He’s the Latvian superstar who has tried four times to represent his country at Eurovision. Now Markus Riva has a new project — he’s the host of the brand new X Factor Latvia. And he’s also involved with a fizzy new promotion.
Latvia is new to the X Factor franchise and it follows neighbouring Lithuania who has regularly been hosting their own version since 2012.
The Latvian X Faktors has been screening since early September and features Markus Riva in the role that Dermot O’Leary takes in the original UK version. As well as hosting the show, he’s also there to support the acts.
The Latvian X Factor jury includes Intars Busulis, who represented Latvia at Eurovision 2009. His song “Probka” — Latvia’s only entry to date with Russian lyrics — placed 19th in the semi-final. He is joined on the judging panel by Aija Auskapa, the manager of Latvia’s debutante Eurovision act, indie rock band Brainstorm. They placed third in 2000 with their cute song “My Star”. The third judge is electro-pop musician Reinis Sejans.
The X Factor franchise has a close connection with Eurovision so we could be seeing a future Latvian Eurovision star battle it out on the X Faktors stage.
Are you thirsty?
And that is not the only thing Markus Riva has been up to. X Factor Latvia is sponsored by Coca-Cola and they’ve signed up Markus as their new spokesmodel. He even appears on their cans as part of the promo. Fancy cracking open a cold Riva? Don’t mind if we do!
Earlier this month Markus celebrated his 31st birthday. With all these amazing projects, we can only think it is time for Markus to appear at the Eurovision Song Contest soon too.
Markus Riva and Eurovision
Latvian broadcaster LTV is in the middle of selecting the acts who will compete in Supernova 2018. The Latvian national final will be used for the fourth year in a row — and will we again see Markus Riva in the line-up?
His first Latvian national final appearance was in 2014 when he placed 11th in the final of Dziesma. He returned the following year where the moody “Take Me Down” placed second at Supernova.
He missed out on making the final of Supernova 2016 with his song “I Can”, despite placing third in his semi-final. And he took home an even worse result earlier this year when he failed to make it out of the heats with “Dynamite”. But it just shows that Markus Riva is not a quitter.
Mr Riva has also been keeping busy performing throughout Eastern Europe. is performing through several countries in eastern Europe, and even made it as far as Hamburg, Germany. Earlier in the year, we reviewed his single “Southern Winds”, where he sings about a strong and powerful girl.
Do you think it is time for Markus to take part in Supernova again? And should he finally get his ticket to Eurovision next year in Lisbon? Or do you think he is busy enough with the X Factor for now?