Earlier today, the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — gathered in Riga to discuss the contestants participating in Supernova 2016, Latvia’s National Final for Eurovision 2016 . Today we look at Paula Dukure, ElectroFolk and Ruta Duduma. Did the acts shine bright and release a burst of cosmic energy? Read on!

Paula Dukure – “Look In The Mirror”

“Look In The Mirror” Reviews:

Josh: Our first entry to be reviewed for Latvia comes from Paula Dukure, the first of many Aminata-inspired electro ballads. The difference between Aminata’s song from 2015 and “Look In The Mirror” is that “Love Injected” showed so much restraint with just the right amount of power, whereas Paula’s song sound like far too much at once. Too many elements can be distracting and messy sometimes. Simple is sometimes better.

Score: 5/10

Sinan: Yes! She can make me happy, as she sings in the song! I adore electronic music and this fits so nicely in that genre. It will be in the final of Supernova if she sings live this well, I’m 100% sure of that.

Score: 8.5/10

William: I appreciate the message of self-empowerment and I think the timbre of her voice fits electronic music very well. However, this sounds somehow dated despite the very modern production. The demonic voice echoing in the background creeps me out and the drum-tap riff where she tells us to look in the mirror is more irritating than catchy. Not a fan.

Score: 5/10

Patrick: Paula kicks off the first heat, but I don’t know if that is good or not. Her song is not the usual Eurovision song that we expect from Latvia. It is very different, dark and mysterious and Paula’s voice is not bad at all. Basically she tried to be a bit Aminata and it kind of worked. A nice effort but not the biggest one

Score: 7.5/10

Robyn: I’m intrigued by this song, the combination of an R&B melody with some very cool electronic beats. But after a strong start, the song becomes quite unfocused. Even the central message inexplicably shifts from “look in the mirror” to “I’m learning to love”. It ends up feeling underdeveloped, much longer than three minutes, and very self-indulgent.

Score: 5.5/10

Antranig: Heavy electronic beats are all over Supernova 2016, courtesy of Aminata’s success last year. A lot of the songs sound like cheap knock-offs of “Love Injected” but this is the exception — this is catchy, lyrically engaging and the beat is absolutely infectious. My main criticism is that the last 30 seconds get rather dull but if Latvia wants to go down the same road as last year, this is the song to pick.

Score: 8.5/10

In the Latvian Wiwi Jury we have 17 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining 11 scores are below.

Zakaria: 6/10

Bogdan: 4.5/10

Sami: 4/10

Luis: 4/10

Anthony: 5/10

Renske: 7/10

Bernardo: 5.5/10

George: 4.5/10

Edd: 2/10

Sam: 4/10

Dayana: 7/10

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 2 and a high of 8.5.

Wiwi Jury Score: 5.53/10

ElectroFolk – “Miracle Drums”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLOHMwyp_DY

“Miracle Drums” Reviews:

William: The opening bars remind me of the song “Savages” from Disney’s animated film Pocahontas. The first 30 seconds create a dark, tense and somewhat intimidating atmosphere, which ultimately highlights the love and the light that follow. Banging drums and swelling production lead to a proper anthem of a chorus. I can’t help but pump my fist and bob my head. I’ll definitely make love and not war so long as this is playing.

Score: 8.5/10

Sami: I never liked “Sundance” so I’m very happy ElectroFolk have gone in totally different direction this time. “Miracle Drums” is very magical and the drums are very impressive. However, the lyrics are bit of a non-sense and especially the chorus is really lame. I still think this is one of the best songs in Supernova 2016 and should qualify from its heat.

Score: 6/10

Josh: There’s something quite endearing about ElectroFolk’s entry this year. Ironically the song isn’t very electro at all, given their name, but the lack of electro is welcomed by me because there is so much of the same genre in Supernova 2016. Do I think it could win Eurovision? No. Could it win Supernova 2016? I don’t know. I’ll rank this as middle of the pack.

Score: 6/10

Anthony: I just couldn’t take “Sundance” seriously, so I was mightily relieved Latvia didn’t send them to Vienna. It’s hard to believe what a difference a year makes since their debut last year. “Miracle Drums” still has that slight folksy element to it and brings out a much changed ElectroFolk, so it’s a case of less novelty act, more credible artists. Now I hope they don’t ruin it with more ridiculous staging again.

