Latvia started their Eurovision journey strong, debuting with a 3rd place finish and just two years later, the nation won the contest with Marie N. Since then, Latvia has been hit or miss, with non-qualification streaks not uncommon. Hoping to break the current non-qualification streak is Samanta Tīna with her powerful entry, The Moon is Rising.
Anita (Eurovision Union)
Song and Vocals
After numerous attempts to represent Latvia at Eurovision, Samanta Tīna is finally getting her chance to shine on stage. Last year’s entry was underwhelming at best, but returning to the contest this year was an opportunity to be a bit more selective with her entry, and present something a little more refined. Unfortunately I don’t think they have managed that, with this year’s entry featuring many of the criticisms I had of ‘Still Breathing’.
The Moon is Rising is an incredibly intense song. One of the biggest criticisms I had of Still Breathing was that there was no growth throughout the song, no peaks or troughs. It was just 100% power for the entire three minutes, and this year’s entry is much the same. Yes, Samanta has an incredibly powerful voice, but in a sense, it becomes less impressive when almost every note is a big powerful note. Even when Samanta isn’t flexing her vocal talent, the beat of the song is very in your face. Beyond that, I don’t actually think her voice suits this style of pop anthem. She has a distinct voice, and that alone could be divisive with viewers.
Performance and Act
While I’m not that impressed with the song itself, I do expect to be impressed by the staging. From the music video, it is clear that there is a signature style of choreography which will likely be carried through to the live performance. Hopefully they can manage to create that powerful atmosphere with fewer dancers on stage. I also expect a strong light show, possibly with lasers and pyro.
At this stage, I don’t place Latvia as a finalist. If it does qualify, I think it will be a close result. The song will certainly not be to everyone’s tastes, and I don’t know if it will have enough televote appeal nor jury appeal. Staging could lift the performance, but I don’t know if that’s enough to carry this through.
Song and Vocals
Finally Samanta Tīna will take the Eurovision stage. She has the chance to show off her vocal skills in this song a lot. It’s a powerful theme, with contemporary aspects and a wave-flow. I can see it making an impact and separate itself from the rest of the field in the second semi final. Curious how the backing singer will be during the chorus, since they have an important role as well.
Performance and Act
I can see how a group is carrying Tina on stage like a true queen at the beginning of the song. She is a powerful woman, and deserves to be presented in such a way during the Latvian performance. It would also suit the song and meaning very well if they do so. The act could lift the chances of Latvia making the final, but it also has the potential to swing and miss. This is one of the nations of which I am very interested to see their first rehearsal.
Latvia has potential to make it to the final but it’s a risky song. It’s not easy to stage and perform, both for Tina and her backing singers. Latvia has disappointed in their presentations in a couple of years, but have also proven themselves in the past as well. It could go either way with this entry.
Additional Scores from Eurovision Union and ESCDaily editors:
Average Score: 6.3/10