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 selection for Eurovision 2016Today we look at Marta Grigale, Catalepsia, Samanta Tina and Justs. Do we think there is a winner in this bunch? Read on to find out!

Marta Grigale – “Choices”

“Choices” Reviews:

Sami: “Choices” has nice, electronic sound and Marta has nice and very sweet voice. But there’s something weird with arrangement and the chorus is extremely bad. “There’s always and always and always a choice” — if I could choose, this wouldn’t qualify to the Supernova final.

Score: 4/10

William: Born in 2015 and riding a modern wave into 2016, “Choices” is a radio-friendly track that creates major atmosphere. Unfortunately it loses steam by the time it reaches the first chorus — which proves to be monotonous and a tad bland. Great vibe, but it needs more shape.

Score: 5/10

Josh: So, besides the instrumental of this song sounding almost exactly the same as “Style” by Taylor Swift, this song is pretty good. Marta’s vocal sounds like it’s from a female-lead 90’s rock band like The Cranberries, or No Doubt. They mesh together nicely into a modern pop song. Not too bad!

Score: 6.5/10

Luis: This is modern and it sounds cool, but at approximately 1:30, one starts to get bored. “Choices” is a well constructed synth pop song that unfortunately lacks any oomph and ends being monotonous. Maybe if Marta gives a surprising performance, this will get farther than I anticipate.

Score: 6/10

Robyn: The ’80s synth sound strikes again! A 30-second snippet of this song would sound really great, but all together, the song ends up becoming repetitive and it’s too easy for the listener to lose focus. It doesn’t help that Marta’s chilled out singing style doesn’t elevate the song, but there’s potential for drama when it’s performed live.

Score: 5/10

Edd: You’d think a song this good would be produced by Swedes, but its 100% Latvian! It stays interesting through the verses and chorus and gives us an orgasmic electro post-chorus. Maybe a tad repetitive, but still thoroughly enjoyable.

Score: 9/10

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

Zakaria: 4/10

Bogdan: 7.5/10

Sinan: 6/10

Patrick: 7/10

Anthony: 5/10

Renske: 7.5/10

Bernardo: 5/10

George: 6/10

Sam: 7/10

Dayana: 6.5/10

Antranig: 5.5/10

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 4 and a high of 9.

Wiwi Jury Score: 5.97/10

Catalepsia – “Damnation”

“Damnation” Reviews:

Sinan: I’m not a huge fan of this kind of music, and I didn’t like this. It’s a little bit boring, and I’m not sure if I can listen to this again.

Score: 3.5/10

William: This has shades of the German band Unheilig. It’s dark and dramatic and just a tad sinister. And while I’m not a fan of the genre, they pull it off well, giving their darkness an epic quality. This would tank at Eurovision, but I’m pleased to hear it here in Latvia.

Score: 4.5/10

Josh: I’ve never really been a fan of 1980’s glam rock, so this Latvian Metallica fantasy does nothing for me. I’m a firm believer that Lordi can never be beaten in that genre when it comes to Eurovision. Sure, if you like rock/metal music, you may want to get behind “Damnation”. Not my cup of tea, though.

Score: 3/10

Patrick: Is there much to say? This is a genre we usually have in the German Selection, but hey Latvia kind of likes it. I don’t. Basically it’s poor rock delivered with an annoying voice.

Score: 1/10

Robyn: Catalepsia are a doom metal band, a genre that we don’t really hear from in national finals, let alone Eurovision itself. Maybe I’m revealing my metaller roots, but there’s a place in my heart for music like “Damnation”, the lush, dramatic metal balladry. The Baltic region produces some of the finest metal bands in the world, so it’s good to see Latvia representing. I want to see these guys in the semi-final.

Score: 7.5/10

Antranig: This is definitely the type of song to completely polarise Eurovision fans. Personally, I am all over it — this is one of the three best songs in Latvia and it’s such a refreshing change to listen to this after a dozen generic electro-pop songs. This would not appeal to many Eurovision fans but there’s a certain niche that would get right behind it.

Score: 9/10

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

Zakaria: 5/10

Bogdan: 3/10

Sami: 3/10

Luis: 7/10

Anthony: 3/10

Renske: 4.5/10

Bernardo: 4/10

George: 3/10

Sam: 4/10

Edd: 1/10

Dayana: 2/10

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 9.

Wiwi Jury Score: 3.87/10

Samanta Tina – “We Live For Love”

 “We Live For Love” Reviews:

Sinan: It’s a cool song, but it didn’t grab me much on first listen. Lady, you have three minutes to show us what’cha got! I don’t think it comes across — nor do I think it’s headed to Eurovision.

Score: 6/10

William: We live for love and I am living for this song! Samanta — the queen of the Latvian power ballad — works every inch of her register, which is vast and powerful, rich and melodic. The production gives this an inspiring quality and the two key changes help her climb not a hill, but a mountain. She’s standing tall and looking down on the competition! YASSS!

Score: 9/10

Josh: “We Live For Love” sounds like a strange lovechild between Cher, Celine Dion and Lady Gaga. The early key change is weird. The spoken word section is weird. Samanta Tina has let me down this year. I’m really not loving either song.

