In Europe, one of my favourite places is Riga. It is a fantastic city that I love and cherish for many various reasons, and I always have a blast when I go there. So, I love Latvians and most of the things they are up to.
Therefore, I always make an extra effort to like the Latvian entries for Eurovision as well. I really, really want to like them. And sometimes it is hard.
This year's ditty, for instance, is an annoyingly simple little singalong about pirates, not very unlike DJ Bobo's vampire fiasco for Switzerland last year. (And isn't it exactly the same song as the one that finished second in Iceland?) I get the same kind of irritation as I felt about Norway last year - if you get a song from abroad, get a good one. If you set out to flop, it is better to do it with a domestic product. Why promote bad songwriting from another country? I just don't get it.
But on the other hand - Latvia has an almost spooky way of making their entries work live. They make the most appalling things look good when it comes down to business. So these pirates could very well make it to the final.
But aren't there too many jokes already?
Pirates Of The Sea - Wolves Of The Sea - Latvia 2008