Shopping malls are places of desire: Ladies want that handbag and children need that toy. And today in Riga’s Alfa shopping centre, thirty Supernova 2018 hopefuls coveted something even bigger: a spot in Latvia’s national selection for Eurovision.

So, as live auditions kicked off this morning, Latvian wiwiblogger Edgars Balins packed his camera and notepad and headed to today’s judging, which saw a panel of experts evaluating thirty of the 63 songs submitted to this year’s competition.

Only these thirty acts survived the first cull. They were whittled down by a panel of Latvian and foreign music experts (including Edgars) who judged the songs blindly. And today these acts were required to sing their tunes acoustic or a cappella, thereby putting their voices front and centre as the judges narrow the field down even further.

The judges — and only the judges — have the results of the People’s Jury, which saw the public like or dislike the songs without knowing who was singing them. And today we can exclusively reveal the names of all 30 acts who made it to today’s judging. There’s nothing like sitting in the audience to help you attach names to songs.

Toms Grevins — a jury member and host of Supernova — told Edgars that this year’s selection marks something of a turning point, as there is “no absolute stand-out” as with Triana Park in 2017 or Aminata before that. So there could be some major surprises in store.

Madara Fogelmane — “Esamiba”

Among the most talked-about songs of the year is “Esamiba”, which we now know belongs to the singer Madara Fogelmane.

Madara is a Latvian singer who has spent the past few years singing and writing in Amsterdam. She tells Edgars that she was absolutely shocked that Eurovision fans like her song.

She also said that if “Esamiba” qualifies for Eurovision 2018 in Lisbon, she won’t change the language of the song, because the Latvian words fit perfectly to the meaning. “It wouldn’t have the same energy in English,” she says.

She already has ideas about her stage performance and her backing vocalists if this song qualifies for the semi-finals in Latvia.

Katrine Lukins — “Running Red Lights”

Katrine Lukins, a Latvian singer who was born in Sweden, is a veteran of Latvia’s national selection process. And with “Running Red Lights” she is also a huge fan favourite, having topped the wiwibloggs poll of the 63 shortlisted songs.

Both Madara and Katrine performed well vocally and are earning rave reviews in the comments section of the videos above.

Markus Riva also advanced to today’s auditions, performing his song “This Time”. Unfortunately we arrived shortly after he sang, so don’t have a performance video, and he had to rush off after his auditions. He’s beyond busy hosting X Factor this evening!

Edgars Kreilis, another Supernova favourite with his song “Younger Days”, was the very first act to perform. We had our ears to the ground, and word has it the jury really liked him. Consider him a major contender.

You can see the complete list of artists who sang today below.

Supernova 2018: Artists at the Live Auditions

Did your favourites make it to today’s live auditions? What do you think of “Esamiba” and “Running Red Lights”? Let us know in the comments box below!

Read more Latvia Eurovision news

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Mateja Purple Panda
Guest

Wheres Staccato and I’ll never let you go?

Vanuatu
Guest
Vanuatu

still to many songs on the battle. Ill wait for a shorter number.

Vanuatu
Guest
Vanuatu

too many*

Amor
Guest
Amor

So far I’m rooting for Esambia. I did not care for the audio but I loved her live. That cello really made it.

Mark
Guest
Mark

SOLEDAD is the best!!!!!

Jo
Guest
Jo

ok, are those the selected songs or not? And most importantly: if they are, why is Soledad among them?

Jo
Guest
Jo

ok, I just gave a full listened to Esamiba and I’m completely in love. I believe it has a big chance of winning the whole Supernova.

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

‘Younger Days’ and ‘This Time’ grabbed my attention back when the songs were published in the web. But I somehow feel ‘This Time’ is a bit bland for Eurovision and wouldn’t go through the SF, so Markus Riva should step up his performance. I really like ‘Esamiba’ too. It brings a peaceful moment with also a beatiful voice. I didn’t hear it back when there were 63 songs, but now I would like to see it in Lisbon. I agree thisyear’s Supernova is going to be open, but I think ‘Esamiba’ or ‘Younger Days’ will wave the Latvian flag in… Read more »

PaDim
Guest
PaDim

I’m so happy and surprised that both songs from Sudden Lights made it.

Colin
Guest
Colin

I am too. Had no idea it was the same band even, but both songs struck me as different in a good way.

john
Guest
john

Does anyone know who sang the song “Pilites”???

Joel
Guest
Joel

Please stop supporting Markus Riva. He won’t win anyway.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Loved Markus Riva’s song Take Me Down in 2015. Other songs were fine, but nothing remarkable IMHO. This year I even passed both of his songs when giving likes. It’s not that they are bad, but they just don’t differentiate themselves from tons of other songs out there.

Monique
Guest
Monique

That “Esamiba” song is nothing special, I wonder why it got through. I’m rooting for “Younger Days” as the representative song for Latvia, but I have the feeling Markus Riva may be advantaged by the jury, because he’s such a big name in Latvia. Let’s see what the public has to say about it when the time is right…

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

The jury hasn’t given done him any favours in the past. In fact, he’s missed out on making the final twice due to the jury not picking him. When he has a good song he does well, when his songs aren’t so good, he rightfully misses out. But if 2018 is as open as the Supernova organisers say, perhaps this could be his year! 😀

KYLLITO
Guest
KYLLITO

Robyn or William….do you know if Supernova is now down to these thirty entries? Can some other ones make still make it to the live shows that were not asked to be in the live auditions? Funny Girl was my favorite and will missed if it doesn’t make it.

KYLLITO
Guest
KYLLITO

I am hoping there is a small handful of songs that got fast tracked past the live auditions because they are SO good. This is my hope for Funny Girl.

zuma
Guest
zuma

what is with this obsession for Madara Fogelmane and her song Esamiba?
should we expect for 2018 a winner like Ireland 1996 The Voice-Eimear Quinn?

Rita
Guest
Rita

Esamiba made it! Yay~

D
Guest
D

How on Earth did Baltic and IKA not make it

beccaboo1212
Guest

Úna Ní Mhistéil won the 3rd semi-final of Ireland’s JESC 2017 selection. Her song is titled “Álainn”. 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SsJ-ZF_dy4

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

I’m surprised that “Divi cilvek” didn’t make the shortlist. I personally didn’t see much in it (way too repetitive to work as a captivating ESC performance), but loads of wiwi readers were going nuts for it! Also no “Staccato”?! That song was so bright and delightful! I’m really surprised it didn’t make the cut, but perhaps the jury had specific criteria that somehow ruled it out. As for “STOP THE WORLD U2” – I won’t be surprised if this makes it to the live shows. Like Melfest, Supernova is always mindful of representing different genres and isn’t bothered with stuffing… Read more »

Kris
Guest
Kris

What about Baltic!!?
And MNTHA’s Sapnu Dziesma?

Kris
Guest
Kris

*MNTHA’s song and

Frifri
Guest
Frifri

Sapnu Dziesma is Fox Lima’s song, MNTHA didn’t even participate this year.

ESCHK
Guest
ESCHK

IKA isn’t MNTHA’s song, it’s from Elizabete Balcus

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

To me, the 30 shortlisted acts are either serious ESC contenders or genre picks that showcase contemporary Latvian music.

Many of the songs that have missed out are brilliant tunes, but they’re not the best for Eurovision. Gentle, subdued songs don’t typically do well at ESC.

The song contest requires songs that have a lot of energy. A good ballad has to be a bold ballad, like “Beautiful Mess” or “Undo”. Anything that’s too chilled out risks turning into the toilet break moment for viewers at home in the middle of boozy, chatty Eurovision viewing parties.

quirky girl
Guest
quirky girl

Or a ballad like Marco Mengoni – L’essenziale

Hada
Guest
Hada

“Many of the songs that have missed out are brilliant tunes, but they’re not the best for Eurovision. Gentle, subdued songs don’t typically do well at ESC.”

I mean

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

Hearing Madara makes me wish live instruments were allowed as an option in ESC alongside backing tracks.

Kris
Guest
Kris

Only 12/17 that I liked made it here!! Really bummed for the ones that lost out!!
Staccato (15)
Baltic(13)
Loul (6)
Sapnu Dziesma (8)
Before and After(17)

However my TOP 5 all made it….so I’m okayishly pleased. But some from my Bottom 5 have come through?? Like how?

Radiologistology
Guest
Radiologistology

Wtf? Both my top 2 are out (Baltic and Ocean of Pain) rooting for Esamb?a now

tsholdin
Guest
tsholdin

I am sad that Baltic didn’t make it 🙁

Colin
Guest
Colin

So bummed that Baltic is out. Same for Funny Girl, War of Flame, Divi Cilveki, IKA, Sapnu Dziesma. T_T

Now, I am rooting for Esamiba, Take Me Home, Flashbacks, Just Fine, You Are My World and Save Me.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Also for Intoxicating Caramel, Eyes and Walk the talk. These 9 songs are the only ones among my likes to make it live.

Ali
Guest
Ali

WHAT SAPNU DZIEZMA DIDN’T GOT THROUGH WHAT. what kind of blasphemy is this?

rollingderp
Guest
rollingderp

ok i think the supernova jurors and i are gonna have a problem
now they’re entering ye olde eurodziesma territory letting these flop, joke songs in.
IKA (Elizabete Balcus) was ROBBED. (she replied to a tweet of mine saying that IKA didn’t qualify.)
Sapnu Dziesma was robbed. I can only thank whatever’s in the sky that Esamiba made it.

Vale
Guest
Vale

I’m sad for Divi Cilveki, Funny Girl, Sapnu Dziesma, and Loul.

twig
Guest
twig

wtf, no IKA ?!?!?!?

Ka?is
Guest
Ka?is

Divi Cilv?ki, Baltic, Staccato, Funny Girl, Say My Name, Pil?tes all didn’t make it??!! WTF… how is it possible that these didn’t make it?! Looks like no grand final for Latvia for yet another year thanks to that bloody messed up “professional jury”.

West
Guest
West

So from the 24 songs I gave thumbs up to… 12 advanced?
I’m a bit sad Sapnu Dziesma, Divi cilveki, IKA and Ocean of Pain aren’t there, but since You Are My World and Younger Days it’s not that bad. And to be honest – after I heard Running Red Light acoustic, I changed my opinion of it – and started to like it, so who knows what will end up as my favourite in the final.
Also – aren’t there 31 songs?

Calum Macleod
Guest
Calum Macleod

There are 31 songs. They’re just saying 30 acts because Sudden Lights have two songs.

Calum Macleod
Guest
Calum Macleod

No Baltic?! No Staccato?! No Divi Cilveki?! And the stupid Stop the War and Oh Longriver made it?!

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

Agree like wtf. I also miss IKA. It’s just absurd. Too much mainstream music and novelty acts made through, instead of alternative and artistic music.

Chance
Guest
Chance

Hmm, only 4 of the 17 I gave a thumbs up made it.

Rona
Guest
Rona

I’m really scared that Stop The War U2 will win…

Franck
Guest
Franck

Stop the world U2 will win.
I see it coming.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Wtf, no funny girl?

esc freak
Guest
esc freak

People, calm down, these are not the entries that advanced. These are the entries that were presented today. There are still 33 to come.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

The article states otherwise ?

Chance
Guest
Chance

No. Not every song advanced to the live audition. This is it. One of the listed above will be the Latvian song.

esc freak
Guest
esc freak

Then I am sorry, I guess I understood wrong.
But wow, Latvia… eliminating “Divi cilveki”, “Funny Girl”, “Sapnu dziesma” and other good songs but letting cheap songs and troll acts in… I am speechless.

Frifri
Guest
Frifri

“STOP THE WAR U2”,Weekend Warriors and weak songs like that are in the final, but no IKA, Funny girl, Sapnu dziesma, baltic,divi cilveki,stacatto… man, people who are responsible for that are clueless.

thespb01
Guest
thespb01

How did Funny Girl not make it through?

Frifri
Guest
Frifri

How is it even possible that Funny Girl didn’t make it through?

esc&edm&id&omamlover
Guest
esc&edm&id&omamlover

From my favorites, the only song I thought wouldn’t make the cut was Weekend Warriors and, actually, it’s (with You Are My World) one of the 2 songs I loved that made it
I don’t understand how Divi Cilveki wasn’t there but Oh Longriver was…

Jeff (USA)
Guest
Jeff (USA)

I’m so glad Save Me by Annemarija Paula made the cut. I felt like I was the only person who liked the song.

dino
Guest
dino

Um where is baltic and bright side???? Latvia get out

dino
Guest
dino

*and funny girl

Thomasfan22
Guest
Thomasfan22

HOW THE F*CK DID STACCATO MAKE IT

Thomasfan22
Guest
Thomasfan22

*i mean soledad

Henning
Guest
Henning

Will they announce the names of the artists for the other 33 songs? I really liked Divi Cilveki and Funny Girl

KYLLITO
Guest
KYLLITO

Missing Funny Girl 🙁 It’s my favorite song

My Name
Guest
My Name

What the hell is this??! There’s like no good song at all except for esamiba. Where’s funny girl, ika, divi cilveki, baltic etc. They’re not qualifying with that generic bullshit….sigh

Chiara
Guest
Chiara

will there be another live audition or are these the only ones who can make it to the live shows now?

bulgariastan
Guest
bulgariastan

So these are the only 30 acts eligible for Supernova now? Or will there be another audition with the other 33?

milkyy
Guest
milkyy

All my favourites made it!!! <3