AS IT HAPPENED: Supernova 2017 Final!

It's finally here. No use ignoring it. Face facts. It's the final of Supernova, Latvia's competition to decide who it is going to send to the Eurovision finals in Kyiv, Ukraine this May. Updates below.

Has it ever happened to you that you go to bed in the middle of some important decision-making event, certain that when you wake up everything will be fine, only to discover upon regaining consciousness that everything is far from fine after all?

It's certainly happened to us, and on more than one occasion in the last few months. That's why, despite considering a boycott of this year's Supernova final, we decided to maintain our Liveblog tradition. Because if we don't watch it right through to the bitter end, something dreadful, and possibly cataclysmic, will happen.

This is the fourth week of Supernova, which means choosing a Eurovision entrant in Latvia actually takes about as long as forming a government.

We started with 22 hopefuls (though some of them were clearly in it either to make up the numbers or to have brief moment of low-grade provocation on national TV). After two shows, that got whittled down to 8 acts in the third week, billed as a "semi final".

Now we have just 4 acts in the final.

Yet the Supernova final will run for 145 minutes tonight. With a song lasting around 3 minutes, that means they are either going to play each one 12 times (which would probably qualify as a video installation) or there is going to be a heck of a lot of padding. 

The great news for Eurovision aficionados around the world is that the Supernova final will be broadcast live on the internet as well as on LTV1's TV channel in Latvia.

Start time is 21:25 Riga time (19:21 GMT) and the live weblink will be HERE.

And here's the official Supernova Twitter account.

Remember to use the hashtag #ltvsupernova if you want everyone else to see what you're writing.

And yes, while Latvian viewers will be hit by a barrage of advertising breaks, international viewers will be treated to the remarkable antics of Riga Beaver, aka #AdBreakBeaver, the world's only rapping, twerking, freestyling multilingual rodent.

If you've never encountered him before, well, you're in for a treat.

Follow his Twitter account HERE to see the sort of stuff he gets up to and his gnomic utterances on various topics.

Okay, we'll see you back online about half an hour before the Supernova explodes.

Not only can the international audience WATCH tonight's Supernova final, it can even VOTE. Yes, that's right folks, YOU sitting in your booth in Boston, your armchair in Amsterdam or your hammock in Haiti can have a say in who LATVIA sends to UKRAINE. And they say globalization is a bad thing?

"How do we do that?" we hear you pleading.

Well, it's all down to something called Spotify, which you probably know about. We've never used it in the LSM_Eng offices, so we haven't got a clue, and we think it sounds like some sort of test for measles. However, if you are familiar with Spotification, you can use your skills to vote for your favorite act tonight.

Indeed, it seems possible that you could vote for more than one act, or even all of them, which seems quite mad if you think about it.

This Tweet contains a link that will take you to the relevant Spotiferous page.

 

Ace LTV news reporter Anete Bertule has become a shoo-in for a Pulitzer with this report on how Riga Beaver has been psyching himself up for tonight's show -- as if he needed psyching up.

It's in Latvian but fun nevertheless and amounts to RB admitting he would have loved to compete to be sent to Kyiv himself, but unfortunately the rules mean animals are not allowed to compete.

That's true and most likely came as a result of the time Ireland entered a turkey named Dustin for Eurovision. You think we're joking? We're NOT.

Sound the sirens! Activate defensive shields! Set phasers to stun! We are just 15 minutes away from the start of Supernova as a consequence of which NORAD just went to DEFCON 2. All leave is hereby cancelled!

Just time for a final snack reminder. Many people like things to nibble on while watching Supernova, other than their partner's ear. Some go for potato chips and salsa dip, others prefer burritos with a variety of fillings, social climbers like canapes filled with mechanically recovered crab products. So if you need to go to the shop to stock up on carbohydrates, now is your last chance.

But this is Latvia's Supernova so I have prepared myself a typical Latvian dish of pumpkin chunks (pumpkin from my own garden) with accompanying pumpkin seeds and a selection of pumpkin rind to gnaw on when the voting gets tense. All washed down, naturally, with pumpkin wine! Mmm, delicious!

 

In a couple of hours' time we should hopefully know the answers to the following questions:

1) Who will go to Kyiv?
2) Who will finish second and therefore win next year instead?
3) Will any women be allowed on the jury?
4) What sort of raincoat will host Toms Grevins be wearing indoors this week?
5) Is judge Guntars Racs' hair all his own?

I don't know about you, but my attempt to watch online has been nuked on the launchpad with the internet telling me there is some sort of connectivity problem in Warsaw (!). I can only assume this is due to the massive global demand for Supernova.

Luckily I have a TV to hand and that is working.

We get a nice little feature of Santa Danelevica singing with kids. She seems a very nice young lady and is first to perform.

Last week she was all in white, this week all in black. If nothing else, she now has a wardrobe for any weddings or funerals she needs to attend.

She looks lovely by the way.

Her song musically quite good in a power ballady way, but the lyrics are very weak, like random selections from the "Getting to know people section of an English langage phrasebook.

She has a good voice and strikes us as a potential Edith Piaf who has unfortunately been handed a Celine Dion song to sing.

The judges start blathering, desperately trying to give new insights after the third time they have heard this song.

Actually, in many ways Santa is the real winner of Supernova already. She has risen to prominence, made a name for herself and being so young could probably win Supernova any year in the next 30 years even if she doesn't tonight. She has a great career in front of her whatever happens!

 

At last, a woman on the jury! And it's none other than Maria Naumova, Eurovision winner in 2002!

Also for some reason Toms Grevins (I just typed Tim Gavin by mistake, which kind of suits him) has ditched his safari suit and his flasher's mac from previous weeks and instead wears a royal blue blazer, giving him the appearance of an attendee at a Harry Potter fan convention.

