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Saturday, 22 February 2014 19:25

Latvia: National Final - Dziesma 2014 - LIVE

Labvakar! I am Patrick in Sarcelles, France and will be welcoming the twelve (12) finalists hoping to represent Latvia in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Ventspils has been supporting the participation of the country in recent times, henceforth why the city has been known to host the final in the past two to three years. Dziesma will be an intriguing affair, following two (2) semi-final rounds, and you may follow all of the action through the LIVE stream being offered by the Official Website of the Eurovision Song Contest as from 20:25 CET.

The selection is unchaged from previous years, meaning that the twelve (12) songs in contention this evening will be hoping to garner support from both the general public and the professional jury due to their 50% stake in both the first and the second round of voting. In the latter though, only the top three (3) will be fighting it out in what has been termed as a super final. There are several special guests this evening including none other than PeR (Latvia 2013), Fomins and Kleins (Latvia 2004), Lauris Reiniks (Latvia 2000), Norma Rutulis and Estonian group; Tenfold Rabbit.

The Show (Part 1)

Very strange act to start off with! A sort of energy exchange. A choir with drums and synths but anyways, we are now welcomed in Ventspils by our four hosts for this evening, seemingly looking more and more like the actual Eurovision Song Contest. Now the 12 acts are introduced with a very short extract.

Revelation - Ralfs Eilands, Valters Pūce & Nelli Bubujanca

First act is last year's entrant Ralf Eilands, lead singer from Per with a very different song, one entitled Revelation. Ralf is on stage with a cello player and a female drum player. Nice song but a bit shouty in my opinion ... And at the end, the cello gets broken.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UpxdfE_iE8

Lights On - Markus Riva

Next song is lights up by Markus Riva. Unfortunately, this is a SONG competition and good looks can only get you so far in my opinion. His voice is not perfect at all and the only thing I seem to like are the lights in this song. Very weak, and the standard does not seem to be improving.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jg8C8LU1KPI

Moment And Tomorrow - Katrīna Bindere

Mid-tempo song very well performed by Katrine and four (4) female chorists. She also brought a wind machine on the chorus. Not very instant but indeed, extremely professional.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAoj6OjRxVU

Pēdējā Vēstule - Dons

Now comes the big favorite of the evening, Dons with a song in Latvian, one entitled Pedeja Vestule which is already a big hit in Latvia and thus ready to rake in the public vote. Dons is backed by four (4) female singers. Sounds like a quicker version of Kuula. Flawless vocals and an even more emotional performance. Simple and efficient.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Yd3mSg_wWY

Stay - Samanta Tina

Back for a third time, hoping that she will be lucky is none other than Samata Tina whose entry features a wind machine, due to the strong feeling of Euphoria, especially in terms of genre. The vocals are good, nothing too special but something is missing, cannot really comprehend what!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBx6aHuWeSY

Here I Am Again - Niko

Up next! Niko who is basically a David Lindgren copy when it comes to this song. I cannot believe it but this is basically .. Shout It Out! The choreography is very similar to Daft Punk ... Bad vocals also ... Next please!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLoFS9nYKJY

Going All The Way - MyRadiantU

The evening is going super-fast, considering that we are more than half way through as the seventh song is set to take to the stage. Four (4) guys are on stage for this very energetic song a bit remeniscent of Simple Minds. Strong chorus, good vocals and excellent arrangements ... I like it, would be a good choice fort Latvia

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cg-6DN8bc3Y

Saule Riet (Take Away) - Olga & Līgo

Olga is on stage with five (5) dancers wearing costumes. Vocals are amazing ... song is very catchy and the dance routine brings more movements on stage ... If chosen, I am entirely sure that it would be a big favorite in Copenhagen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eenD-H7vces

I Can Breathe - Aminata

This is a self penned entry ... She is on stage with three (3) dancers wearing masks and two (2) backing vocalists. Aminata is a wonderful performer but the song is not memorable enough to make an impact, either this evening OR at the Eurovision Song Contest where it could end up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3s2MuAjcJE

Aarzemnieki - Cake to Bake

The song is starting as a simple guitar ballad....and then it gets a bit uptempo but acoustic. Lyrics are ridiculous but that is something which might not bother Latvians having just remembered that they did choose 'Beautiful Song' two years ago.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJEc_71EEeo

If I Could (Get Away) - Eirošmits

They are wearing postiche beards. By the way they switched the song to Latvian ... Not a good attempt, I'm afraid but Latvians like this kind of weird joke entries! Nevertheless, we're just about ready with the initial line-up as it's time to introduce the last song You're the reason by Katrine Lukins.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7YOCstcAEQ

You Are The Reason - Katrine Lukins

Katrine is backed up by two (2) vocalists and twin drummers. Oh my god, my ears are bleeding, she is completly off key ... It is beyond horrible! That's it, we have heard the 12 songs and the winner will be decided by 50/50 jury and televoting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8r4GAPhesI

The Show (Part 2)

Who will get the task to bring Latvia back to the final for the first time since 2008? This will be decided in a moment! Now, first recap of the songs! First voting round is to decide the three (3) superfinalists! For me the choice should be between Dons, Olga ir Ligo or MyRadiantU but Katrina Bindere and Aarzmenieki are also dark horses. 

Dons is leading the televoting in front of Katrina Bindere, Aazmenieki and Olga ir Ligo ... Dons is still in the lead with cake to bake to follow. Another recap of the songs. Lines are closed now. First interval act Marta Ritova. Second one is Estonian band Tenfold rabbit. Now all the acts are back on stage. Time for the first results hopefully. first it is time for various prizes.

We are getting there, and here are the super-finalists; DonsSamanta TinaAarzemnieki.

Well, each of the super-finalists is now taking to the stage once more for a second performance although it seems that the public is going for Dons, with the funny Cake to Bake in second place leaving last years' runner-up Samanta Tina in third place. Our special guests for the evening are currently on stage, including acts who represented Latvia in 2000, 2004 and 2013, respectively.

... and Aarzemnieki win with the song Cake to Bake.