Estonia – Eesti Laul’s full line up has been revealed by ERR, the national broadcaster in charge of the contest. Many returnees in what most fans hope will be a return to form of the once best national final eac year. There will be two semifinals of 12 artists each and one final of 12 again, 6 from each semi, on February 29th.
The format hasn’t changed all that much through the years: two semi-finals, half of the entries in each qualify to the final and that’s about it. Sure, we moved from 10 songs in each semi to 12, meaning 6 qualify instead of 5. People hoped it would mean more diversity and fun entries, the way only EL provided through the years, but it didn’t. We also got a move from prerecorded shows (and vocals) in semi to all three shows being live TV. But nothing helped: the level of interest has therefore plummeted along with the qualify of the contest. It’s still wacky fun, excellent hosting throughout, a rather cozy atmosphere: something familiar still we all wish would return to form. Because the songs weren’t all that. However, Estonia did break the 3 year spell (2009, the year EL replaced Eurolaul, 2012, 2015, 2018), qualifying in 2019 with a Stig Rasta penned song and a vanishing guitar.
So what will it be this year? Tomi Rahula, the producer of the show, is confident the level of songs submitted is high. However, it went down from 216 in 2019 to only 178 this year. Foreign songwriters were eligible to submit songs; a fee was imposed on songs being submitted to the contest, with 25 Euros for Estonian language songs and 50 Euros for songs in other languages. The selection jury consisted of Andres Puusepp, Anu Varusk, Birgit Sarrap, Daniel Levi, Eda-Ines Etti, Hendrik Sal-Saller, Jüri Makarov, Kaupo Karelson, Lauri Hermann, Madis Aesma, Maiken, Owe Petersell, Sten Teppan and Vaido Pannel.
Semi-Final 1, University of Tartu Sports Hal, February 13th
- Beautiful Lie – Jaagup Tuisk (Jaagup Tuisk)
- Break Me – Laura Põldvere (Janne Hyöty, Jessica Hyöty & Laura Põldvere)
- By My Side – STEFAN (Karl-Ander Reismann & Stefan Airapetjan)
- Lean On Me – Ziggy Wild (Laura Prits, Valdur Viiklepp, Sander Nõmmistu & Henri-Hannes Sell)
- Leelo – Kruuv (Allan Kasuk)
- Out In Space – SHIRA (SHIRA & Karl-Ander Reismann)
- Unistustes – Mariliis Jõgeva (Mariliis Jõgeva & Oliver Mazurtšak)
- Videomäng – Renate (Renate Saluste)
- What Love Is – Uku Suviste (Uku Suviste & Sharon Vaugh)
- Without a Reason – Little Mess (Ebbe Ravn, Timo Vendt, Mihkel Mattisen & Tanja Mihhailova-Saar)
- Üks kord veel – Traffic (Victor Crone, Fred Krieger, Vallo Kikas & Stig Rästa)
- Young – Rasmus Rändvee (Karl-Ander Reismann & Rasmus Rändvee)
Semi-Final 2, University of Tartu Sports Hal, February 15th
- I’m Sorry. I Messed Up – Uudo Sepp (Andrei Zevakin)
- Georgia (On My Mind) – Egert Milder (Kaspar Kalluste, Matteo Capreoli & Egert Milder)
- Heart Winder – German & Violina (Timo Vendt, Ebbe Ravn, Carine-Jessica Kostla & Liis-Marii Vendt)
- Hingelind – Janet (Marek Rosenberg, Lauri Lembinen, Kadri Lepik & Janet Vavilov)
- Kapa Kohi-LA – Viinerid (Peter Põder, Hardo Hansar & Martti Kask)
- Kirjutan romaani – Revals (Jaanus Saago)
- Majakad – Synne Valtri feat. Väliharf (Synne Valtri, Jaanus Viskar, Toomas Laur, Gert Gregor Källo & Aapo Ilves)
- Miljon sammu – Merilin Mälk (Jonas Olsson, Neea Jokinen, Jana Hallas & Merilin Mälk)
- Only Dream – INGER (Inger Fridolin & Karl-Ander Reismann)
- Ping Pong – Jennifer Cohen (Jennifer Cohen & Luisa Lõhmus)
- Right Time – INGA (Peter Põder, Allan Kasuk, Raul Krebs & Inga Tislar)
- Write About Me – Anett x Fredi (Frederik Küüts & Anett Kulbin)
The final will take place in Tallinn’s Saku Suurhall on February 29th.