Latvia - Nathan Mountford

LTV Supernova 2018 is here. This year there will be 3 semi-finals with 7 songs in each competing for 6 spots in the Grand Final on the 24th February. Voting consists of 50% audience, 50% jury. The shows will be hosted by Justs Sirmais, whom you may remember from 2016, and Dagmara Legante. The set is clean and stylish with obvious similarities to Eurovision 2014. The graphics tie in well with the overall visuals.

It was great to see Justs, Agnese and Aminata revisit their songs and support the event. Check them out here.

Katrina Gupalo & The Black Birds - Intoxicating Caramel

Wow, what is that outfit? I imagined this as a classy jazz number. Katrina’s movements and facial expressions are distracting rather then enhancing. The Black Birds seam rather uninterested! Vocally and musically everything sounds good. My first reaction to this song before the semi-final “Old fashioned jazz number”, afterwards “Tackarama”

Rahu the Fool - Oh, Longriver

Hipster realness. Repetitive and not very original but somehow maintains an element of authenticity. Great to see people playing musical instruments. I enjoyed the violin solos. Well performed but this never really takes off. I guess it follows on from last year, stuck in the past!

DVINES - More Than Meets The Eye

Visually looks stylish, gold with a bit of sparkle always looks great. I like the camera angles and graphics (on the screens behind them and in the venue). I didn’t like the 1944 graphic reference. They sing well together and overall this looks professional compared to the previous two. More Than Meets The Eye starts out promising but doesn’t deliver what the title suggests! 

Agnese Stengrevics - You Are My World

Dance tracks get a hard time at Eurovision. This would have too. The lighting and tv graphics really give this song its edge. Her vocals are ok but she looks wooden and scripted, like “ok, go here, now do this” etc. I personally don’t like what her dancers are wearing, they look too casual and distract from the package. The song stands out but the performance is average.

Sudden Lights - Just Fine

At the beginning, and end, the longing in their eyes draw you into the performance. They look smart and have obviously all worked on producing this song and show. I like the lead singer’s wispy voice although I think he should have changed keys for the chorus.

Edgars Kreilis - Younger Days (QUALIFIED)

Justs 2018! This is by far the most ‘now’ song. The graphics look good and create enough visual quality to keep you watching. I’m not so sure about his vocals and the pronunciation of certain words need to be polished! But he looks confident and uses the stage well to engage the audience and create movement.

Liene Greifane - Walk the Talk (QUALIFIED)

Sandhja (Finland 2016) 2018! Liene is a confident performer and it shows. Visually, I personally think it’s a mess (she should have warn a glittery gold top instead of black)! I also think this song probably had a strong following post semi. The drum solo is cool and gives it a bit of dynamics.

Overall the show was better than I expected. I think Edgars and Liene had the most confident performances and therefor deserved to qualify. Next week stayed tuned for the review of Semi Final 2 with Chris Hockman.