Over the past week the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — has been reviewing each of the four national finalists in Latvia. Our 10 jurors hail from Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the UK and the US, so we’re totally international. Below you can see the average score that each act received out of 10. If you click on the artist’s name you can read an interview, if available. If you click on their song you can read our reviews in full. Do you agree with our result?
1. AMINATA SAVADOGO – “LOVE INJECTED” (8.4)
The Positive: By far the strongest contestant in the final, Aminata injects class in her performance.Her voice just blows me away and her perfomance is also amazing. Move over Mariah Carey! Lil’ Aminata brings the voice of Eurovision selection season and it makes me shiver. And she delivers it flawlessly with such confidence those Eurovision juries will be seriously impressed if she goes to Vienna.
The Negative: It maybe sounds cruel, but her voice give me a headache. I’m so sorry, I tried to listen this song more, but everytime I had to turn it off. The song’s biggest weakness is the boring ending – 30 seconds of “oh oh ohhhh” repeated. I can’t see that holding the audience’s attention well.
2. MARKUS RIVA – “TAKE ME DOWN” (7.5)
The Positive: A very contemporary and deep R&B pop ballad, I can imagine this song getting frequent airplay on radio stations across Europe. “Take Me Down” can help me through my worst moments and it could help Latvia end its bad run in Eurovision as well. He was way better in the semifinal than in the heat – I think he felt more comfy! This is modern, has a great beat and is cool!
The Negative: I feel Markus doesn’t do enough with it and maybe with another singer, I would be inclined to give it the justice it deserves. Mr. “I don’t like to show flesh” tries to get a lot of votes with his sexy body but it is not the best thing to do. It would be much better for him to pay more attention to his vocals and pronunciation.
3. MNTHA – “NEFELIBATA” (4.5)
The Positive: This is unique without being freakish, avant-garde without being outlandish. During the semi-final MNTHA at times looked like an aristocrat going through a divorce. In other moments she looked like a homeless woman stumbling home from a club after too much experimenting. In both cases I adore it. From the sound to the staging to her other-worldliness, this is my winner.
The Negative: If Latvia wanted to add some comedy to the show, they have gone about it in the wrong way. I’m afraid that if selected to represent Latvia in Vienna, the laughs they will get won’t be of the good sort, and nobody wants that.This song shouldn’t be in the final. I know weird looks can work on the ESC stage but she looks like a toy from Toy Story and hopefully Latvia won’t send this cartoon to Austria
4. ELEKTROFOLK – “SUNDANCE” (4.15)
The Positive: So weird yet so good. It has all the makings of a complete and utter flop, but somehow the guitars and drums make it extremely catchy. Perhaps if they had more fun on stage, I wouldn’t mind seeing them in Vienna. It’s catchy yet cheesy at the same time.
The Negative: I want to be nice, but I can’t think of a single nice thing to say about this. Oh wait…. I really liked the song when it ended. The song is all about the musical instruments, but they aren’t even allowed to play them live in Vienna. I’m glad that the viewers weren’t voting for this song last week, so there’s still hope for Latvia.