Norway wins Eurovision Song Contest, Latvia left in dust

Norway has won this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, gaining the right to host next year’s competition. Belarus-born performer Alexander Rybak and the song “Fairytale” earned an amazing 387 points.

Eurovision this year was held in Moscow. A total of 25 countries, including Estonia and Lithuania, competed in the May 16 final in Olimpisky Indoor Arena.

Latvia’s Intars Busulis, who decided to sing the song “Sastrēgums” in Russian rather than Latvian, failed to make it out of the semi-finals held May 14-15. The song, with music by Kārlis Lācis and lyrics by poet Jānis Elsbergs, was turned into “Probka.”

Norway walked away with the contest. Really, it killed, setting a new record for total points. As voting results were announced from the 42 countries participating in Eurovision, the real battle was for second place. Iceland and Azerbaijan exchanged spots at least a couple of times, but in the end the island nation took second with 218 points.

Estonia’s Urban Symphony held up honorably, earning 129 points and sixth place.

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

7 thoughts on “Norway wins Eurovision Song Contest, Latvia left in dust

  1. I was saddened to hear a ‘Latvian’ singing in Russian and very badly at that. Shame on you! This man should be taken to the Occupation Museum on 14th June for some lessons in history.

  2. Interesting to see that the Norwegian entry displayed a mix of modernity and folk elements. Maybe Latvian musicians could take something from the rich traditions of Latvian music and use it in their songs, instead of cowering behind an inferiority complex and producing highly derivative material? Interesting to see more songs performed in national languages than in previous years. Honestly, I don’t think it’s the language that gets you the votes. It’s the show, the cuteness factor, and the catchiness of the melody. Another reason for Latvia’s Eurovision hopefuls to sing in Latvian. But the serf mentality dies hard.

  3. I was sad to see that latvian band lost in semi-final. it is not a matter of language (see for example what has happenef to estonian group). hope next year will be better one. regards from israel.

  4. Never cared about the whole contest and never will, just wanted to note that the “singer” was not a latvian, but a full fledged post-soviet toady running back and forth trying to please and fawn rich drunk russians already accustomed to the east european “culture” and this time should have been locked up for choosing to perform in russian, giving Europe and pretty much the rest of the world the wrong impression of the country when there’s already so much confusion and misinterpretations about it. Maybe next time choose to sing in something like turkmen or ubangi nigerian?

  5. Yeah, by singing in Russian, Intars Busulis sold out, big time. Never liked him much, will definitely ignore him from now on. None of the serious musicians in Latvia take Eurovision seriously because of its “cheese factor”, so there’s no real hope of ever getting a decent candidate from Latvia in there again.

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