Supernova 2017 Franco Franco Katrina Cirule Lauris Valters

Riga, calling! All week, the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has been reviewing the acts taking part in the first heat of Supernova 2017, Latvia’s national selection process, which kicks off on Sunday.

Today’s edition sees Lauris Valters, Franco Franco and Katrina Cirule facing our candid and increasingly crabby jurors. With only four acts making it to the semi final, will any of them emerge as favourites? Read on to see our thoughts…

Lauris Valters – “Magic Years”

Chris: It’s like a “My First Synth” songbook come to fruition. From the opening bars I can instantly tell that I won’t enjoy this. Lo and behold, that proves true as the song goes on. Lauris’ vocal tricks are bland at best. I can barely manage to listen all the way through this one.

Score: 2.5/10

Robyn: Somehow I’m reminded of the sort of goofy folk pop that was a thing in the American college radio scene in the late ’80s. “Magic Years” is fun, but it would better suit a busker on the streets of Riga than an act on the big Eurovision stage. I’ll be interested to see how this come across at the heats.

Score: 6/10

Jason: Forgive me while I state the obvious: “Magic Years” sounds quite similar to “If I Were Sorry”. But hey, if it worked for Frans, who can say it won’t work for Lauris? Unfortunately, “Magic Years” lacks some of the impact of the Swedish star’s hit. On a positive note, this entry is a pleasant enough listen and it doesn’t annoy me, unlike so many of its competitors.

Score: 5/10

Antranig: This sounds like a song made for a busker to play outside a busy shopping mall on a Saturday afternoon — the type of song you walk past without a second thought. Lyrically, though, it’s actually very intriguing. Unfortunately, it lacks the musical composition to accompany those lyrics and I’d rather listen to him reading those words at a poetry recital.

Score: 2/10

Zakaria: This song goes on my personal torture list. “Magic Years” is annoying, irritating and actually stressful. I don’t think I’d ever want to listen to it again so I will probably mute it when watching Supernova. Sorry, Lauris.

Score: 0/10

Luis: This is a cute song marred by too many attempts to make it memorable. It’s nice to listen for a minute or so, but there are too many irritating elements after that. Lauris has transformed what could be a fine radio tune into an annoying B-side song on a Summer compilation.

Score: 3/10

In the Latvian Wiwi Jury, we have 15 jurors, but room for only 6 reviews. The remaining scores are below:

Andy: 5.5/10

Bernardo: 5.5/10

Dayana: 5.5/10

Forrest: 5/10

Josh: 4/10

Jordi: 6/10

Kristin: 5/10

Renske: 3/10

Sami: 5/10






Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 0 and a high of 6.


Franco Franco — “Up”

Chris: Oh dear. Just as it looks like this one might become something, that instrumental comes in and it all falls down. They completely drain the song of any momentum it has going for it, because those verses are really quite good. Even if just the instrumental sections were better — or remixed — that could do wonders.

Score: 5/10

Robyn: I really like the sound of this song — strong vocals mixed with compelling electronic accompaniment. But… I can’t see it working as a Eurovision entry. Beyond the incredibly strong opening, the song soon slips into repetition, both the line “Up, only up, only up” and the frequent instrumental breaks. As a Eurovision entry, it would need killer staging to fill in all the gaps.

Score: 5/10

Jason: Yasss Franco Franco, give me what I need! I for one love the contrast between the futuristic marching band sound of the verses and the stripped-back chorus. Choosing “Up” would be an audacious move on Latvia’s part, but to me it would be totally worth the risk. It blurs the boundaries of what it means to be a Eurovision entry, and that is exactly what the contest needs to continue its evolution.

Score: 9.5/10

Kristin: I’m a little bit worried about the live performance. “Up” is so deliciously edgy and cool, but it’s also the kind of song that needs picture perfect staging and strong vocals in order to work. Not only that, there’s such a strong electronic beat that the singer would have to have power beyond belief to outshine it. I am going to take a leap of faith here and hope that Franco Franco will give it their all on stage, because this song is good!

Score: 7.5/10

Antranig: The verses of “Up” are some of the best music I’ve ever heard — they are so sinister, edgy and compelling, like some sort of demonic ritual. But what on earth happened to the chorus? I’ve never been so let down. If they remove the chorus and add one that carries the darkness of the verses, this will be one of the best Eurovision songs ever. As it currently stands, it needs a lot of work.

