The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to rate and review the 41 songs that had been selected for Eurovision 2020. Next up, we take a look at Latvia‘s Supernova winner Samanta Tīna and her song “Still Breathing”. Did we hear her message? Read on to find out!

Samanta Tīna – “Still Breathing”

“Still Breathing” reviews

Antranig: In the dark abyss that is Eurovision 2020, one woman is our lord and saviour. I’ve been a fan of many of her previous Eurovision attempts but let’s be honest — this was one giant leap in quality. Samanta’s vocals are incomparable and Aminata’s touch helps encapsulate Samanta’s personality. It’s the Eurovision songwriting duo of my wildest fantasies. Packaged with the most outrageously wonderful music video I’ve ever seen, “Still Breathing” is a work of art.

Score: 9

Florian: “Still Breathing” is a well-crafted cut that brings loads of energy to the Eurovision stage. Given how ambitious Samanta performed this song before, it’s this element of passion that also comes across in the studio version. However, the song does lose some of its steam the more often it’s on repeat. Nevertheless, it’s a decent effort as Latvia has delivered a contemporary track that benefits from Samanta’s own character.

Score: 6

Renske: Aminata Savadogo and Samanta Tina was the collaboration we never expected, but always were in the need of.  With bringing across on-point lyrics and well-founded lines such as “Life is music/ I am a composer”, Samanta is not proving to just be an amazing singer, but also a just as amazing performer. We love powerwomen.

Score: 8

Robyn: A woman’s work is never done. Samanta Tīna’s ode to the complicated life of a modern woman is tense and dramatic, both a joyful celebration of life as well as a defiant anthem. Written with Aminata Savadogo, the gives a strong electronic background to support Samanta’s equally strong vocals. And if a rap break seems out of place for a Eurovision diva, never forget that the winner of Eurovision 2003 also had a rap break.

Score: 8

Tom: This is a marmite love-hate song and perhaps a song that mainly Euro nerds would love. I showed this song off to a lot of my family and friends and they didn’t get it. They thought it was loud and unnecessary – they are wrong. Samanta Tīna’s voice is just sheer face-melting. eye-popping passionate goodness. The song takes me to another plane and I love how fierce and carefree she is. I’m still not convinced with the rapping but the song is excellent.

Score: 8

 

Samanta Tīna – “Still Breathing” rankings

In the Wiwi Jury we have 22 jurors but only have room for five reviews. The remaining scores are below:

Angus: 5.5

Åri: 5.5

Barnabas: 7.5

Bernardo: 5

Calvin: 7

Deban: 7.5

Esma: 6.5

Jonathan: 6

Lucy: 8

Luis: 7.5

Natalie: 7

Oliver: 9

Pablo: 6.5

Ron: 5.5

Sebastian: 7

Tobias: 3.5

William: 7.5

We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 3.5 and a high of 9.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 6.93/10

What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!

See all our Eurovision 2020 reviews and rankings

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Josh Sterling
Josh Sterling
2 months ago

I will give a 6/10 for this

ESCFan2009
ESCFan2009
2 months ago

Latvia – 7.5/10 (16th/41)

Polegend Godgarina
2 months ago

i initially disliked this song, but i’ve come to appreciate it and its unintentional comical value. the song itself is an acid trip already, but that performance she pulled made it even trippier. she ain’t just a composer, she’s an entertainer and she does her job amazingly!

Colin
Colin
2 months ago

LATVIA – This must be one of the most unique and daring songs this year! It’s very ”in your face” with it’s loud industrial music and strong message of empowerment. It’s a melting pot of various musical styles, which makes it both interesting and hectic. The rap part can be seen as especially jarring. Samanta is a very convincing and vocally strong artist who makes this work on stage. I have no idea whether all this would feel like a wall of noise if a lesser performer would sing it, but this way I believe that Latvia made a brave… Read more »

Euromess
Euromess
2 months ago

She is an appreciable performer, at the Spanish online party she was one of the most convincing, but I’m sorry, this song is terrible. There’s no musical coherence, it’s confusing from beginning to end, the lyrics don’t make sense and she tries too much to be “badass” becoming annoying and cringeing.

