The Shortlist (6): Latvia

Who are the big favorites for Stockholm? In the next couple of weeks we will highlight some interesting participants, based on the odds they have been given by the bookmakers. This week we are providing a shortlist of the four countries that lead the board in the second semi final. Today’s report is about Latvia.

Justs Sirmais aged twenty-one was originally a busker where he performed with his guitar on the streets of Riga and through hitchhiking in Paris. His participation in the Latvian selection Supernova was his debut in the music industry. Justs’ entry is written by last year’s Latvian Eurovision representative – Aminata Savadogo who came 6th in Vienna.

His musical influences include Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, The Neighbourhood and Glass Animals. Justs is also training to become a vocal coach for popular and jazz music with his long-term goal to open an alternative music school. During Supernova, Justs qualified to the national final through televote and continued to win the show with 40% of the televote ultimately to represent Latvia in Stockholm

His song “Heartbeat” is an electronic-synth track with similar uses of composition that Aminata utilised in her 2015 Latvian entry “Love Injected”. Ghostly synth chords with R&B-themed beats provide the overall tone for the entry to stand out. Justs’ vocal strength and current image help elevate the overall concept to a captivating performance worthy of Stockholm. Lyrically the song relates to the inner harmony and conflict between being in love and not having the one your love alongside you. Listen for yourself:

Explaining the odds
Latvia is currently very likely to qualify the second semi-final as they are currently second by to qualify by the bookmakers. They also have potential to win this year’s contest, as they stand fifth by the bookmakers to win Eurovision 2016.

Overall polls predict Latvia to continue its success in 2016 with odds of 17-to-1. This means that if you bet 1€ on Latvia to win the competition, you get 17€, seventeen times the return if you turn out to be right. Latvia is therefore among the outsiders in this year’s competition.