With a results drought of 4 years and counting and dwindling interest in the contest on a national level, Latvian broadcaster LTV decided to amend participation rules once more and allow overseas composers to compete for the first time in four years. This resulted in a bumper crop of entries, but will it help increase Latvian interest in the contest?
The first part of the plan appears to have worked, with broadcaster LTV confirming yesterday that a record number of 122 submissions had been received. Coincidentally, the reinstatement of the rule allowing foreign composerts to participate ties in nicely with the fact that it is already four years since Latvia last managed to gain a place in the final, back in Belgrade at the 2008 contest with Pirates of the Sea and their Swedish written Wolves of the Sea. As the saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so we will just have to sit back and wait until the contest in May to see whether or not this theory holds water.
Although eager to reimplement the possibility for foreign composers to submit entries, rules concerning the nationality of any performer remain unchanged – any artist wishing to perform an entry has to hold Latvian citizenship.
In the meantime, an expert jury has been appointed to sift through all 122 entries, with the formidable task of selecting 24 songs to take part in the national selection. Those successful in their bid to make the semi finals will be revealed on the 11th of December, a mere 10 days away. It certainly looks like the jury has a busy 10 days ahead of them. Both Latvian semi finals are set to take place on the 8th and 9th of February, with the national final, almost in what has become accordance with tradition, set to take place on the 16th of February from the city of Ventspils.
Latvia failed to advance from their semi for the fourth consecutive year with the song Beautiful Song sung by Anmary in Baku