Score: 6/10

Robyn: I also intensely disliked “Sundance” last year, but there’s no such problem this year. Unlike their almost instrumental 2015 entry, “Miracle Drums” is full of singing, but there’s still room for a drum break. Though while the song is really uplifting, it feels more like a number from a musical than a Eurovision entry. But I get the feeling this will be really good to watch live at Supernova.

Score: 7/10

Edd: I was expecting some exciting, off-the-wall ethnopop, and instead was given a mid-tempo guitar ballad. “ElektroFolk” seems like the least appropriate name for the band with this song. It’s not a bad song – and it certainly has staging potential – put this kind of song sounded dated 10 years ago.

Score: 5.5/10

In the Latvian Wiwi Jury we have 17 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining 11 scores are below.

Zakaria: 6/10

Bogdan: 6/10

Sinan: 7/10

Luis: 3.5/10

Patrick: 2/10

Renske: 6.5/10

Bernardo: 6.5/10

George: 5/10

Sam: 3/10

Dayana: 4/10

Antranig: 7.5/10

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 2 and a high of 8.5.

Wiwi Jury Score: 5.7/10

Ruta Duduma – “Being A Friend”

“Being A Friend” Reviews:

William: This sounds like it belongs on the soundtrack of a made-for-TV movie — and one with very poor ratings at that. It’s sleepy and soporific and doused in clichés. I’m all about atmospheric songs, but they need to elicit more sincere emotions than this. P.S. Watching the video I can’t help but think she’s singing about her horse rather than her lover.

Score: 3/10

Zakaria: Just close your eyes and imagine a Disney princess singing it. “Being A Friend” is sweet and ordinary but I’m afraid this combination is not enough to win Supernova and it might probably get lost among the other entries.

Score: 5/10

Josh: And we have our resident ballad for Supernova 2016! “Being A Friend” is sweet and harmless but it’s oh so dull. Ruta’s voice continues to build through the song, but the instrumental doesn’t elevate with her voice – thus making the song feel like it’s dragging. I can’t see this progressing very far.

Score: 3.5/10

Luis: If I was at LTV, I’d have redirected Ruta’s song directly to Lithuania’s broadcaster. “Being a Friend” is too demure, and the lyrics are a total bore. This is very mild and inoffensive, and as Latvia learnt last year, you need all the opposite to that to cause an impression in Europe. I’m already picturing this on stage with a piano and a chandelier on it, and that stopped working 30 years ago.

Score: 4/10

Robyn: This is really sweet, but it’s so Disney. I want to buy into Ruta’s kind, uncynical nature, but the song itself is just so bland. The song’s friendship theme reminds me of Randy Newman’s “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”, a short song which manages to convey much more in that shorter time. In the end, it’s just Ruta telling us for three minutes that she has a friend. Yay, Ruta.

Score: 5/10

George: “Being A Friend” is a realy nice song and Ruta has a really nice voice. She thus manages to make the best of it. The song evolves really nicely. Even if it is quite forgettable, it’s not all that bad. The only thing that annoys me is that, after a certain point, it becomes repetitive. One thing’s for sure, I definitely want to be friends with her!

Score: 6.5/10

In the Latvian Wiwi Jury we have 17 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining 11 scores are below.

Sami: 1/10

Bogdan: 2/10

Sinan: 5.5/10

Anthony: 4/10

Patrick: 7/10

Renske: 6/10

Bernardo: 6.5/10

Sam: 1/10

Edd: 5/10

Dayana: 5/10

Antranig: 6/10

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 1 and a high of 7.

Wiwi Jury Score: 4.53/10

For the all the Supernova reviews and rankings, click here

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Jo
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Jo

Miracle Drums came in third on my Latvian top 5. The Miracle Drums chorus bit is a great hook.

Héctor
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Héctor

Wow! I really like “Miracle Drums”, it’s very catchy and while I listening to this song I feel somehow happy. It’s something we wouldn’t expect to see in Eurovision. it’s more like an act for a musical than one for Eurovision, but I loving it. Don’t like their clothing style tbh.

Olly
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Olly

Wiwibloggs guys! You made me laugh and at the same time take your comments seriously. I love your encouragements, attitude and sense of humor. So true!

Supernova this year has definitely grown. These three artists however may stay in the middle or so. Paula Dukure has the most potential, according to my ears.

Can’t wait for your reviews for other Supernova songs.