Latvia to perform last in Eurovision semi-final

Latvia’s entry in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest will perform last during the semi-final competition scheduled May 10, according to results of the draw announced March 12 in Helsinki.—a vocal sextet composed of Andris Ābelīte, Andris Ērglis, Normunds Jakušonoks, Roberto Meloni, Zigfrīds Muktupāvels and Kaspars Tīmanis—will perform 28th, right after Austria. If is among the top 10 based on telephone voting on May 10, then it will advance to the final on May 12, joining nine other semi-final winners plus the top 10 finalists from last year’s contest, as well as France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom.

The question is whether six qualified Latvian singers perfomed “Questa notte,” a song in Italian, have a prayer going up against songs that no doubt will have broader popular appeal. But this is Eurovision, which last year was won by Finland’s reptilian monster rockers LORDI performing “Hard Rock, Hallelujah!”

Last year in Athens, Latvia’s a capella group Cosmos came in 16th overall.

Marija Naumova and Prāta Vētra have brought home the best results. Naumova—who performed second to last—shocked a lot of observers and viewers with her 2002 victory in Tallinn, Estonia, which led to Latvia hosting the contest in 2003. Pop band Prāta Vētra took third place in 2002, performing fourth from last in the contest held in Stockholm.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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