In a few minutes, the semi final of Eirodziesma 2009, the Latvian national selection for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest, will be held. 20 acts will compete and half of them will make it to the national final tomorrow.
The show is hosted by Kristine Virsnite and Ugis Joksts at the Olympic Center in Ventspils will start at 20:10 CET. 20 acts will present one song each and televoting will send the top ten to the national final tomorrow.
A webcast is available on the official Eirodziesma website here.
Camillas – Running around
Dace Planare & Fridis – Running around
Girts Zeibulinš – Place to be
Johnny Salamander – Party
Miks Dukurs – Aizejot
Iveta Baumane & Ivo Grisninš-Grislis – Tic tac
Ginta Eke – Be yourself
Natalija Tumševica – Dinamite
Trianas Parks – Call me any time you need a problem
Intars Busulis – Sastregums
Kristina Zaharova & Annija Putnina – Angel of mine
Astra – Have to say goodbye
Edijs Šnipke – Make my day
Ketta – Without you
Policistas – In love we trust
Fidji – Don't want to say goodbye
Aisha feat. G-Point – Hey, hey
Simply 4 – When the sun is going down
Sabine Berezina feat. Per – Bye, bye
Valters Fridenbergs – For a better tomorrow
And the show has started. At the moment – a flashback on the way to Eirodziesma 2009 – from submitting the songs to withdrawing and comeback.
1. Camillas – Time Goes
Last year Camillas finished 5th. This is a cheerful, soft jazzy song with a feeling of 60ies. It also has a catchy chorus which is a plus. The lead singer as well as his two lady companions deliver a very …adolescent and happy performance.
2. Dace & Fridis – Running Around
Fridis is the most popular biker and karaoke "father" in Latvia. This is Martins Freimanis's (one of the FLY members (ESC 2003) and The War Is Not Over author) song.
Fridis hobby explains the presence of the bike on the stage. Dace participated with Freimanis song in Eirodziesma 2008.Some Riverdance moves for this song. The chorus is also catchy, but sometimes it way off tune. Nevertheless, the song is energizing and cheerful
3. Place To Be – Girts Zebulins
The song starts with a pleasant piano solo and grows to a melodic balad. Girts is a vocalist in a hardrock band "Wild" – it is apparent in his voice sometimes. His husky, distinct voice manages to transform this rather common ballad into an ear catcher. Girts' interaction with the camera is quite special too.
4. Johnny Salamander – Party
The family is back again! In 2004 they participated in Eirodziesma singing We Share The Sun. Johnny's daughter Meldra who is the lyricist for this song, arrived to the show from London where she studies music. Johnny is faithful to his style – rock. Maybe the girl dancers and singers are a little distracting but a party is a party… impossible without girls:)
5. Miks Dukurs – Aizejot
One of two songs performed in Latvian in this semi final. Miks participated in Eirodziesma 2008 with the group "Pent-in Dreams". Although Miks is in his early twenties he is quite a good vocalist.The song though is far from outstanding, the repretitive chorus, probably intended to be memorable becomes rather tedious towards the end.
6. Tic Tac – Iveta Baumane&Ivo Grisnins – Grislis
This is the 3rd time for both musicians as they participate in the national finals, but for the first time they sing together. The author of the song is Ingars Vilums who plays bass in Brainstorm and has written songs for Marie N, Lauris Reiniks etc. Very catchy and at times ear challenging chorus. Iveta looks great in her tutu dress and the song is easy to remember and fun. This could very well make it to the final.
7. Ginta Eke – Be Yourself
A very "Love Boat" tune for next. Ginta and her lady back vocalists/dancers deliver a very good vocal performance of this fun but rather old fashioned song. If one was not looking at the screen you could easily imagine black ladies singing in church.
8. Dynamite – Nalatija Tumsevica
Mikael Elandsson's song Love In the Air won the Polish final in 2006, would his song score again? Natalija is the participant of the Russian reality show Factory of Stars. She seems to be a dynamite on the stage both choreographically and vocally. Dressed in a sexy leather outfit and accompanied by four male dancers in matching outfits, she delivers the most powerful performance so far. One gimmick we haven't seen before on Eurovision stage is that of the dancers "exploding" one after the other. Quite impressive if not a bit scary.
9. Trianas Parks – Call Me Any Time You Need A Problem
Last year the group finished 4th in Eirodziesma final. The performance is definitely spectacular and a little bit chaotic.