Héctor
Héctor
2 months ago

Strong vocals but at times it sounds a bit shouty. Also she seems overconfident which is not bad but I don’t tend to like that attitude. The studio cut is good, uplifting and stunning but the live performance could’ve been better. I said this because she pretended to do the same on the Eurovision stage. I’m not sure dancing and shouting like crazy is the best she could bring to ESC, specially after years of trying. 1. Switzerland – Gjon’s Tears – Répondez-moi (9.25) 2. Australia – Montaigne – Don’t break me (8) 4. Romania – Roxen – Alcohol You… Read more »

Roelof Meesters
Roelof Meesters
2 months ago

I absolutely love this and was super excited when I heard that this won! This is dynamic, it’s catchy and it’s super powerful. I think Latvia would have had a decent shot at qualifying from Semi- Final 2, if the juries would have accepted this. Samanta Tina is such an icon and she breathes so much life into this song, and I truly hope they select her internally next year because she has worked too hard to let it go to waste. This is such a breath of fresh air after their recent two entries, this is Triana Park level… Read more »

Emily
Emily
2 months ago

I had to re-listen to this one (and a couple others) because I forgot which parts I liked and which I downright hated. As far as the message is concerned, it’s not bad. The song starts off okay and I think I’m going to like it, but then the “drop” (I’m not into this genre that much so I don’t really know the terminology) happens and the noise just makes my insides itch. It’s in my bottom three but I’m not sure if it’s my last place. It’s just not something I’m into. The little rap bit near the end… Read more »

Mr X
Mr X
2 months ago

Latvia 5/10

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
2 months ago

It wasn’t a qualifier for me but it wasn’t in my bottom ten either. The problems with the song have been listed elsewhere (Samanta’s “English”, the rap, the drop etc.) so yeah, they’re still there but at the end of the day, there are things to like about this and it’s not boring, she wrote it herself and it had a unique approach to its presentation and staging. I don’t know what people really expect from Latvia. Do people want something as boring as Carousel or as cringey as Laura Rizzotto? Latvia probably isn’t going to give you “Amar Pelos… Read more »

Jake Mason
Jake Mason
2 months ago

INCREDIBLE 10/10
I give it 10 even though my favourite of the NF was ANNNA with Polyester

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
2 months ago

My biggest grower alongside Italy. “Still Breathing” is like a musical counterpart of a Pollock’s painting – expressive, helter-skelter and in-your-face, and at first I found that very exasperating. But how can I not love the supervolcano of positive energy that is Samanta Tina? She (and her otherworldly voice) is the key element that ties together the bizarre visuals, tribal dancing, flaky feminist lyrics, not fitting, yet highly enjoyable rapping part and the drop – an atomic bomb of craziness, pizzazz and uncontrollable vibrancy. Samanta is like a wild animal – full of life and passion, hypnotic, one of a… Read more »

Odysseas
Odysseas
2 months ago

Such a risky choice by Latvia this year. Didn’t expect to like it tbh. It’s so dynamic, the instrumental is strong, something normal since aminata did it. Supports perfectly the great vocals of Samanta. Could be a huge production in Rotterdam. Also: LATVIA SEND HER NEXT YEAR!

Overall: 9.4/10 (4th)

Talentina Monetta
Talentina Monetta
2 months ago
Reply to  Odysseas

Aminata only wrote the lyrics. The music was composed by the legendary Samanta “I am a Composer” Tina

Odysseas
Odysseas
2 months ago

Oh. Well great job by both of them in any case. Thanks for correcting me!

Nils
Nils
2 months ago

0 / 10
Can a song be more terrible?

Idksmth
Idksmth
2 months ago
Reply to  Nils

France, Estonia… To name a few

Mr X
Mr X
2 months ago
Reply to  Idksmth

Poland, Moldova, Ireland…

Kosey
Kosey
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr X

Hands off Moldova and Ireland!

San Marino says hi btw

Mia
Mia
2 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

Hey don’t touch San Marino 😀

Colin
Colin
2 months ago
Reply to  Mia

I’ll try, Mia. 🙂 Hands off Poland as well (Mr. X)! Can we all agree on France? 🙂

Mia
Mia
2 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Yes 😀

Kuhkatz
Kuhkatz
2 months ago

It is a mixture of annoying and appealing. At some times, I hate it and the next day, I cant get it out of my head.

And in the current situation, I always have the name Samanta Quarantina with Still Breathing in my head, seems like fitting perfectly.

Tibor
Tibor
2 months ago

This is more noisy than messy. I like it, the reference point for the instrumental would be tracks like Björks “Pluto” – I do understand that not everybody will like noise in music, but since noise is a core element of any kind of electronic music, and I really like electronic music, this is part of my top 15, although melodically a bit too uninteresting to cross into my top 10. Samanta Tina is moreover a very capable and powerful vocalist, so “Still Breathing” doesn’t just drown in noise, the noise is always well counterbalanced by the singing. Unnecessary and… Read more »

Kosey
Kosey
2 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

As a native English speaker, I actually like the rapping. Of course you can tell Samanta is not a native speaker, but she delivers it with attitude and that is the most important thing. There are loads of very successful American rappers who definitely do not have a flawless mastery of the “English” language, so I can’t criticize Samanta for that!

Tibor
Tibor
2 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

Tastes differ, of course. I’m not an expert on rap, so I don’t know who you are thinking of, but I’d say American rappers still have mastery of the language – which is, of course, not Oxford English but a certain idiolect.

Kosey
Kosey
2 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

I was being playful with the old English/American thing. Us English think them Americans dunt know what there doing. I am not an expert on rapping but I understood it more to be about the flow of the sounds, indeed there is an argument that rapping deliberately breaks down established principles in language. I am not saying Samanta is in any way groundbreaking but I’m not sure it matters if she has a great grasp of the language. As a native speaker, I would say you can tell in about 99% of cases when a Eurovision song is being sung… Read more »

Tibor
Tibor
2 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

It’s an old rule in any form of language based art: It’s always about breaking the rules, but to break the rules, you first have to know the rules, you can’t play a game if you don’t know how. A non-native speaker can also know the rules, sometimes they know them even better than the native speakers. So I’m not sure, my problem lies with her not being a native speaker. All I can tell you is, that the rapping feels out of place to me.

Kosey
Kosey
2 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

And that’s fair enough. I think a lot of people have not liked the varied elements of the song. Whereas for me, the rap just adds to the bonkers vibe of the whole thing, which appeals to my personal taste.
I suppose I have an aversion to language snobs (I am not saying you are one!). Give me Samanta over Lake Malawi’s appalling attempt at sounding English any day of the week!

Mia
Mia
2 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

As someone who appreciate very much rap and listen it occasionally, I think rapping part is the worst part of the song, it doesn’t have that natural flow and effortless naration, seems completely unnecessary and artificial.

Tibor
Tibor
2 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

Oh, I guess there are words that would describe me less accurately than “language snob”. I try to not let it get out of hand, though. 😉

Kredential
Kredential
2 months ago

Sorry but the song is really messy sonically. It’s almost like a blender of sounds, none of which sound cohesive. Not to mention we left dubstep behind in 2012 and it kind of sounds dated.

Mia
Mia
2 months ago
Reply to  Kredential

Obviously there are audience who stan this unironically 😛

Kosey
Kosey
2 months ago

3. Latvia – 9.5/10 – embrace the chaos people. This entry is quite mad, but in a very excellent way. Samanta, as a 100% certified walking phenomenon, delivers the many varied elements with sass and panache. This has probably the best build and crescendo in the whole competition. There is a timely and contemporaneous message, but more importantly, with its racing pulse and banging beats this song demands for you to jump around the room and go crazy. The drop, which in my mind is already a Eurovision classic, reminds me of the best of 90s techno, which is no… Read more »

Mia
Mia
2 months ago

She brought everything – lights, costumes, backing vocals with sprayers, crazy dance moves (if I can call this moves dance), she just forget to bring one little thing- the song! I’m sorry this is practically unlistenable chaotic mess which is trying hard to be “edgy” and “alternative”, this whole thing screams desperation and memeworthy laughing stock. Idk why lyrics are connected with “female empowerment”, I think lyrics are pretty much universal and cliche as those “original” motivational quotes. Higher score I give only out of respect for Samanta Tina, she’s a capable hardworking performer who knows how to make the… Read more »

Ashton
Ashton
2 months ago

This song is amazing. So daring and quirky and vocally powerful, but it works. For everyone saying it’s too much or just a wall of sound, I get that. But I feel that Latvia does the ‘wall of sound’ way better than, say, Serbia does it this year, because Serbia, although good, feels messy to me. Latvia feels polished and clean, and the styling is on point. The message behind the song is also very present and very true, as well as being executed tastefully and artfully. I really love this song, and while I hesitate to put it into… Read more »

Thanos
Thanos
2 months ago

Sorry but this is my last place this year…
My top so far:
1. Switzerland 2. Italy 3. Romania 4. Bulgaria 5. Croatia 6. United Kingdom 7. Norway 8. Lithuania 9. -–10. Denmark 11. Russia 12. Australia 13. Albania 14. Finland 15. Israel 16. Ireland 17. Moldova 18. Estonia 19. —
20. –21. Belgium 22. — 23. Poland 24. Georgia 25. Czech Republic 26. — 27. Slovenia 28. France 29. Portugal 30. Armenia 31. Spain 32. Austria 33. North Macedonia 34. Cyprus 35. Belarus 36. –37. Ukraine 38. Serbia 39. Greece 40. San Marino 41. Latvia