from the others.

9/10
9/43 in my top

Ben Rafter
Guest
Ben Rafter

10/10
My absolute favourite this year! I find it weird that you reviews my 2 favourites today! Justs is amazing and I love the song!!!!!

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@georgekirkas

you are right at that, it’s overrated but it’s one of the better songs in semi final 2, alongside Bulgaria, Australia ( which i can see qualifying as well)

and what WTF said, he said that last year as well, because i liked Amber a bit too much according to him

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@Eugene

he’s good looking, and his shame is he’s up first to perform in the second semi final, maybe a weaker semi final, but running order does matter 🙂

Anton
Guest
Anton

Justs is just very young, he has no much experience. May be next time he may win, but not yet.

georgekirkas
Guest
georgekirkas

@Nicky91-I’m pretty sure that it’s not gonna happen the same with 2013 for Latvia! I think that the song is overrated, but it still is a good song and the juries will definitely appreciate it because of Justs’ amazing vocals! Also, Latvia has countries that support them in the same Semi-Final, like Lithuania, Ireland and the UK. ”Here We Go”, on the other hand, was just a bad crappy song that didn’t stand out at all.