Latvia’s long-awaited return of Supernova is tonight, with the national selection now running into its fifth year. Can the show produce another Eurovision finalist to improve its record? We may become a step closer to finding out tonight.

Eight acts will take part in the first semi-final, so we thought it best as a service to #YOU to listen to all of the candidates and express our opinions. Which act did we like the most?

Aivo Oskis – Somebody’s Got My Lover

James – 4 – “That is one ugly faux-Hawaiian shirt you’re wearing in that video, Aivo. Don’t wear that again. Another boring song with lyrics that make no sense and cliched modern production tricks. Somebody get Aivo a new lover so he can wear good clothes and write a better song.”

Jordan – 6 – “Another good male singer here. Aivo has a great tone to his voice. I think the song itself is okay. It’s nothing spectacular though. The versus do absolutely nothing for me personally but the chorus does have the potential to become an earworm. Not the best but certainly not the worst here.”

Sean – 7 – “This is a groovy piece of synthpop and doesn’t sound too dissimilar to a lot of the music I listen to in my spare time so of course I like this. It’s quite unassuming and wishy-washy though, it doesn’t really have any kind of in-your-face power or anything to really grab your attention. It’s certainly a pleasant little bop though and Aivo sells it well.”

Alekss Silvērs – Fireworks

James – 6 – “This is one where we have to realize it’s a demo. There’s potential here, though Alekss is not quite selling Aminata’s song. His performance just lacks “oomph,” though when he launches into the chorus he is capable of more thrust should he wish to truly take off. It’s more of an M-80 firecracker lit in an Ohio truck stop toilet than full on fireworks at this moment.”

Jordan – 3 – “Well… This certainly isn’t Aminata’s best work. Despite having a good voice, I don’t think Alekss suits this song at all… This just doesn’t work. I just feel he is wailing at me after a while. Poor show. Sorry Aminata!”

Sean – 5 – “This is an otherwise decent song ruined by an irritating chorus, unfortunately I can’t get on board with the “fiiiyiiiyiiiaahh” part. Surprised to learn that this has come from Aminata as her songs tend to have a lot more substance to them than this. I’m sure Alekss will give this a suitable performance with enough emotion to convey the song, but I can’t see this being salvaged.”

Total – 14

Edgars Kreilis – Cherry Absinthe

James – 8 – “His yellow personalized sweater in the demo makes it look like he’s just here to shill merchandise. Edgars came back with a reworked version with a new name (a lot of “Fire” in Supernova this year) Nice progression and the seductive, almost whispered bridge after the second verse is a great and unexpected touch. Enough variation and a capable singer that deserves to move forward, though it needs work to blow the doors off in Tel Aviv.”

Jordan – 8 – “Okay… In a poor selection this song definitely stands out. Edgars is an extremely charismatic performer and I like his voice. Personally, I think his song from last year was better, but he sells this one well. Apart from the whispering part, that bits a bit weird. For me this would be Latvia’s best chance of qualifying Tel Aviv.”

Sean – 6 – “I was rooting for Edgars last year as “Younger Days” was a fantastically catchy track and he seems like a really likeable guy. The problem this year is that “Cherry Absinthe” tries to follow the same formula for a catchy floor-fillerish alt-pop song and comes across as a poor port of last year’s entry. It doesn’t have the same charm or earworm quality which is a real shame.”

Total – 22

Elza Rozentāle – You Came on Tiptoe

James – 5 – “Who entered Lorelai Gilmore for Supernova 2019? The presentation is that of a housewife hinting at something very naughty going on. Elza herself is very expressive and can tell a story with gestures and facial features alone, but the song is vanilla.”

Jordan – 6 – “She has a very lovely voice, and I am a sucker for an acoustic guitar. But the chorus doesn’t work for me unfortunately. The electronic part doesn’t fit with the rest of the song for me. It’s unfortunate because she is great, and the song has some potential. With a revamp this could be good.”

Sean – 6 – “Elza has a really lovely jazzy quality to her voice and I find this song quite soothing in its tone, which is great for certain situations. But is it enough to grab the headlines and votes in Tel Aviv? The almost spacious production on the chorus is great, and this is a quirk in this selection, but I can’t see it quite capturing the imagination of the voters.”

Total – 17

Kris & Oz – Midnight Streets

James – 7 – ” A tilt at adult contemporary here at Supernova 2019. Kris is a little too nasally for something with such a thick bass line running through, but get it’s a demo and hear what she’s trying to do to this neo-soul ballad. I like that another artist is going the soft rock adult contemporary route and going down this route rather well.”

Jordan – 4 – “I love her voice. I will say that much… But I feel this song is just a waste of potential. There is no body or substance to this song. I feel if you blow on it, it would just collapse. I feel if this went to Eurovision it would get forgotten very quickly. It’s not awful but not a standout either.”

