If you think back to the 2009 contest, it’s probably not likely you’ll remember Latvia’s entry, and if you do, it’s probably likely that you remember it for the wrong reasons. Intars Busulis was the representative for Latvia that year, and took the song Probka with him to the Eurovision stage. The eccentricity came out on stage that night, and it didn’t seem to do Latvia too well, ending up in last place in the semi-final.
Despite its poor result, I’m here to tell you that I love this song. I really love this song. This is one of the only songs since I began watching Eurovision (only a year before, 2008) that continuously pops into my head at the most random of times. It might be an unpopular opinion, but I really think this deserved a spot into the final, and I’m about to tell you why.
Firstly, big points for Latvia to keep it in a language other than English. The song was originally in Latvian, titled Sastrēgums, which translates to Traffic Jam. It was then translated to Russian to Probka, which still translates to Traffic Jam. The song, as described by Intars himself was to replicate the senses and meanings around a traffic jam. It references how rushed we are, but sometimes we face a stop. The song interestingly features the time signature of 7/4 in the verses, which I think suits the message of the song, but also provides some variety in the music we saw on stage in 2009.
Secondly, Intars vocals are pretty damn great throughout this song. He nails both the high and low ranges, and delivers the song with a lot of confidence. I think what becomes more important in this song is the energy that Intars brings through his voice. Take his crazy dance movements away, his voice conveys this sense of urgency or desperation, so when this is paired with his very eccentric stage movements, it makes for a crazy, but a crazily entertaining performance.
Speaking of the stage performance in general, I think that it was a bit over the top, or clashing in a sense, but for me personally, I don’t have a problem with the stage show because I’m absolutely captivated by Intars’ crazy antics. It’s like an emotional rollercoaster for 3 minutes!
I absolutely believe this deserved a spot in the final, and if not, at least not last in the semi-final. There were some very generic songs in the semi which just did nothing at all for the senses, and Latvia was the opposite. Although I really love this song, I can see why it’s not exactly the fan favourite.
My rating is 10/10. I have no hesitations at all in giving it a 10 – it will always be a favourite in my Eurovision memory.
Artist: Intars Busulis
Final Ranking: 19th in Semi-final, 2 points