Spotlight on Samanta Tina - Latvia 2020/21
Samanta Tina, who would have been the 2020 Latvian entrant, must be delighted that the Latvian Broadcaster, LTV, have announced that she will be coming back for Rotterdam 2021 with some fresh music. We know that Samanta wants to be on that Eurovision stage badly, having attempted to represent her country in the Eurovision Song Contest five times previously!
Count them… 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2019. Finally in 2020 she won the national preselection Supernova.
Did you know? She also competed in the Lithuanian Eurovision pre-selection twice, in 2013 and 2017! She loves Eurovision so much that, in 2019, she even wrote her graduating paper based on an analysis of the national selections in Latvia and Lithuania. Super fan!
Latvia has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 20 times since 2000 and won the contest in 2002, with Marie N and the song "I Wanna", defeating Malta by a mere 12 points and hosting the following year in the capital, Riga. Latvia then sadly had a run of poor luck, not performing in the final from 2009 – 2014. In 2015 Latvia were back on from with Aminata, who co-write Samanta’s 2020 entry ‘Still breathing’, performing ‘Love Injected’, gaining a very respectable 6th place:
Latvia clearly want some of that magic again this year, with Aminata being heavily involved in the creation of their 2020 entry. Latvia have tried lots of things over the years on their path to Eurovision success, even using Spotify data as part of their Eurovision vote in 2017, selecting Triana Park with their song ‘Line’ as their entrant.
Eurovision isn’t the only televised competition that Samanta hasn’t taken part in; in fact she’s quite the enthusiast for the format having appeared on the Lituanian version of ‘The Voice’, coming runner up on Belarusian ‘Slavianski Bazaar’ and winning both the Moldovan talent show ‘Golden Voice’ and Latvian music show ‘O!Kartes akadēmija’. Wow!
This brings us to 2020 where Samanta’s offering would have been ‘Still Breathing’, a powerful song about strong women and the unrealistic standards that they are held to in our society; being able to ‘breathe’ and still be successful really resonated with the fans. In an interview with ESC Bubble, Samanta described an ‘empowered energy’ with strong female dancers.
This is what Samanta had to say after her win at the National Final:
“I feel so happy. Finally, it has happened, and I have this happiest ticket to Rotterdam. Yes, I am ready and my message for Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest is that Latvia is still breathing and yes, we can!”
So what’s in store for 2021? The suggestion is rather than having another song internally selected, there will be a television show involved in some form to select Samanta Tīna’s song for 2021. Good thing Samanta knows her way around a music TV show!
If you haven’t had enough of Samanta, check out her cover of Ani Lorak’s ‘Shady Lady’ in Eurovision Home Concert Episode 5: