Wiwibloggs continues our series looking at the countries currently competing in the Eurovision Song Contest and the reasons why we love them. Next up, we touch down in Riga and look at Latvia.
Latvia has been part of ESC since the year 2000 and they have shown us everything from absolute grace to unexplainable tragedy. Those 18 years are filled with songs in four languages, amazing beaver dance moves and guaranteed votes from Estonia and Lithuania. There are many reasons to love this country and here are ten reasons why we love Latvia at the Eurovision Song Contest.
1. They started brilliantly
Latvia put forward the best they had in their first try at ESC and they totally made it! “My Star” still shines strong in the Eurovision sky and Brainstorm made their way through the charts. Rumour has it that even Usain Bolt called to ask some lessons how to improve his start.
2. Yes, there are not many people who can host Eurovision in Latvia
We proved that the only ones who can host our first Eurovision are those who already presented Latvia in Eurovision. But they did amazingly well and Latvians are proud of Marie N and Renars Kaupers for this memorable evening.
3. The one and only Riga Beaver!
Isn’t he the most known mascot of national selections? He is wild, entertaining and he loves to do some reggae freestyle on stage. Hundreds of fans watch Supernova just to see the beaver! Put Markus Riva in that costume and those twelves will be dropping.
4. With a “hi, hi, ho” and a “hi, hi, hey”!
Pirates. You can’t forget them or resist them. You call it silly and later you find yourself singing along to this song like an animal in your YouTube party. “Wolves of the Sea” is probably the most memorable performance Latvia has made.
5. They made us come to Riga!
Latvia has won the main contest once. Call it a striptease or Ricky Martin plagiarism or the weakest year ever — Latvians call it one of the greatest evenings of their lives (and thanks to Lithuania for 12 points in the final vote). Marie N shocked Eurovision fans and delivered possibly the biggest upset in the history of Eurovision.
6. Best cake recipe in the history of ESC!
If you have ever wondered why you should bake a cake, Latvians have an answer. It was not without controversy. After Aarzemnieki won the national final, taking away the expected win from local star Dons, Dziesma was replaced with Supernova. Yes, Latvia didn’t bake a single cake for years after this performance, but it still was worth it.
7. Stagedives? Sure!
PeR made the first stagedive in Eurovision history. In 2013 they sent PeR, a locally popular group with a real dedication to win Eurovision. But despite their enthusiastic performance, they dove straight into last place in their semi-final.
8. They found their way back to the finals
In 2015, things weren’t looking good for Latvia. It had been six years since they’d qualified for the grand final and in three of those years, they’d come last in their semi. Something had to change. The national final was revamped into Supernova and they came back with a powerful “Love Injection”. Aminata made her mark as one of the most powerful female voices in the history of Eurovision — something clear to see from her grand final performance.
9. They tried to do it in Italian! Mamma mia!
Bored of English? Russian language doesn’t work? No one understands Latvian? Let’s do this in Italian! With seven guys in top hats! Bonaparti.lv was a band of well known local singers that came together for Eurovision to show that Latvians have some gusto in their hearts. Fifth place in the semi is good enough for this.
10. Markus Riva!
Remember this. Latvia still has their secret weapon — Markus Riva. He’s competed five times in the Latvian national final — and a sixth time as a songwriter. And one day he’ll make it through the national final and you’d better be prepared for that. Eurovision icons the Olsen Brothers and Sanna Nielsen both took many attempts before winning their respective national finals — and just like them, Markus ain’t no quitter.
What do you love about Latvia at the Eurovision Song Contest? Share your favourite moments below!