 

We feel a bit sorry for former judge DJ Rudd who has been kicked off the jury and washed up as a commentator on the "alternative" commentary stream, which is almost as pointless as this liveblog.

During his time on the jury he did at least seem to understand (unlike the others) it is supposed to be a drama and as such, requires a 'baddie' for everyone to love to hate.

He provided a dynamic, in short. So for the record, DJ Rudd, thanks for being such a meanie -- you were the last jury member who should have got the chop!

Next up is 'The Ludwig', though we prefer to call him Der Ludwig. Forget about appealing to the Brits with a definite participle -- they have no chance this year after Brexit.

Der Ludwig looks a lot like his Mum. He has a nice family.

Yes, he looks a bit geeky, but in 10 years when he is a Silicon Valley billionaire, tonight's footage will be priceless.

What we really like about Der Ludwig is he actually appears to be enjoying the whole process, like he can't quite believe he got this far. And he gives a super performance of his very simple, sweet (and catchy) song.

Come on what's not to like about Der Ludwig?!

And he's also been very clever and active on social media getting everyone to listen to him on Spotify -- what else would you expect from a guy who is only a few years from a billion-dollar IPO?

Everyone laughs about Eurovision countries voting for each other just because they happen to share a border or voting against each other just because they once fought a war.

But judge Guntars Racs (a drummer, though not precisely of the John Bonham/Keith Moon type, more of the country-club-member who shaves three times a day type) reveals this operates at the micro-level too by saying how pleased he is that Der Ludwig is from Liepaja, while he is from just up the road in Talsi.

Basically as Maria Naumova actually won Eurovision, the acts should just listen to her. 

Now we get an insight into the family life of group My Radiant You. Guess what? They also seem to be a nice family.

Their song is pure mid-tempo AOR of a conventional but not unpleasant type. If a suitable product could be found, marketing men would like to use it. I see laughing couples in cabriolets on a surprisingly good value package holidays in Greece.

Shades of Katrina and the Waves meets Crowded House. Trouble is there are usually at least four or five such songs at every Eurovision final. Nevertheless, this is a superior iteration of the type, though it seems Eurovision winners need some additional gimmick -- and this is completely gimmick free (to its credit).

Unsurprisingly, Guntars Racs, king of middle-of-the-road music is dazzled, describing it as "something everyone can like". He is definitely an "all of the people some of the time" guy rather than a "some of the people all of the time" guy. There, I just compared Guntars Racs with Abraham Lincoln.

The internet coverage is back. It's an ad break.

Oh my word, the Beaver is doing a balloon dance.

To dub reggae.

While rapping in a strange French dialect.

This is MARVELLOUS!

I'm going to line the sky, grabbing the cloud

And when I'm grabbing the cloud I'm going to say look at me, TIDDYWIBBLEINDEGAIDAMONSIEURJEMANPATIK

Here's comes de prophecy about de Beaver

Some day de Beaver will be de one who announce the results from Eurovision.

If your mind has not yet been blown, he starts throwing old skool moves to a jungle bassline!

BEAVER AM DA REAL TING! BABYLON BEAVER!

The final act is Triana Park, whom I perhaps unfairly referred to as Transvision Park in a previous show.

We don't know about their family life, but they are having a jam session in a reclaimed sauna.

On stage they are consistent advocates of wearing reflective and high-visibility materials. Essential on Latvia's dark winter roads. Great example to the kids.

The song is sort of Roxette/Texas meets Garbage/Electronica but does not rock nearly as hard as they seem to think it rocks.

Like Transvision Vamp.

It's not for me, but clearly many in the audience disagree and emit numerous teen screams.

Okay, so we've seen all the acts and we still have an hour to fill. Ho hum.

Meanwhile here is a weak visual joke for the Latvian-speaking audience: četri baltie krekli!

Asked to sum up what they have seen, even the judges basically admit they have run out of material and simply repeat each other.

It seems there really are a lot of foreigners watching Supernova. Check the Twitter hashtag #ltvsupernova for forensic evidence.

A few notable examples below while judge Intars Busulis performs a song. He was last in his heat when he represented Latvia in Eurovision. Despite having some excellent musicians on stage with him tonight, his song about some sort of trouble in heaven is forgettable once again.

He is a very good jazz trombonist: FACT!

 

The voting has been done. The hosts perform some excellent padding work to cover up for the fact that there is too much time to fill.

And now we have the return of last year's Supernova winner, Justs, who did quite creditably in the finals.

However, this new song is like Justin Timberlake diluted to aromatherapy-like levels of intensity.

"Should I send a message to you?" he asks repeatedly.

Too late, Justs, voting already closed!

More swamp-dwelling antics with Da Beeva starting off in a more chilled Ibiza dance-trance vibe.

But that doesn't last long. Soon he is pogo-ing like a skinhead on a trampoline. Actually, it may just be a seizure.

A member of Triana Park challenges him to a dance-off.

"You have to have the mermaid!" screams beaver, inexplicably.

He has seen things we can only imagine.

Meanwhile there is a definite look of fear in the eyes of the judges, as if they are desperately trying to remember new words they haven't said for a long time.

They offer vague words of encouragement, like career advisers during an unemployment crisis. 

Oh man, that was a bit lame.

Asked to announce the winner's name, the judge on the end, Kaspars Roga said words to this effect:

"Latvia is a green and pleasant land with lots of open spaces and PARKS. And so it's appropriate that the the winner is... Triana PARK!" 

Geddit?

There is something of a feeling of anti-climax in all honesty.

Anyway, well done to Triana Park and good luck to them in Kyiv. Here's the winning song.

Well done to the presenters for their four-week toil. And well done to Riga Beaver for not selling out.

Good night if it's night where you are and have a nice day if it's the morning.

'Bye.

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