Lettonie 2009

Latvia participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2009, marking its tenth entrance to Eurovision. Originally, after budget cuts were made by the Latvian government on the Latvian broadcaster, Latvijas Televīzija (LTV), announced plans to withdraw from the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 in Russia, but on 12 January 2009 it was announced by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) that Latvia will participate.[1][2]

Eirodziesma 2009, the Latvian national final, was held on 27 and 28 February. The ultimate winner of the contest was Intars Busulis with « Sastrēgums » (Traffic jam).[3] The song was performed at Eurovision in Russian as « Probka« .[4]

Possible boycott

Shortly after the 2008 South Ossetia war in Georgia, the Estonian Minister of Culture suggested a possible boycott of the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, held in Russia.[5] However, a different opinion arose in Latvia, with many calling for Latvia’s continued participation in the contest including Latvian composer Raimonds Pauls.[6][7] Latvian broadcaster Latvijas Televīzija (LTV) eventually announced their participation in the contest.[8]

Possible withdrawal

In December 2008 the Latvian government imposed budget cuts on LTV of over 2 million Lats (over 3 million). Because of this LTV were forced to cancel many planned shows for 2009, including Eirodziesma. On 17 December 2008, LTV confirmed that they had requested to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the organisers of Eurovision, their withdrawal from the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, due solely to the budget cuts that hindered the Latvian broadcaster from paying the participation fee for Eurovision.[9] After their intent was given to the EBU, talks between the two parties began for a way that LTV could participate in the contest.[10][11] However, their withdrawal request occurred 3 days after the deadline for participation, and it was rumoured that LTV would still have to pay the participation because the deadline had passed.[12] On 20 December 2008, LTV confirmed their withdrawal from the contest, having no penalty for withdrawing past the deadline.[13][14] However, on 12 January 2009 the final participants list for the 2009 contest was released, that confirmed Latvia will participate.[1][2]

Eirodziesma 2009

The Latvian selection for the 2009 contest will be Eirodziesma 2009. Changes had been made to the Eirodziesma format since the 2008 contest for the 2009 edition.

A deadline for entries for the contest was set at 30 November 2008. All songs entered could not have been made public before 1 October 2008, in line with Eurovision rules. Each songwriter could not have submitted more than two songs, and only a third of songs allowed to compete in the contest were to be by foreign authors. Songs submitted for preselection in other countries were also not allowed.[15][16]

The format of Eirodziesma had changed since the 2008 contest. Three semi finals were to have taken place during January and February 2009. Three songs from each selection out of nine were to qualify for the final through a mixture of jury and televoting. A 10th song was to be chosen at a Second Chance heat during the last semi final, and the public would have decided the final song to qualify through 100% televote. The final of Eirodziesma 2009 was to have taken place on 28 February 2009.[15][16] Due to financial difficulties, LTV were forced to cut down the number of semi-finals to be held from three to just one. The semi-final will take place on 27 February, with the final a day later on 28 February.[17]

108 songs were received by LTV to compete in Eirodziesma. 78 songs entered were by Latvian composers, with 30 songs being from international songwriters.[18][19] The 21 songs that were to have competed in the three semi-finals of Eirodziesma 2009 were announced on 9 December. Due to the cancellation of the show, followed by its reinstatement, LTV asked all participants to confirm their intent to participate in the semi-final. All of the initial 21 artists confirmed their intention to compete.[20]

A number of changes were made to the line-up before the semi-final. Kristīna Zaharova, who was to perform two songs in the contest, withdrew her song « I Wish I Could Pretend », composed by Lauris Reiniks and Gordon Pogoda, from the contest after being accepted into the Irish national final, held on 20 February.[21][22] Her remaining song, « Angel of Mine », composed by Martinš Freimanis, was then performed as a duet between her and Annija Putniņa.[23]

Two more changes to the line-up were also made: the song « In Love In Trust », originally to be performed by Aisha, Ella, Olga, will now be performed by Policistas, while « Have To Say Goodbye » will now be performed by Astra, instead of its composer Madara Celma. The running order was announced on 13 January.[23]


The semi-final of Eirodziesma 2009 was held on 27 February at the Olympic Center in Ventspils, hosted by Kristīne Virsnīte and Uģis Joksts.[24] Ten songs from the 20 that competed qualified to final on 28 February, selected by a national televote.[25][26]