10. Intars Busulis – Sastregums
Last year he participated in Eirodziesma with a song Gonki (Speed Race – from Russian), this year he sings about the rush hour. Wonder what would be his song next year if to follow the pattern. It is the other and the last song in this semi final sung in Latvian. Another energetic and vocally correct performance tonight. The song is rich and alternates skillfully between dramatic moments and lyrical ones. Taking into consideration Busulis' popuarity currently in Latvia and the response of the public then this song is going to the final.
11. Annija & Kristina – Angel of Mine
A song penned by Martins Freimanis – the second of his songs in this semi final. Kristina was the runner up in the Irish National Final with Lauris Reiniks' song I Wish I could Pretend. A welcome and much needed change of pace now with the two ladies performing a touching ballad. A vision in black and white as they are both very attractive and good vocals make up for the lack of destination in the song.
12. Astra Dreimane – Have To Say Goodbye
The song is written of Madara Celma who has participated in Eirodziesma for many years. She has trusted her song to Astra while singing the back vocals herself. All three ladies are dressed in blinding floral dresses and the vocal performance for this rather not outstanding ballad is rather mediocre, with Astra often off tune in the first half of the song.
13. Edijs Snipke – Make My Day
Edijs Snipke is also the author of the song. "Unfortunatelly money just can't make my day" – let's see if Edijs day can made by getting to final.The song is rythmic and fun and so is the performance.
14. Ketta – Without You
Electronic pop for next. Excellent vocals by Ketta and the song is powerful and catchy. It does remind one this and that at points (you know the feeling when you can't put your finger to it) but overall Ketta delivers it to perfection, dancing, interacting with the camera and dancing effortlessly at the same time.
15. Policistas – In Love We Trust
The authors of the song Guntars Racs and Tomass Kleins have already made to Eurovision once – with the song Dziesma par laimi in 2004. The Policista in the middle – Candy was the back vocal for Pirates of the Sea in ESC 2008. The ladies are dressed in sexy policewomen outfits as their name suggests.
A very smart gimmick is used at the end of the song which will help it stick to the voters mind. The graffiti wall in the background proved to be a tableau vivant as the two male dancers- who had been there all along- jump off it leaving two holes the shapes of their bodies. The girls have strong vocals and there could be many of Eurovision supporters who would love to be arrested by those energetic Policistas.
16. Fidji – Don't Want To Say Goodbye
In 2006, Fidji participated in Eirodziesma with a song "Frozen Flower". This time the song is written by a Finnish musician Tarmo Keranen. A ballad, on of the few tonight. Fidji is dressed in an elegant white evening gown and is accompanied by two ballet dancers in white as well. Fidgi seems to be struggling with the vocals and fails to rise to the occasion when she is supposed to hit the higher notes.
17. Aisha & G-Point – Hey Hey Hey
Kjell Jennstig made to Eurovision with his Questa Notte in 2007. Aisha sang his song in Eirodziesma 2008 and was a runner up. Aisha is supported by a girl band G-point. Swedish Pippi Longstocking's energy meets a Latvian Tina Turner this year as Aisha is an energy bomb all over the stage. Somehow her voice was a bit too tired towards the end of the song which is nowhere as catchy as last year's You really got me going.
18. Simply 4 – When The Sun Is Going Down
The four guys are the members of the Orange Choire which won the "Battle of Choirs" in Latvia. Well, Backstreet Boys would be proud of them if the vocals were smoother.
19. Sabine Berezina – Bye Bye
If Only I knew was a song Sabine entered Eirodziesma 2008. This year she is supported by a beatbox team PER. She is only 19 and compared to some of the other vocalists tonight her singing is flawless
20. Valters Fridenbergs – For A Better Tomorrow
Valters this time without Kaza is competing for the ticket to the ESC. In 2005 when he was 16 he and Kaza sang The War Is Not Over in the Eurovision final 2005 and ended up 5th. The song is rather forgetable but pleasant to the ear and the performance is colourful and funny.
Aisha's song Hey hey hey just won theTV program Sems viewers' prize as the favorite.
The following acts made it to the national final: Simply4, Aisha, Kristina Zaharova & Annija Putnina, Sabine Berezina feat. Per, Iveta Baumane & Ivo Grisninš-Grislis, Intars Busulis, Natalija Tumševica, Camillas, Trianas Parks and Ketta!