It’s that time again! The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has listened to all 39 acts competing in Eurovision 2021. Over the coming weeks, we’ll reveal our reviews and rankings of the songs.

First up, we take a listen to Latvia’s Samanta Tīna and her song “The Moon is Rising”. It took Samanta six attempts before she made it to Eurovision. But do we want to join in with her parade? Read on to find out!

Samanta Tīna – “The Moon Is Rising”

“The Moon Is Rising” reviews

Calvin: It’s hard to put any song of Samanta Tīna into a category, as all of them are completely unpredictable. “The Moon is Rising” goes from left to right, then back up and down with several inversions on the way. Yet, everything fits together and makes sense somehow. I can’t think of many artists, who start a song almost a capella, then introduce a Diplo-like “Bitch I’m Madonna” drill-beat only to climax in a K-pop chorus. The feeling of empowerment this song is able to convey is just wild.

Score: 8.5

Diego: Already, this son conjures a feeling of two extremes. You’d either love it or hate it. Samanta Tīna has a commanding voice. Marrying a strong message of female empowerment with her vocal power, Latvia’s 2021 entry demands the attention of those who care to listen. It takes a minute to hear an interesting change in the melody. Overall, the song relies on her live vocals during her first performance.

Score: 5.5

Jordi: This is fearless, stimulating, eye-catching, norm-breaking and empowering. Samanta Tīna delivers without creativity limits under the powerful message that women have worth and security. “The Moon is Rising” unfolds a complex formula with a theatrical feel, but made urban and contemporary. Because of this complex unfolding, the song may appeal to some audiences and not to some others. It might be risky to bring something as different as “The Moon is Rising” in contrast to what usually dominates in Eurovision. But, Samanta is channelling confidence — and as people say, “nothing ventured, nothing gained”. I’m loving her vibe and her power, but I’m missing some hooks.

Score: 6.5

Natalie: You can tell when a song from Latvia has Aminata’s influence on it – it makes you feel good! And seriously, Samanta and Aminata should have collaborated ages ago. Aminata knows how to make a fierce electronic production and Samanta knows how to be a fierce performer. It’s delicious. I also love the fact they didn’t hold back with the lyrics – they’re so bold and intense and it’s perfect for this song. If they take that same 1000% intensity to the stage, we’re in for a real treat this May. Every woman deserves this kind of stuff.

Score: 8.5

Oliver: As always, Samanta nails the vocal. But with nothing to back it up, it feels shouty and grating. The bassline goes nowhere, the drop isn’t strong enough, and the lyrics feel more self-indulgent than they do empowering. The feminist undertones would perhaps be more impactful if Samanta brought a diverse group of backup dancers and singers with her to Rotterdam — i.e. the women at the end of the music video, rather than the all-white, tall and thin posse that accompanies her throughout — to amplify the voices of under-appreciated artists, sharing their stories on a worldwide stage. Without that, the real sentiment of “The Moon Is Rising” is lost. Latvia’s spot in the final this year is far from secure.

Score: 3

Samanta Tīna – “The Moon Is Rising” rankings

In the Wiwi Jury we have 24 jurors but only have room for five reviews. The remaining scores are below:

Antranig: 7Deban: 5.5

Erdi: 6

Esma: 6

Jonathan: 7.5

Josh: 7.5

Julian: 4

Kristín: 6

Lauren: 7

Lucy: 9

Luis: 7.5Pablo: 5.5

Renske: 6.5

Robyn: 7.5

Ron: 4.5

Sebastian: 7.5

Tobias: 2.5

Tom: 7

William: 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 2.5 and a high of 9.

Wiwi Jury verdict: 6.34/10

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

See all our Eurovision 2021 reviews and rankings

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
57 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mr X
Mr X
3 months ago

Latvia 4/10

Daly
Daly
3 months ago

I give it a 7!
I love Samanta, she is a great performer & vocalist, but the song itself, even if powerful & really authentic, feels too messy & not going anywhere, which distract me from the message of the song. It’s 28° in my top, I don’t see it qualifying… Even if I think I want to see Samanta in the final… If she closed the semi 2, would have better chances.

Andreas Gottlieb
Andreas Gottlieb
3 months ago

THIS IS MY WINNER 10/10

Heath
Heath
3 months ago

Have to agree with Oliver here. Personally, I think there’s so many songs about female empowerment this year and this one just doesn’t stack up. A shame really, because her voice and charisma is so damn good.

Héctor
Héctor
3 months ago

A bit pretentious and over the top. Too much going on musically. At times the song is just plain unpleasant, mor elike a vocal show-off. “Still Breathing” was all of it but still enjoyable.

Latvia sits currently in my 26th place. Could be lower but there are worse songs this year.

