The jury who will help decide who moves forward in Supernova, the national selection show for Latvia, have been announced.
Returning this year to lead the jury is DJ Rudd from Latvian Radio 5, being joined by singers Linda Leen and Ralf Eiland and radio producer Artis Dvarionas. Ralf Eiland has a history with the Eurovision Song Contest, having competed in 2013 with the group PeR. He says he has not listened to any of the contestants this year so he gets the first impression of the song when he hears it. He has said:
I have especially avoided these pieces to be judged by any juvenile semi-finals or finals when sitting in a jury chair – hearing and seeing the performances for the first time. This, I think, will also be the most important criterion for me this year – the first impression.
Linda Leen has had along career as a jazz singer in Latvia, her first album came out in 2000 and has performed songs with 2000 Latvian Eurovision entry Brainstorm. Both Linda and fellow jury member DJ Rudd have noted the importance of Eurovision to give competing acts exposure on the international stage. Linda has said:
In my opinion, the most important thing in the finals is the opportunity for a particular artist to reach a new audience who, after learning about him, then follows his musical progress, listens and buys music, creates and extends the possibilities of concert life and high-level collaboration. Once a year, we are given a three-minute European national TV channel audience of 200 million spectators that cannot be bought or otherwise organized in the music industry. This opportunity should be used wisely.
And DJ Rudd has agreed, saying:
First, it is a platform that allows musicians to show themselves to a large audience. This is a place where both experienced stage artists can meet together, and to a wider unknown audience.
Supernova 2019 debuts on 26 January with the first semi-final, followed by the second semi-final and final in the following weeks.