As we move on to Latvia there’s just enough time to reminisce over our thoughts on another nation’s song. What did #YOU think of Belarus and “Forever”? lorens (Forum) – “Not a fan of the new version either, but somehow Belarus is the underdog I hope will do better than expected!” lacrymea (Forum) – “I actually love this song. Only heard the studio version though. But i really like it and placed it high in my top 10. Too bad the running order sent it to the slaughter house.” mauve (Forum) – “I really don’t know what to make of Belarus … I really liked the original video. Then I hated the live version because he couldn’t hit the notes. Now this new version, his singing is better, but I miss the musical vibes from the original version. Unfortunately it doesn’t sound so good anymore.” Some mildly positive vibes with a little negativity for Belarus, and this approach is reflected in the ‘televoting’ score of 47 points. We’ll see how this leaves them later on in this article. Up next, it’s Latvia! 26. LATVIA – Laura Rizzotto – Funny Girl 9 points Christian – “Finally a voice that stands out for me and I like the James Bond-esque instrumentation. At first the title made me think of Barbra Streisand (yes I am that old). Then Laura’s surname made me hungry. I hope and pray that Laura has learned to control her voice so that she will not be out of breath in her live vocal performance. But I feel confident about that. It is nerve wrecking to be live on TV, so if she gets her nerves under control I will forget about feeding Barbra and just be amused by a great singer that does stand out.” 7 points Connor – “Laura obliterated Supernova in Latvia with “Funny Girl,” and all she had to do was serve pure drama. While I adore and love her and her song, I’m not sure how well it will fare in the semi-final. Her fate will be determined by how much pull she gets in the voting, but honestly I wouldn’t be mad if she placed in the Top 10 and kicked out one of my favorites.” Efe – “WOW! Laura’s voice is so strong and appealing. After Riga party, I can certainly say that Latvia really deserves to be in the final this year. I hope she’ll combine her beautiful voice with a powerful performance in Lisbon. Good luck!” Matt – “Laura is an interesting artist, very expressive and captivating. The song has a certain charm and I am quite into it. It has an old-school feel to it without feeling outdated. It has somewhat of a hook, although I wish it had that IT moment which I’m missing. But overall a solid effort from Latvia.” Stefan – “Out of the James Bond songs this year, this one is my favorite. Laura also has something that charms me so I hope after the last years crime over Latvian entry that she will at least qualify for the final.” Zack – “What a strange song. Like I said about Croatia, I feel this and “Crazy” are like sister songs. However, this song is definitely the mature older sister, more confident in itself (despite the song content!). A welcome addition to the Eurovision family.” 6 points Calvin – “I’m really conflicted about Latvia’s entry. On the one hand, the composition is one of my favorites of the year. The melody in the chorus is a truly excellent part of the song, and I love the orchestrations. But Laura’s slightly nasal tone undersells it and makes it sound weaker, taking away the power of the melody. She doesn’t sound confident in what she’s singing. I still really appreciate a lot of what’s going on here and see a lot of value in the song – just not how it’s presented.” Sean – “The only song this year I have had the benefit of hearing live while at Supernova, and it was by no means my favourite in that field but I can see why it won. I like the understated electronic beats that, while they scarcely make their prescence known, certainly keep the song flowing to a unique beat. She has stage prescence and top vocals to boot, but the song may find itself a little lost in this year’s line-up. I worry for Latvia being forgotten about this year, but it’s just not quite punchy enough…” 4 points David – “Not so funny girl after all, maybe a bit more psychotic? Jokes aside, this is a somewhat nifty little song, but I fear it can get lost somewhere. You have to be willing to give this a chance, which I did, but it took me some time as well. I’m also lacking some sort of hook as well, and I pay a lot more attention to the lyrics, when listening to this song, so this is why I believe it can get lost.” 2 points Robert – “Oh dear, this is a bit of a nothing song, isn’t it? The minimalist feel to the music does not do a lot for the song as it is, to be quite honest, boring. Laura can certainly sing, but the song doesn’t really let her show off her talents properly and instead is quite insipid. It needs more to happen! It doesn’t have a hook, there’s no powerful or emotional note and the music is almost non-existent. I am surprised this actually managed to win the selection as it is totally forgettable as an entry.” Some decent points there for Latvia and a score of 62 points from our jury. Let’s take a look at how this shapes the scoreboard, and where Belarus place… 🇮🇱 Israel – Netta – Toy (157) 🇫🇷 France – Madame Monsieur – Mercy (153) 🇧🇬 Bulgaria – Equinox – Bones (153) 🇲🇰 (FYR) Macedonia – Eye Cue – Lost and Found (153) 🇵🇹 Portugal – Cláudia Pascoal – O jardim (144) 🇫🇮 Finland – Saara Aalto – Monsters (142) 🇳🇱 Netherlands – Waylon – Outlaw in ’em (137) 🇨🇾 Cyprus – Eleni Foureira – Fuego (130) 🇨🇭 Switzerland – Zibbz – Stones (129) 🇭🇺 Hungary – AWS – Viszlát nyár (127) 🇷🇴 Romania – The Humans – Goodbye (127) 🇨🇿 Czech Republic – Mikolas Josef – Lie to Me (120) 🇩🇪 Germany – Michael Schulte – You Let Me Walk Alone (120) 🇦🇿 Azerbaijan – Aisel – X My Heart (116) 🇦🇱 Albania – Eugent Bushpepa – Mall (115) 🇭🇷 Croatia – Franka – Crazy (113) 🇪🇸 Spain – Alfred & Amaia – Tu canción (112) 🇷🇸 Serbia – Sanja Ilić & Balkanika – Nova deca (109) 🇲🇹 Malta – Christabelle – Taboo (107) 🇬🇧 United Kingdom – SuRie – Storm (104) 🇱🇹 Lithuania – Ieva Zasimauskaite – When We’re Old (102) 🇧🇾 Belarus – Alekseev – Forever (96) 🇲🇩 Moldova – DoReDos – My Lucky Day (96) 🇳🇴 Norway – Alexander Rybak – That’s How You Write a Song (88) 🇸🇲 San Marino – Jessika ft. Jenifer B – Who We Are (76) 🇱🇻 Latvia – Laura Rizzotto – Funny Girl (62) Belarus go fourth bottom in the current rankings, however their superior ‘televote’ score sees them go above Moldova. Israel still hold on firm with less than half of the songs to come. Now it’s up to #YOU! What are your thoughts on the Latvian entry this year? Share your short reviews with us below in the comments, on our forum HERE or on social media @escunited and we’ll share the best on the website tomorrow! And make sure to vote in the ‘televote’ poll below! Speaking of tomorrow, it’s the turn of Iceland to face the panel. But what will be the choice of our jury members in scoring the song?