Score: 5/10

Luis: Eh? So, I suppose Samanta just threw all the diva elements inside an Audacity track (that might be why the production is so bad) and went with it. “We live for love” is pretentious and inconsistent, and I’m not in the mood for playing along. And well, what to say about that spoken part…

Score: 0/10

Robyn: In theory I wouldn’t expect to like this as it’s a big shouty diva song, but it’s become one of my Supernova favourites. Maybe because it’s so sincerely over-the-top. It throws in a key change halfway through – far too early by Eurovision standards – and yet it works. I have but one demand: if this song wins, that weird spoken bit absolutely has to stay. There must be no revamp. It’s vamp enough as it is, thanks.

Score: 7/10

Edd: The woman, the icon, the goddess — Samanta Tina is back. And it’s as dark and mystical as any of us could’ve hoped for. At the first key change I was blown away, and by the second I was on the brink of explosion. She manages to conjure up so much power with those lungs of hers, and with Ms Tina we can be certain that live she is going to slay the pack. The winner. Done.

Score: 10/10

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

Zakaria: 9/10

Bogdan: 7.5/10

Sami: 6/10

Anthony: 7.5/10

Patrick: 8.5/10

Renske: 8/10

Bernardo: 7/10

George: 7/10

Sam: 3/10

Dayana: 5/10

Antranig: 9.5/10

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 0 and a high of 10.

Wiwi Jury Score: 7/10

Justs – “Heartbeat”

“Heartbeat” Reviews:

Sami: I don’t share the enthusiasm of my fellow wiwibloggers, but I can’t say this wouldn’t be a good choice either. I love how haunting the song is and Justs’ powerful voice sounds just amazing. I don’t think this would do as well as Aminata did last year, but I’m sure this would be a guaranteed finalist.

Score: 7/10

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. But this ultimately leaves me kind of cold. It’s more mood music than main event.

Score: 6/10

Josh: SO. MUCH. YES. Aminata Savadogo was one of my favourites from 2015 so I’m absolutely ecstatic that she’s back in Supernova 2016 penning “Heartbeat” for Justs. This doesn’t stray too far away from “Love Injected”, but is still different enough to make it original. Justs has a great voice and with the right staging, we could see Latvia back in the top 10 in 2016.

Score: 10/10

Patrick: Very new, modern sound. His voice is probably one of the strongest ever in Latvia’s NF. Great lyrics and oh that beat. Fantastic song, probably perfect for Eurovision! SLAY!

Score: 9/10

Robyn: The first time I heard this song, I didn’t connect with it, though it has grown on me. But this isn’t always a good sign, for a contest where first impressions mean a lot. Justs has a rich soul voice and the cool, minimalist arrangement of the song highlights his strengths. The acoustic version of the song shows there’s a really well written song at the core, and I think the Supernova performance will add another dimension.

Score: 8/10

Edd: An incredibly powerful voice against a very interesting production with endless little touches that make you go “ooh”. That said, the song needs more delicate moments to give the big impact that the booming chorus of “Love Injected” gave us. If he can give us a memorable performance, then this will be a very deserving winner.

Score: 8/10

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

Sinan: 6/10

Bogdan: 10/10

Zakaria: 8/10

Luis: 10/10

Anthony: 8/10

Renske: 7.5/10

Bernardo: 8.5/10

George: 8/10

Sam: 10/10

Dayana: 9.5/10

Antranig: 8/10

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 6 and a high of 10.

Wiwi Jury Score: 8.37/10

For the all the Supernova reviews and rankings, click here

Keep up with the latest Latvia Eurovision News

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Hanner McSinny/Calvin
Guest

When Samanta Tina is wailing melodramatically about something or other, she’s unstoppable as far as I’m concerned.

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

Justs to Stockholm! Could end up in the top 5.

Olly
Guest
Olly

Justs, Dvines and Dukurs are all good tracks to add to my soundtrack.

Ben Rafter
Guest
Ben Rafter

I recently switched Spain with Belgium as my new favourite, but if justs wins supernova then I think he will be my new favourite.

Laburnum
Guest
Laburnum

JUSTS ftw!! 🙂

Bb
Guest
Bb

Justs is amazing and I hope he will represent Latvia this year.

Jerome
Guest
Jerome

Latvia, you were my favourite last year with Love Injected by Aminata. You JUSTS might be my favourite again this year if you send Heartbeat. Come on, Latvia. You have a good thing going here. Don’t screw it up now.

Rocky
Guest
Rocky

It’s simple.

2016. Supernova. Winner. Latvia. Justs.

The next quest is #Riga2017?

Dane
Guest
Dane

I’m glad that JUSTS’ ‘ Heartbeat’ has slayed the wiwiblogggs jury. I do agree with them. I’ve been listening to this song over and over and just can’t get enough.

The acoustic version is nice as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjBNWUrwFl0&feature=youtu.be

That shows the guy has a great voice. Love the smokiness!

mocosuburbian
Guest
mocosuburbian

I always disagree so strongly with Edd and William in particular lol like idk but Samanta Tina and Markus Riva are killjoys in an amazing (like AMAZING) national selection
I will say the opinions on Justs’ song are the first this season that completely match my own though

esc
Guest
esc

Samanta’s song sounds like if a Cascada track from ten years ago went on broadway, soz im asleep and scared

fikri
Guest
fikri

uhh what does william mean by describing justs’s song as swedish?

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

These juries could never appreciate a good act even if they were paid to do so. Catalepsia has the best song of the Latvian selection this year – that you don’t know how to appreciate gothic doom at all doesn’t mean the song is bad. Leave your ignorance (and your stupid scores) aside.