The thirty-fourth artist in our Who Is series for the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest is Samanta Tina from Latvia.
Samanta Poļakova, better known as Samanta Tīna, was born on March 31 1989 in Tukums in western Latvia. She first came to public attention after winning the music show O!Kartes akadēmija, which allowed her to study in the Tech Music School in London. In 2012, she competed in the Slavianski Bazaar in Belarus and finished second overall. In 2016, she reached the top 8 of the third season of Lietuvos balsas (The Voice of Lithuania).
Samanta has attempted to compete at Eurovision on a number of occasions. In 2012, she finished second in Eirodziesma, performing the song “I Want You Back” along with Dāvids Kalandija. In 2013, she finished second as a solo artist with the song “I Need a Hero”. The same year, she took part in the Lithuanian national selection with Vudis performing “Hey Chiki – Mama”, which did not advance from the first heat.
In 2016, Samanta participated in Supernova with two songs. “We Live for Love” did not advance from the first heat. “The Love Is Forever” advanced to the semi-final from the second heat. After performing in the semi-final, Samanta decided to withdraw. In 2017, she participated in the Lithuanian national selection with Tadas Rimgaila. Their song “Tavo oda” did not advance from the first heat. In 2019, Samanta finished 7th in the final of Supernova with “Cutting the Wire”.
Before its cancellation, Samanta was selected to represent her country at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest after winning Supernova. She was due to sing “Still Breathing”, written and composed by Aminata Savadogo and Samanta herself.
Latvian broadcaster LTV announced that Samanta would go on to represent the country at this year’s contest. She will be singing “The Moon is Rising” and will perform in the second half of the second semi-final on May 14th.
Image Source: Lauris Vīksne
Latvia debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2000, being the last of the Baltic nations to join the contest. On their debut, Brainstorm finished in 3rd place with the song “My Star”. Latvia won the contest for the first and only time in 2002, with Marie N’s “I Wanna”. Latvia only participated in 2002 thanks to the withdrawal of Portugal from the contest, as Latvia’s poor result in 2001 had relegated them from the 2002 contest. Latvia struggled in to the contest after 2002, failing to qualify for the final for six years between 2009 and 2014. In 2015 and 2016 Latvia has finished 6th and 15th in the final respectively.