It’s the time of year when the Post-Eurovision depression is in full swing, but there’s no better cure than to reminisce! Together with ESCDaily Editor, Dennis Van Eersel, we will be discussing each of this year’s competing nations – from their results to how we think they could improve in the future!
Predictions, Personal Scores and Results
Results: 17th, Semi-Final
Did Latvia live up to expectations?
A: Unfortunately, yes. As brutal as it sounds, I really didn’t have high hopes for Latvia this year, and it delivered on my expectations. The performance was an absolute mess, and worthy of a last place finish in my eyes – even above nations such as Georgia. The visual concept was one of the worst of this year’s contest, and the song and vocals did the performance no favours.
D: Latvia was seen as a non-qualifier by the bookmakers and they never got close to qualification after we saw their first rehearsal. It looked like they kept the visual idea of their 2020 entry, whilst the song was completely different. Overall, Latvia was one of the most disappointing countries in the contest of 2021 as they did even worse than – at least I – expected them to do.
How do you personally feel about the song for Latvia at Eurovision 2021?
D: Before the contest, I gave Latvia the benefit of the doubt. It was interesting to see how they would stage this song in this particular genre. After the first rehearsal I was done with it. Everything they had right in the feeling and vibe in the video clip, was taken away with the presentation on the big stage.
A: I just didn’t like this from day dot. I don’t enjoy her voice, or at least not in this type of genre. I think in a sense Latvia is trapped by the success of Aminata in 2015, because everything has felt like a carbon copy. It makes sense as she was the songwriter this year, but this song just didn’t suit Samanta. I only listened to this song when I had to – for reviews, rehearsals and the live show. Game over.
Could Latvia have done anything different?
D: Yes, when you look at the video clip in an abandoned industrial area, with all types of different people joining in for the song, it suited the visual picture much better than Samanta standing in a gala-dress with the spraying hairdressers from the 2020-song next to her. The whole act of 2021 seemed a bit lazy copy-pasting work for me because of that. The song didn’t match the visuals at all.
A: The music video concept was significantly better than what ended up on stage. I really don’t understand why they chose to stage the entry like they did. I totally agree on the outfit, absolutely unsuitable for this song. Also you know how I get with colours on stage. Latvia failed on this count as well, the designs and projections on the screens didn’t match the green theme they chose for the outfits. The design on the floor also looked a bit off as it needed Samanta to be totally in the centre, another oversight.
A: I really think Latvia has a lot of work to do to get back into a good position. It’s clear that Aminata and Justs were exceptions, and the nation has not yet found their formula for success in the modern day contest. The national finals are producing sub-standard songs, and unconvincing performances. Where do they go from here?
D: I still remember their first Eurovision years, coming in third and of course winning the contest in the early 00’s. After that smashing start, Latvia slowly became one of the worst performing nations in the contest, only peaking once in 2015 again. Despite those terrible results, they keep on using the Supernova format for Eurovision, although it’s clearly not working out for them at all. We see many of the same artists taking the stage there, until they finally make it. Overall the quality and standards of that competition is too low to be successful. So, drop the Supernova and/or other NF formats and try a few years of picking quality internally and see if that helps them get better results.
Which was better, the live-on-tape performance or the actual performance?
D: The live-on-tape performance was slightly, very slightly better. Just because Samanta at least wasn’t wearing a gala dress during her performance, which fit the song even less. Furthermore, it seems like the terrible staging concept was already decided upon back then. For Latvia, I would say that the question ‘which was better’ is not suitable. Both performances were not Eurovision worthy.
A: I don’t agree – I think they are both so spectacularly bad that it’s impossible to say which is better than the other. Samanta doesn’t make good contact with the camera in the back-up tape, and even though you preferred the outfit, I dislike the back-up tape outfit just as much. I just have no idea why they went with this concept, the visuals were awful, outfits were awful, the song was… you know where this is going.