Latvia has decided: it’s Anmary!
Saturday marked the final of Latvia’s “Eirodiezma”, their national final to determine who would carry the maroon and white to Baku. After ten songs were performed, a split jury/televote determined that Anmary’s “Beautiful Song” would have the honor:
Anmary (birth name: Linda Amantova) was, like her song states, born in 1980, and is a graduate of the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music. This isn’t her first shot at Eurovision; she performed as a member of the group “Policistas” during the 2009 Latvian National Selection, but failed to advance past the semifinal round with “In Love We Trust“.
As for my thoughts, I’ve never been a fan of the songs at Eurovision that reference the show itself, with the notable exception of Telex’s brilliant “Euro-Vision“, ironically from the year that Anmary was born. I personally feel that if the point of the ESC is to find the best song (or, at the very least, the most universally pleasing one), and a song can’t stand on its own outside of the context of the contest, it just doesn’t work. And if you do reference the Contest, an entry should go so completely off-the-wall that it’s at least amusing (check out this year’s bronze-medalist, “Music Thief“, for a perfect example!) Anmary’s voice isn’t the problem; that’s actually quite pleasant at times. She was just given an awkward, hokey platform to work on. Latvia hasn’t qualified for the final since 2008, but I simply can’t imagine that “Beautiful Song” is the entry to break that streak.