As national final season progresses, Latvia‘s broadcaster LTV has been hard at work behind the scenes. The broadcaster has confirmed that the 126 entries submitted to Supernova 2020 have been whittled down to a shortlist of just 28 songs.
LTV revealed the news today in a Facebook post:
Šodien nosl?gusies "Supernova 2020" iesniegto dziesmu pirm?s k?rtas v?rt?šana un ir zin?ms, ka 28 no 126 iesniegtaj?m…
Entries for the 2020 edition of Supernova closed in late November. Since then, the broadcaster checked that the entries complied with the competition rules. Next, an expert jury listened to all 128 entries.
The panel of Latvian music industry professionals heard the songs without knowing anything about the singers or songwriters. They then selected 28 songs which will go on to the next selection stage.
These 28 songs will face a further selection process which will take place early next week. LTV says that fans will be able to listen to the competing songs when they are released on the Supernova YouTube channel in January.
Will Supernova 2020 have semi-finals?
LTV has not confirmed how many songs will end up being selected for Supernova 2020 — or indeed what format the upcoming national final will take.
Unlike an exploding stellar supernova, the namesake national final has been contracting over the years.
In 2017, 22 acts competed with two heats, a semi-final of eight acts and a grand final of four. Last year, 21 acts competed, split into three semi-finals with a grand final of eight. However, the most recent edition had just 16 competing acts split into two semi-finals, and a grand final with eight acts.
For the upcoming edition, LTV has so far only confirmed the grand final date, leading fans to speculate that the Supernova 2020 will have just a grand final and no semi-finals.
However, the broadcaster may involve the public in the selection of the semi-finalists, with some sort of online system. This hearkens back to the Supernova 2018 People’s Jury which helped decide the acts selected to compete in the semi-finals.
In October, Supernova producer Ilze Jansone said, “At the moment we still can’t officially reveal how the finalists will be selected, but we know for sure that the final of the competition will be live on February 8.”
Supernova and Latvia at Eurovision
LTV has used Supernova for the previous five years, but the show has brought Latvia mixed fortunes.
The first Supernova winner Aminata broke Latvia’s six-year non-qualifications streak and delivered a sixth-place grand final result with “Love Injected”. She returned the following year as the songwriter behind Justs’ “Heartbeat”, which placed 15th.
Since then, the subsequent Supernova winners haven’t managed to take Latvia to the Eurovision grand final. In 2017, electro-rock band Triana Park placed last in their semi-final with “Line”, while Laura Rizzotto and Carousel delivered pleasant but non-qualifying performances.
What do you think? Should Supernova 2020 have semi-finals? Or should the jury panel internally select the finalists? Tell us your thoughts below!