Latvia has selected the two singers that will represent them at the 26th edition of Slavianski Bazaar this July in Belarus.
Latvia held the final of selection process for Slavianski Bazaar 2017 on Saturday in Riga, with two singers being selected to represent the country in Belarus. The competition saw each performer in both the Children’s and International Pop Song Performers Contest, perform two songs for the jury. On the jury were:
- Aleksandr Sidorenko – Director of Slavianski Bazaar
- Ilona Bagele – Latvian National Opera
- Edgars Augstkalns – Ghetto Faktors Producer
- Jelena Lorena Svilpe – Organiser of the Latvian selection
- Daila Martinsone – Artistic Director
Selected to represent Latvia at the Children’s Contest was Liene Zegele, the following young performers were awarded jury prizes for their performances; Darta Stepanova, Emils Gugis, Arye Lerman, Anna Vansovica, Sintija Ivbule.
In the International Pop Song Performers Contest it was Sabine Berezina who beat off the competition to travel to Belarus this July. She has been performing since she was a child, having tired to represent Latvia at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2005. In recent years Sabine Berezina has been a finalist in the “Golden Stag” competition in Romania, as well as attempting to represent Latvia at the Eurovision Song Contest on six times between 2008 and 2016.
Latvia has a mixed record at the contest having finished within the top five of the International Pop Song Performer’s competition just once. Samanta Tina finished second in the competition in 2012, since participating in Slavianski Bazaar, Samanta has tried to represent Latvia and Lithuania at the Eurovision Song Contest.
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Slavianski Bazaar has been held annually in Vibetsk, Belarus since 1992. The event consists of two competitive contests, the International Pop Song Performers Contest for singers age 18 to 31, and the Children’s Contest for those age between 7 and 12. The competition is popular in the former Soviet Union, Baltic States and the Balkans. Winners include Ruslana, Zeljko Joksimovic, Donny Montell and Alyona Lanskaya. The Children’s Contest has been held since 2003 and former winners include singers who have gone on to compete in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. This includes former winner Ksenia Sitnik who won for Belarus in 2005.