- Title: LATVIA: Tom Jones helps kick off Latvian New Wave contest
- Date: 25th July 2012
- Summary: AUDIENCE APPLAUDING
- Embargoed: 9th August 2012 13:00
- Location: Latvia
- Country: Latvia
- Topics: Arts
- Reuters ID: LVA4U0C2FCXCYNVVBEJQDBZUZDN8
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: 'New Wave' contestants hope the singing competition will be a step up to the international music stage.
The 11th international contest of young pop singers "New Wave" kicked off in the Latvian resort city Jurmala on Tuesday (July 24) with a total of 16 participants from various countries - Armenia, Belarus, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, Ukraine, Finland, and Latvia - taking part.
Participants arrived with great expectations and hopes of career prospects connected to their participation in the contest. The festival, that takes place in Latvia has served as a starting point for several Russian pop stars. For instance, the singer Dima Bilan participated in one of the initial festivals and appeared on the international stage for the first time in 2002, he later won 2008 Eurovision song contest.
"This is a very good start for new talents. A lot of Russian artists started their careers right at the "New Wave" festival. And we hope that it is going to be a very good start for us as well," said a competition participant Aleksandra Bartashevich from Belarus.
The contestants will perform their national hits as well as cover versions of internationally recognised songs. The participants will be judged by a jury consisting of Russian superstars.
"This is huge experience and these are not just mere words. This is experience not only for a new artist but also for a person as such, as Alexandr Revzin (the director of the event) is teaching a lot. Certainly, this is a chance to show yourself to a huge audience, meet eminent people and this means a lot as well," said participant from Ukraine Mariya Yaremchuk.
Russian TV channel Rossya is providing a live broadcast of the competition, which ensures the show millions of spectators. There are several of the richest people from Russia and former Soviet Union states among the audience of the event. Local media reports that a total of 16 billionaires will attend the contest.
"This is the best and most exciting large-scale competition in the near foreign countries. People from different countries come together here, they are interesting to make friends with and we have already formed an attachment to each other," said the participant from Russia Niloo.
In addition to the most popular Russian stars, internationally well-known artists take to the stage as well. This year these are going to be the British singer Tom Jones, Canadian singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado and South Korean lyric coloratura soprano Sumi Jo.
The competition takes place in Jurmala all week, and the winner of the "Crystal Wave" is to be announced on July 29.
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