Score: 8/10

Luis: Franco Franco would be a very difficult sell to the Spanish audience. Dictatorial frights aside, this song is a step in the right direction for Latvia. It’s modern, daring, alternative and it stands out in a very positive way. It’s not the most suitable song for the Eurovision stage, but hey, I’m buying this.

Score: 7/10

In the Latvian Wiwi Jury, we have 15 jurors, but room for only 6 reviews. The remaining scores are below:

Andy: 6.5/10

Bernardo: 6/10

Dayana: 6/10

Forrest: 6.5/10

Jordi: 4/10

Josh: 6/10

Renske: 5/10

Sami: 2/10

Zakaria: 6/10






Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 2 and a high of 9.5.


Katrina Cirule — “Blood Runs Quicker”

Chris: Katrina has pretty much nailed the brief on the head here. It’s a generically good pop song which would appeal to the masses. Crucially, it has replay factor and that’s ideal for Spotify plays. Perhaps it loses some of the “charm” Latvia has gained by being so clinical. But it’s enjoyable and I honestly could see this at Eurovision.

Score: 7/10

Robyn: This year, Supernova is using Spotify streaming data to partly determine the show winners. In that case, a song like this would surely do really well. It’s so Spotify — the kind of modern but inoffensive tune that can withstand multiple plays on your “2017 hot jams” playlist. But would it work at Eurovision? Probably not. Its Spotify strengths are Eurovision flaws. It’s just not engaging enough to work as a big showpiece.

Score: 5/10

Jason: This is completely unlike anything I have ever heard before…said no Wiwi Jury member here. “Blood Runs Quicker” is totally innocuous. It would fit seamlessly into any party playlist and all would be well. However at Eurovision this would get lost. And that is not what Latvia needs.

Score: 5/10

Josh: Ladies and Gentleman, please welcome to the stage: another safe entry from Latvia. Again, this song lacks so much originality and memorability. In fact, I’m already keen to review the next song because this is so dull. It might make the final in Latvia, but I can’t see it progressing any further.

Score: 5/10

Kristin: Nothing offensive going on here — after all, this is what you hear every time you turn on the radio. But for me, it doesn’t leave any lasting memory behind. Maybe I’m just getting tired of the endless synthpop, but I was so bored I found myself taking a personality test on Facebook instead. Still, the production of the song is sleek and Katrina is rather hip, so at least the song has that.

Score: 5.5/10

Zakaria: I feel like I just keep hearing the exact same song at least 20 times, especially coming from the Baltic countries. “Blood Runs Quicker” is just another urban and underground pop-dance number that’s gonna get lost among all the similar songs. Yes, at least it’s modern — but still very forgettable.

Score: 4/10

In the Latvian Wiwi Jury, we have 15 jurors, but room for only 6 reviews. The remaining scores are below:

Andy: 6/10

Antranig: 6.5/10

Bernardo: 6/10

Dayana: 6/10

Forrest: 8/10

Jordi: 7/10

Luis: 6/10

Renske: 6.5/10

Sami: 6/10






Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 4 and a high of 8.


See all of our Supernova rankings here

Follow all of our Latvia Eurovision news here

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7 years ago

“Blood runs quicker” is the best among the three. I really like it.

7 years ago

Blood Runs Quicker is A M A Z I N G i finally agree with polegend godgarina on something

7 years ago

“Blood runs quicker” seems to be the best out of the ones that were reviewed already. Eurovision winner? Not really. But is it a good piece of music? Yep, it surely is.
Also would love to her the reaction video on those songs from team Wiwi.

Franco Franco
7 years ago

Hey! Thanks for the reviews! 🙂
By the way, we have just now released the official music video of “Up”:

7 years ago

Magic Years – It definitely needs a boost to get remembered, but it is kind of cute.

Up – This song might as well be used as a brain washing machine. Sooo repetitive!

Blood Runs Quicker – Solid pop number.

Polegend Godgarina
7 years ago

I’m surprised at the low scores for “Blood Runs Quicker”, it sounds like a convincing winner to me! “Up”, on the other hand, is annoyingly repetitive and not even catchy. That would be my #43 song at the Eurovision 2017, if it gets selected. As for “Magic Years”, it’s cute and chill, but nothing more.

7 years ago

Franci Franci song is very appealing. I agree with the comments that the song would do magic, especially if the chorus is removed.

I also like Lauris Valters song – easy to listen, country-ish.

But not that keen on listening Katrina’s song.

7 years ago

magic years sounds like that 90s song send me on my way, blood runs quicker doesn’t appear on spotify for me 😐 it’s my fav