Latvia’s LTV has today confirmed that it will participate in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 — despite crashing out of the first semi-final in Kyiv.
Triana Park’s exit came after Latvia achieved back-to-back appearances in the final in 2015 and 2016, led by singer-songwriter Aminata Savadogo. In Vienna her self-penned entry “Love Injected” placed sixth overall and came second with the professional juries. A year later she wrote “Heartbeat” for Justs, who also managed to slay his way to the final in Stockholm.
The country’s recent non-qualification has no doubt brought the Aminata-shaped hole in their Eurovision efforts into sharper focus. As Riga hits the drawing board and producers devise plans for next year’s entry, they’ll likely look at their past qualifiers and, of course, their eight non-qualifiers to plot strategy. Among the latter are four acts that finished dead last in their semi-finals.
With that in mind, we thought we’d take a quick look at some of their failed entries and ask you to name your favourites. If you have time, perhaps you’ll let us know what you think went wrong with each of them as well…
2004: Fomins and Kleins with “Dziesma par laimi”
Placing: 17th with 23 points
The lead singer told his lover that “when there is nothing else, I think that I still have a song I can sing to you”. Unfortunately Europe didn’t want to hear it, perhaps owing to the band’s disheveled look and throwback sound. It remains the only song Latvia has sent in its national language Latvian.
2009: Intars Busulis with “Probka”
Placing: 19th with 7 points (last place)
The song’s title means “Traffic Jam”, but it seemed to better capture the noise of a car crash.
The Russian-language song carried a broader message about being stuck in the travails of one’s personal life, but that got lost among the rather irritating sounds, which included plenty of clangs, bangs and discordant harmonies.
2010: Aisha with “What For?”
Placing: 17th with 11 points (last place)
Accompanied by a squeeze box and backing vocalists dressed in all black, Aisha lacked a compelling melody and sensible lyrics. Trying to get all philosophical, she invoked a mobile phone.
“What for are we living?” she asked. “What for are we dreaming? What for are we loosing? Only Mr. God knows why, but his phone today is out of range.” If you have his number, do pass it on.
2011: Musiqq with “Angel in Disguise”
Placing: 17th with 25 points
Dressed like waiters and seated on stools, the two-piece Musiqq asked fans to “kill me with killer kiss” and to “love me with luscious thighs”.
Their idea of romance sounded rather pervy. But far worse was the lazy, dated sound.
2012: Anmary with “Beautiful Song”
Placing: 16th with 17 points
Poised to star in The Real Housewives of Riga, beautiful Anmary sang of Johnny Logan and her desire to write and sing a beautiful song “that everybody hums and everybody loves.” This wasn’t it.
2013: PeR with “Here We Go”
Placing: 17th with 13 points (last place)
They brought energy, life and some very sparkly suits. The song had a rather catchy and anthemic chorus and if they hadn’t had to open the show they may have been spared last place.
Alas, they did open the show and their rapping took them to the bottom.
2014: Aarzemnieki with “Cake to Bake”
Placing: 13th with 33 points
Led by German singer Jöran, this short-lived four-piece sang of baking a cake and the difficulties that come with that.
Whimsical, kooky and terribly sweet, it was perhaps the high point of Latvia’s non-qualification streak. Make some dough, add some love, let it bake, wait for it…
2017: Triana Park with “Line”
Placing: 18th with 21 points (last place)
In a year when Supernova didn’t feature an Aminata song, Triana Park still managed to generate buzz among Eurovision fans, who largely respected the group’s rebellious form of acid pop.
Sadly Europe didn’t and the group finished dead last with the juries and 16th of 18 acts with the televoting public. The overall result put them last.