26.Latvia

canada_piano
canada_piano
3 months ago

the only thing i like about this song is the post-chorus. reminds me of a kpop post-chorus

Trina
Trina
3 months ago

I agree with Oliver that this song is ‘Samanta-empowering’ rather than ‘female-/diversity-empowering’. Which is fine in and of itself, and has worked well for, e.g., Sergei, Ruslana, etc. But I do sense that this year a lot of entries are overlaying ’causes’ to their songs like Snapchat filters to make people think they are more compelling.

Whisker
Whisker
3 months ago

I can’t with this song. I.just.can’t. I struggled to listen to it in full, so there is that, but the only that.

Maartijn
Maartijn
3 months ago

Overused message, chaotic structure, basic lyrics, I’m giving 2 points for the vocals. I’m sorry.

Kas
Kas
3 months ago

Fair enough…and little overrated

Michael
Michael
3 months ago

I don’t understand why so many people say this song is “messy” or “all over the place” when the song is so minimalist and repetitive. The repeating sound effect and relatively simple beat do not seem “messy” at all, and that’s a problem for a singer like Samanta Tina, who needs a chaotic and over-the-top beat to match her chaotic and over-the-top energy on stage. A song like this puts her in a box and forces her to hold back, and on the Eurovision stage, that’s never a good thing.

Anhel
Anhel
3 months ago

I would’ve liked the song more if there wasn’t that one annoying sound throughtout, I’m not sure how to describe it but you probably get it. Maybe it’s just because I don’t like this type of music, but it’s in my last place this year. The female empowerment theme also makes it less than novel.

Last edited 3 months ago by Anhel
Lewis
Lewis
3 months ago

An athem. An emobidement of empowerment. I love this!! 10/10.

Lujxk
Lujxk
3 months ago

Totally agree with Oliver.

Erasmus
Erasmus
3 months ago
Reply to  Lujxk

he made some points, though I disagree with the statement that she should bring “diverse” dancers and not “tall” “thin” girls. Hate when liberals preach against being judged for your body yet they do the same – they think all tall thin girls are the same and not diverse and that body size does not matter yet they force a particular body type because it is “diverse”… make it make sense.

Whoareyou?
Whoareyou?
3 months ago

A really bad song, with a rather talented singer, trying to hide its emptiness behind an overly used message.

Paul W
3 months ago

I have only just listened to this one all the way through and I quite like it, it may struggle to qualify but you never know until you see all the live performances.

blahh
blahh
3 months ago

DAMN YES WIWI JURY
for this song the drop was EPIC but it starts out too aggressive and because of that it has a feeling of going nowhere. u can either love the messy bassline or hate it. im sort of the latter. the verses are also kind of cringe for me…
overall i would give 5/10. appreciate the creativity and how they tried to be different.

Una
Una
3 months ago

I liked this one first time I listened to it. The good aspects outweigh the bad ones – well there only one thing that I dislike tremendously: that deep voice sound effect. It’s so distracting and unnecessary. How could anyone think it was a good idea to have it? Is it too late to exclude it or replace it with something nicer? The good things: the song is bold. Samanta is genuinly curageous, strong and definitely over the top in a good way. Solid artistic identity which is great and something to be proud of. Awesome vocal and self-confidence. The… Read more »

Erasmus
Erasmus
3 months ago

Apart from Samanta herself, there is little to enjoy about this. The message is important but dull and overused. The song though in a way modern, it’s still completely unmelodic, jarring and unenjoyable. It’s not for me at all. I don’t have much more to say because the song itself feels empty and overproduced at the same time. Unfortunately, this is one of the weakest Latvian entries since 2015 if not the weakest. Hope Latvia pulls themselves together because they won’t qualify for a long time if they continue with the way they are doing it now. I advise them… Read more »

Frifri
Frifri
3 months ago

If William and Deban give this song only 5 then you know it’s not to good 😀 I hope LTV will at least try next year(if there is next year).

Alo
Alo
3 months ago

Usually I like risky stuff in ESC, but this one I find too complex.
Samantha has the vocal for sure, but I don’t know how the average juror and viewer will vote for it..

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
3 months ago

Wow, such a great start to the Wiwi Jury. I really enjoyed reading these reviews. There’s not much I can add to what has already been written above, except maybe a personal view. I am a fan of Aminata’s energetic songwriting generally, but for me there’s something missing from this song. Oliver said the drop isn’t strong enough and the bassline goes nowhere, which is perhaps mirroring how I feel about it. The song to me feels like a walk-on introduction; one single message. It doesn’t seem to go anywhere in three minutes. However, Samantha’s vocals are suitably powerful and… Read more »

Poet
Poet
3 months ago

Reading how differently ‘west’ and ‘east’ (and potentially ‘north’ and ‘south’) view this song makes me think that this song will get quite polar results. I expect very good results from ‘east’ who are more comfortable with a less fluid and pre-determined recipe of music, and slightly lower points from ‘west’ who may appreciate more predictable music.

