Latvia has chosen 5 more finalists tonight

With five more acts going straight through to the grand final of Eirodziesma, the line up is starting to shape up nicely. The remaining 5 artists tonight live to fight another day, advancing to the last chance round on the 19th of February.

It seems like those responsible at LTV haven’t done their job properly with regards to the allocation of songs in each semi final heat. Tonight’s heat is by far the more superior of the two with just about every song on show tonight deserving a place in the final. Tonight will be a tough round with perhaps some major upsets in store, but hopefully the strongest five that don’t make it through and go on to the second chance round will outperform the weaker songs from last week’s show.

The songs:

Song 1: Juris LudženieksBeautiful World (Juris Ludženieks)
Dramatic start for an otherwise simple, heartfelt song. Although some of the lyrics may come across as a tad trite and his pronunciation leaves a lot to be desired in places, this should not detract from the sincerity of the song – a sweet little number, but perhaps not memorable enough to stand out from the other 10 entrants on the night.

Song 2: Elīna Krastiņa-GrenceLook Back At Me Again (Elīna Krastiņa-Grence)
The first notes make you instantly think of the Doobie Brothers’ Long Train Running, but the song soon launches into a completely different direction, proving that it can stand on its own two feet. Elīna sings like only a spurned woman can, in this little pop gem. An exciting number, which deserves a place in the final.

Song 3: Oksana ĻepskaLive On! (Oksana Ļepska/Oļegs Borošņevs)
Now this is an odd kettle of fish. The song starts of all sultry and atmospheric, with the piano building up making for a nice effect, before the chorus, albeit fleeting, kicks in and the song ends up sounding like a latvian Leona Lewis. It’s extremely easy on the ear, with not one, but two key changes before she drifts off into an ending that sounds like she’s auditioning for a choir. Quirky, different and it should make its mark on the viewers.

Song 4: Lauris ReiniksBanjo Laura (Lauris Reiniks)
Well, given the title, you had to expect the banjo to feature heavily. This is what Lauris does best – pop confection, that is just made for the radio to be lapped up by the hordes. He could have spared us the la la la several places in the song, but this stomping number should have no problem in qualifying, without having to rely on Lauris’ fanbase. Very catchy.

Song 5: Grupa Triānas ParksUpside Down (Aivars Rakovskis/Agnese Rakovska)
Finally, a rock/alternative act to shake things up. Snarling guitars give the song plenty of bite and the singer’s almost aggressive vocals merely add to the character of the number. It’s easy to hear why they had reviewers raving stateside. This starts with a bang and before you know it, ends with a bang too!

Song 6: Dace UpīteMagnet (Kārlis Būmeisters/Dace Upīte)
Will Dace’s Magnet attract enough votes in this heat to giver her a ticket to the final? Beginning with gentle strumming guitars, this is much better than her previous effort, her voice seems to suit soft rock much better. Great vocals, with a handsome tune, this should not be ruled out as one of the dark horses of the evening.

Song 7: Grupa Crazy DollsPositively Thinking (Aldis Zaļūksnis/Mārtiņš Poļakovskis)
Not sure where to place this – it has a beginning which makes you hesitant to take the song seriously, a comic novelty act. It doesn’t take long before it turns into a full blown, romping footballer’s song – you can almost envisage punters having a good old singalong to this one round the old Joanna in one of Riga’s many pubs. Rough and ready, it’s appealling enough, but due to their somewhat hazy pronunciation, many of us will be left in the dark as to what they’re actually singing about. But a happy, positive vibe it sure has!

Song 8: Grupa MusiqqAngel In Disguise (Marats Ogļezņevs)
A moody intro quickly dispells any comparisons to the Proclaimers. Very slickly produced, with pulsating beats and a driving rhythm, the song is very danceable. Very modern sound, with vocals that almost become soulful towards the end. Another top notch number that leaves viewers spoilt for choice tonight.  

Song 9: Ivo Grīsniņš-GrīslisCinderella (Ingars Viļums)
Could the evening have a fairytale ending for Ivo? The first few bars don’t exactly intrigue the viewer, but the somg soons perks up with a chorus where Ivo’s falsetto sounds divine. The only gripe about this one is that the chorus can seem quite tedious after about 10 run throughs, but he’s forgiven. Another very well crafted piece of pop music that could and should take it’s place in the final.

Song 10 : Grupa The SecretzSummer Night (Edgars Viļums/ Santa Dzalbe)
Hurra! Ace of Base are back…in the guise of three young girls. This number has loads going for it – bright and breezy, with a shameless flirt with reggae, Summer Night is lightweight pop at it’s best. Infuritatingly simple, almost inane is what makes the chorus of this song so lethally effective and once you get it in your head, you’ll have a hard time getting rid of it!

The result:

The five qualifiers are:

Triānas ParksUpside Down

Oksana ĻepskaLive On!

MusiqqAngel In Disguise

The SecretzSummer Night

Lauris ReiniksBanjo Laura 

Source: Eurovisionary
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