Latvia’s selection process, Supernova 2020, reaches a climax this weekend, when on Saturday night, 9 artists will perform to earn the right to represent their country at the 65th Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam in May.
On 9th January, LTV released the audition video’s of the 26 shortlisted entries, with confirmation that there would be 8 chosen for the one-shot final, and fans were excited to see the inclusion of Latvian superstar Markus Riva. However when the shortlisted entries were whittled down to the eventual 9 on 16th January, there was a sharp intake of breath across Europe as fans realised that Markus didn’t make the cut.
Since that time, there has been a petition raised on change.org and word has reached us of an “open letter” to the producers, demanding the producers include Markus Riva, and his song “Impossible” in the final.
Today, a response to that letter has been reported on by the website nra.lv where the Latvian Television and Contest Producers have confirmed that the Jury selection will not be reviewed and they will not be accepting Markus Riva into the final after all.
The Producers go on to say the following:
“In evaluating the applicant’s live performance in live selection, the jury considered several factors, including the performer’s vocal skills. In addition to the jury’s assessment, a broader analysis of data from the YouTube platform was also taken into account, reflecting how the public watched and responded to the shortlisted video within a week of their release. The reference in the open letter to the popularity of songs on the YouTube site, which is measured by the number of views as one of the finalists’ selection criteria, is the author’s interpretation of the jury’s selection criteria in the media”
Referring to the open letter they received that cited Markus’s fanbase as a reason for inclusion, it was noted that “An artist’s past track record in the industry or potential for future success and presence in the music market may be considered an advantage, but that criterion is not decisive for the inclusion of any artist and song and is viewed in the context of all other song rating criteria.”
The producers were keen to stress however, their commitment to Latvian music and musicians by stating the following:
“Latvian Television is pleased to have received a record number of song applications this year, demonstrating that both young musicians and experienced performers appreciate and recognize the opportunities presented by the competition. After evaluating the songs submitted for the contest, the Supernova jury is aware that the decision to promote any artist and song to the next rounds of the competition is a great responsibility for the contestants, the audience and the fans as well as for the Latvian pop industry as a whole. Over the six years of its existence, “Supernova” has contributed to the development of the Latvian pop music industry by promoting new and original songs, discovering new talents and providing growth opportunities for countless performers and songwriters who have often shown themselves to the general public for the first time.”
It would seem from the article that the Supernova Producers are comfortable with their decision not to include Markus Riva in the final for this year, and with the 9 that are chosen, we are in for a great final and we hope to see Markus back again in the future 🙂
The artists appear in the final of Supernova, and who will be performing on the big stage in Riga on Saturday are:
1 Seleste “Like Me”
2 DRIKSNA “Stay”
3 Katrīna Bindere “I Will Break Your Heart”
4 Edgars Kreilis “Tridymite”
5 Katrīna Dimanta “Heart Beats”
6 Miks Dukurs “I’m Falling for You”
7 ANNNA “Polyester”
8 Bad Habits “Sail with You”
9 Samanta Tīna “Still Breathing”
Joe and Anne from ESCBubble will be at the final and will bring you exclusive content live from the Arena, they have been busy interviewing every single artist ahead of the final and you can read them here.
Who is your favourite to win Supernova? Vote in our poll!