Sean – 5 – “Another almost jazzy, soulful entry in this year’s selection. I like to describe this sound as the “Sunday afternoon” genre, perfect for relaxing and lazing back on a rainy quiet afternoon, but this kind of music doesn’t lend itself to Eurovision very well. I like the choppy 80s guitar and the pulsing beats that grow throughout the song, but like I say it’s just a little too in the background.”

Total – 16

Laime Pilnīga – Awe

James – 7 – “Awww, another adult contemporary soft rock song in the vein of Simply Red. With a bit of polish, particularly vocal delivery to iron out some inconsistencies, this could work. And they can stop at 2:45 – the last 15 minutes just feel tacked on. Oh woops, I said minutes instead of seconds. Because they felt like minutes, and you’re asking, “wait, he’s still going? Why?” And the singer’s dodgy hairdo has got to go. He looks like a bearded barista who asked his barber for a Tegan and Sara.”

Jordan – 3 – “He has a great voice, but I don’t think the song works for me. It feels like it was quite sloppily produced and comes across messy live. I also feel it doesn’t really go anywhere special towards the end. It’s a rather disappointing effort for me sadly.”

Sean – 6 – “I have to say there’s a certain charm in entering such a raw, lo-fi, garage band type song to a Eurovision selection, and this places the entire emphasis on the guys and their song which could be a shrewd move. Perhaps though, this has pushed it too far into the ‘demo’ category, and I think that the basic idea of the song could do with a little more work to reach its potential. Have to appreciate the simplicity of some guys just enjoying themselves and playing us their song though!”

Total – 16

Līga Rīdere – Būšu tepat

James – 6 – “A pleasant easy listening ballad sung in Latvian by a singer with a very interesting backstory (she’s a veterinarian!). Unlike the other ballads at Supernova which are influenced by Western artists and aimed at Western audiences, this is a full tilt Eastern European romantic ballad. Not bad, but it fades from memory pretty quickly.”

Jordan – 3 – “I like her voice. She has a very rich tone. However, the song feels very linear to me. It doesn’t really take me anywhere. To be blunt I find it quite boring despite the electric guitars. I don’t think this is a contender to win Supernova and it certainly shouldn’t be.”

Sean – 7 – “Something about this entry feels like it could be a real hark back to the old-fashioned Eurovision, where dramatic ballads and powerful female vocals reigned supreme, not to mention the fact this is in native language. This will come down to the power in the performance – if the emotion is conveyed strongly enough and she serves this song justice it could be a surprise package in this selection!”

Total – 16

Samanta Tīna – Cutting the Wire

James – 4 – “She looks like Frances Farmer as portrayed by Jessica Lange (a good thing!). She needs work on her English singing, as whatever she sings in the chorus sounds nothing like “Cutting the Wire.” And yes, I did hear both the demo and the redone version, and this issue persists. I do like the singer, particularly her movement and personality, but give her something more upbeat and uptempo and in Latvian to work with. This weak attempt at modernized soul doesn’t work for her.”

Jordan – 3 – “I understand that many people will like her voice… but unfortunately, it’s not a voice I can get into. It just feels like she’s trying to be Amy Winehouse and failing miserably. The song itself is okay… Fairly repetitive but not atrocious. I would definitely not pick this for Tel Aviv if it were down to me.”

Sean – 5 – “Samanta Tīna, the perennial Latvian Eurofan favourite, is back for yet another performance, and brings the wit and originality of rhyming “fire” and “desire” in this track. All of that aside, Samanta has a fantastic voice when she really belts it out, and this is an intriguing track. It unfortunately doesn’t really go anywhere for me, but I’m sure this type of female anthem foot-stomp pop will have its fans.”

Total – 12

We’ve had our say on tonight’s competitors, but let’s now see what our overall favourite was…

  1. Edgars Kreilis – Cherry Absinthe – 22
  2. Aivo Oskis – Somebody’s Got My Lover – 17
  3. Elza Rozentāle – You Came on Tiptoe – 17
  4. Kris & Oz – Midnight Streets – 16
  5. Laime Pilnīga – Awe – 16
  6. Līga Rīdere – Būšu tepat – 16
  7. Alekss Silvērs – Fireworks – 14
  8. Samanta Tīna – Cutting the Wire – 12

It seems that in this semi-final our clear favourite is Edgars Kreilis with “Cherry Absinthe”, who got 22 points from a possible 30. Second place is shared between Aivo Oskis and Elza Rozentāle. Will this be the order of the real results later? We’ll find out tonight!

Make sure #YOU have your say on your favourite Latvian entry of this year’s selection by voting in our poll HERE. We’ll announce the winner later!

Who do #YOU want to represent Latvia in Eurovision 2019? Share your thoughts with us on our forum HERE or join the discussion below in the comments and on social media!

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