Semi-final – 27 February 2009
Draw Artist Song Composer – Lyricist
1 Camillas « Time Goes » Romāns Falkenšteins, Ņina Kovaiko
2 Dace and Frīdis « Running Around » Mārtiņš Freimanis
3 Girts Zebuliņš « Place To Be » Andris Barons, Brita Barone, Diāna Dubrovska
4 Johnny Salamander « Party » Johnny Salamander (Jānis Gūža), Meldra Gūža
5 Miks Dukurs « Aizejot » Edijs Dukurs, Miks Dukurs
6 Iveta Baumane & Ivo Grīsniņš-Grīslis « Tic Tac » Ingars Viļums
7 Ginta Ēķe « Be Yourself » Kristaps Krievkalns, Ginta Ēķe
8 Natālija Tumševica « Dynamite » Mikael Erlandsson
9 Triānas parks « Call Me Any Time You Need A Problem » Aivars Rakovskis, Agnese Rakovska
10 Intars Busulis « Sastrēgums » Kārlis Lācis, Jānis Elsbergs
11 Kristīna Zaharova and Annija Putniņa « Angel of Mine » Mārtiņš Freimanis
12 Astra Dreimane « Have To Say Goodbye » Madara Celma
13 Edijs Šnipke « Make My Day » Edijs Šnipke
14 Ketta « Without You » Pavel Murashov
15 Policistas « In Love We Trust » Tomass Kleins, Guntars Račs
16 Fidji « Don’t Want To Say Goodbye » Katrīna Tene, Tarmo Keränen
17 Aisha feat. G-Point « Hey Hey Hey Hey » Kjell Jennstig, Leif Golkuhl
18 Simply 4 « When The Sun Is Going Down » Artūrs Palkevičs, Leonīds Jevsejevs, Sergejs Ivanovs
19 Sabīne Berezina feat. PeR « Bye, Bye » Markus Riva
20 Valters Frīdenbergs « For A Better Tomorrow » Valters Frīdenbergs


The final of Eirodziesma 2009 was held on 28 February, and feature the 10 qualifiers from the semi-final, held the previous day. Three songs were chosen by televoting and the votes of a jury to qualify to a « Super Final », where televoting alone decided the winner of the contest.[25][26]

Guests performing during the show included last year’s Eirodziesma winner and Latvian Eurovision entry Pirates of the Sea, Kristīna Zaharova with the runner-up song of the 2009 Irish national final « I Wish I Could Pretend », as well as Sasha Son and Lidia Kopania, the Lithuanian and Polish Eurovision entries respectively.[25][26]

The three songs that qualified to the Super Final were Intars Busulis with « Sastrēgums », Natālija Tumševica with « Dynamite » and Kristīna Zaharova & Annija Putniņa with « Angel of Mine ».[27]

Final – 28 February 2009
Draw Artist Song Composer – Lyricist
1 Simply 4 « When The Sun Is Going Down » Artūrs Palkevičs, Leonīds Jevsejevs, Sergejs Ivanovs
2 Aisha feat. G-Point « Hey Hey Hey Hey » Kjell Jennstig, Leif Golkuhl
3 Kristīna Zaharova & Annija Putniņa « Angel of Mine » Mārtiņš Freimanis
4 Sabīne Berezina feat. PeR « Bye, Bye » Markus Riva
5 Iveta Baumane & Ivo Grīsniņš-Grīslis « Tic Tac » Ingars Viļums
6 Intars Busulis « Sastrēgums » Kārlis Lācis, Jānis Elsbergs
7 Natālija Tumševica « Dynamite » Mikael Erlandsson
8 Camillas « Time Goes » Romāns Falkenšteins, Ņina Kovaiko
9 Triānas parks « Call Me Any Time You Need A Problem » Aivars Rakovskis, Agnese Rakovska
10 Ketta « Without You » Pavel Murashov

In the Super Final, the three qualifiers performed their songs once more. televoting selected the winner to be Intars Busulis with « Sastrēgums », beating Kristīna Zaharova & Annija Putniņa to second place.[3]

Draw Artist Song Composer – Lyricist Televote Place
1 Intars Busulis « Sastrēgums » Kārlis Lācis, Jānis Elsbergs 21027 1st
2 Natālija Tumševica « Dynamite » Mikael Erlandsson 5662 3rd
3 Kristīna Zaharova & Annija Putniņa « Angel of Mine » Mārtiņš Freimanis 19679 2nd

At Eurovision

Being neither part of the « Big Four » nor the host of the 2009 contest Latvia were obliged to compete in one of the two semi-final on 12 and 14 May. Latvia competed in the second semi-final on 14 May where Intars performed « Probka« , the Russian version of « Sastrēgums ». He failed to qualify to the final, relegating Latvia for the first time since 2004.

The postcard for Latvia contained the word « Borsch »(beetroot soup) at the end. However, another version, with the word « Ura! »(hurray!), can be found on the Internet.

Points Awarded by Latvia[28]

Points Awarded to Latvia (Semi-Final 2)
12 points 10 points 8 points 7 points 6 points
5 points 4 points 3 points 2 points 1 point


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  28. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 2008