Overall, as usual – Latvia surprises me with being small, but sending daring, brave and creative pieces of art. Well done!

Giolo
Giolo
3 months ago

I don’t want to be disrespectful to Samanta, she is a great vocalist and I appreciate her energy and attitude, but The Moon is Rising is expetimental for the sake of being different. I like the proudness and the confidence, but the lyrics are really cringe and the “pa-ra-ra part” is really repetitive and disconnetting. It looks like she is building to something in the pre chorus, but suddenly she starts singing “pa-ra-ra…” and that’s such a letdown… Overall the strutture of the song feels very inorganic, but I guess they are trying to get votes from the youngest people… Read more »

Giolo
Giolo
3 months ago

Thank you Robin, I am really happy to read your reviews, I will do some predictions for the final results later?

Yanis
Yanis
3 months ago

There seems to be some negative comments here, can the bulgarians come with their conspiracy theories to say these are all bots and you’re just vile haters? People believe anything, huh. Anyway, Latvia’s song last year was not something I’d go for, but this year even though it’s not a huge favourite of mine I still like it a lot better. Only concern is the staging, a song like this is not to be performed with a typical staging. Could be a finalist, but so can almost anyone at this point when we haven’t got a clue on staging for… Read more »

LivingForChrist
LivingForChrist
3 months ago

In all honesty, when I first heard the song, it didn’t give me the wow factor or goosebumps I had when listening to ‘Still Breathing’. I do appreciate that the fact that the song is inclusive .

ROXELANA
ROXELANA
3 months ago

This one is ok, but Still Breathing was much better.

pooky1001
pooky1001
3 months ago

Its not my cup of tea thats for sure, i find it to messy and confusing but her live vocal and stage presence are really good and i think that will be enough to carry it to the final but then i would not be surprised to see it near the bottom of the board at the end of the night.

notyourtoy
notyourtoy
3 months ago

Because of Samanta only I give this a 7/10. It has a catchy beat, but sometimes is way too noisy. If it wasn’t that noisy it would be FIRE

Nobody
Nobody
3 months ago

The thing with Latvia for me is that I love the message, but I just can’t get into the song itself

Sot
Sot
3 months ago

UNPOPULAR OPINION UPCOMING:

Oliver must be hired by the EBU for such a taste

Fyi, full respect for Samanta but the song is too noisy for me to like it. Sorry Latvia, bottom 10 once again for you… (my 35th, more precisely)

Last edited 3 months ago by Sot
Lou
Lou
3 months ago

LATVIA- This song is the definition of empowering and I really feel like this is a very Samanta Tina style song? Samanta’s vocals, as always, will be great, however, the lyrics aren’t amazing plus, sadly, the song kinda goes nowhere and isn’t really as strong as it could be. I loved and prefer Still Breathing so I was a little disappointed with this song.
6/10

Grft
Grft
3 months ago

Only in Eurovision you can find this kind of songs. This is both a good and a bad thing: we love a traditional ESC drama sound. But it’s super disconnected from what works in music at the moment, and it’s the kind of songs that make people think that ESC-music is unrelevant nowadays.

Tibor
Tibor
3 months ago
Reply to  Grft

Just for clarification: Do you have other examples for a traditional ESC drama sound? I’m not really sure that I quite get what you mean by that. 🙂

Darren
3 months ago

Every year we get these shallow and soulless entries and what makes it worse is when the team dig deep to try and find some social/political banner that they can throw on the song to try and make it more appealing, which is exactly what Latvia done.
The song could be about anything, sung by anyone. Jessie J happened, about 10 years ago. I will say Samantha Tina looks stunning, a stunning, beautiful woman but the song is just shallow noise, and for that I’ll give it 4/10.

Tibor
Tibor
3 months ago
Reply to  Darren

A hot take immediately on the first review … that’s the spirit. 🙂
I have to say, now I’m really curious to see how you will rate certain other entries, if you call this one shallow and soulless. 😉

Darren
3 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

I call it as I see it.
I know the countries that you are talking about. And I’ll say exactly how I feel. I’ll always give credit where it’s due but I’ll critique where it’s due too.

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago

Every year, a bunch of Eurovision entries are so impersonal that they could be performed by dozens of singers with similar results. That’s why I commend Samanta for pouring her personality all over this song. And since she’s such a big character, it works both ways. Some parts are cool (I like the “parara parara” and the “say it to my face”), but the vocals could be less shouty and the lyrics less self-absorbed. Plus that constant sound effect in the background is distractive. 6/10

Last edited 3 months ago by Sabrina
Colin
Colin
3 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Glad to have your reviews back, Sabrina! 🙂 Latvia certainly wasn’t the easiest song to review as first, but it does give a clearer orientation of what future ratings would be compared to. This year, I am dropping the scoreboard underneath the reviews, but I will be listing my top 39 at the end of the last review.

Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin

I won’t lie, reading yours, Sabrina’s and Tibor’s reviews is definitely a eurovision season highlight

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
3 months ago
Reply to  Ashton Schier

Same here. Thank you all for reviewing.

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

Thank you guys! I’m glad the whole gang is here to review the songs. It’s cool to check how different people focus on different aspects of each one. I just hope the next song will be one of my favorites, because I started with a 6 and a 5 and I promise I’m not grumpy and half of the songs will get from 7 up (no product placement intended).

Sabrina
Sabrina
3 months ago
Reply to  Colin

I have a provisional ranking, but it’s still evolving, so I’ll leave it for the end of the reviews also. We definitely started with one of the toughest songs to review. But I’m glad Samanta got overall better grades than I was expecting. I have mixed feelings about her music, but I love how she never holds herself back.

Emily
Emily
3 months ago

It’s Wiwi Jury time already?! Anyway…

36) Latvia – While I do agree that Samanta is a more than capable singer, the song itself doesn’t really do much for me. At times it’s a bit too shouty, but at least there there’s no jumpscare drop like in Still Breathing which I appreciate. At the end of the day it’s not my cup of tea, but I could certainly see it sneaking into the grand final. 4/10

Colin
Colin
3 months ago

LATVIA – I knew I could count on two things: Samanta’s immense energy and the song being very bold. Both of these expectations came true. This song is something different. Again, she is experimenting with electronica and rap. And again, she is using it to deliver a feminist message. What works here is her attitude and the way she handles this topic. Using the moon as the symbol of feminine power feels really fresh. The lyrics feel both empowering and a tad self-indulgent. The inclusion of all types of women in her video is nice. The melody is more of… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Colin
Skiwalko
Skiwalko
3 months ago

Wiwi Jury, here we go! And what a song to start with. First of all, I must admit that there is something very captivating in the way Aminata writes the lyrics for Samanta Tina’s entries. ‘Utilitarian’ is the first word that comes to my mind – they get straight to the point, cut all the fat and pack every word with substance in a way that wouldn’t be out of place in a manifesto (all of which is of course further amplified by Samanta’s confident attitude). “You got something to say, say it to my face” – this is a… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Skiwalko
Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
3 months ago

15th – Latvia – I really like this song. A very powerful and nearly flawless vocal (usual for Samanta) backed up by a very current beat with a flamenco twist. The weird vocal chop that plays throughout the song is very unique but I really enjoy it. I’m still undecided as to how I feel about the pa-ra-ra section in the drop, as I think it’s a little childish and not exactly the most innovative. I also think that the song lags a bit before the last chorus with a very extended bridge. However, on the last chorus, just before… Read more »

Volcano
3 months ago

I like The Moon Is Rising. Unfortunately, there are a bunch of songs which I find better. I give it a 6.5/10 (21st place) wishing best luck to Queen Samanta T?na?

Danni
Danni
3 months ago

YES WIWI JURY IS BACK!!!! 😀

Thanos
Thanos
3 months ago

38. Latvia: Sorry but it’s not my cup of tea. I find it very unorganised, it lacks structure and it’s kind of a mess actually. It’s just too much noise for me. I also don’t believe that it will qualify.

Aeria
Aeria
3 months ago

I like this and I’m not sure how or why, since normally I can’t bond with music like this. It’s around my 15th place, and I really hope Latvia can make the final this year, but the chances are slim I fear.

Tibor
Tibor
3 months ago

We’re starting with a good one, at least for me. Because of the specific rules of Supernova, Samanta Tina is one of the few artists for whom I accept the argument that she had to be selected internally. Admittedly, “The Moon is rising” has practically no melody. It taps more into rythm heavier R&B or hip hop traditions. That’s a choice that obviously not everyone will appreciate, but it’s a very current choice, and I’m into it. “The Moon is rising” is tidier than “Still Breathing” (I am under the impression that this is true for most of the returning… Read more »

Kosey
Kosey
3 months ago

30. Latvia – Samanta Tina – The Moon is Rising – 5/10 – such a big letdown on Still Breathing, this entry has lost all the energy and build of its older sister. The trancy dance elements have disappeared and I am left with an altogether much more run-of-the-mill pop song, which still has Samanta’s exceptional vocal ability but leaves me stone cold, which is such a shame as I so wanted to climb onto the Samanta train this year.

Last edited 3 months ago by Kosey
Kristian
Kristian
3 months ago

For me , the sounds at the beginning of the song are really jarring. The rest of the song is good. Liked Still Breathing better. 6/10
I think Latvia is in the borderline zone for qualification and can still make it.