ESC 2010 Reviews: Latvia
So the next stop on our whirlwind tour of the 2010 participants in the Eurovision Song Contest is Latvia. They were the last of the Baltic States to join the ESC (in 2000), and they debuted with a bit of a splash. Riga band Brainstorm (also known by their Latvian name, Prāta Vētra) performed “My Star“, a sweet and melodic Brit-rock-influenced song, kicked into high gear by lead singer Renārs Kaupers‘s insane dance moves. (Latvia must be on the forefront of some major medical research…Kaupers had the bottom half of his body surgically replaced with pipe cleaners and bendy straws!) Renārs and his crazy legs took Latvia to a bronze-medal finish in their debut entry, and the nation claimed victory in the contest only two years later, with Marie M’s “I Wanna“, a completely standard Latin-inflected number that was honestly only memorable for its fantastic costume change. (My apologies to all Latvian fans out there…but I preferred Brainstorm!)
Since Marie’s victory, Latvia’s kind of wandered through the Eurovision woods, with a string of generally less-than-memorable performances. They’ve tried rock, popera, acapella (the first instrument-free song in Eurovision history), and, in a possible moment of pure desperation, piracy.
This year, Latvia’s asking for help from a higher power to get them out of the semifinals, sending Aisha with “What For (Only Mr. God Knows Why)”. Now, Aisha’s voice isn’t bad by any stretch, and she’s definitely cute enough to garner a few votes from some of the 13-year-old boys watching the contest, but this song just kind of mystifies me. It’s kind of depressing at times, and confusing at others. Who the heck is Uncle Joe? Why can’t he speak? Does Mr. God have a first name? Does he need an upgrade in his cellular service? What the heck is going on here? I don’t know if I should be taking this song seriously or not, and I doubt it will break through to the finals. If God’s phone is out of range, can Aisha expect Eurovison voters to have any better luck?