In the last few days, Estonian broadcaster ERR (Eesti Rahvusringhääling) has opened the submissions process for the 2017 edition of their Eurovision selection process Eesti Laul. In addition, they have confirmed the rules of the competition which have clarified that the rumours suggesting that foreign songwriters and composers were to be allowed to take part for the first time were indeed correct.

However, rather than letting the competition become a free-for-all, the rules state that at least half of the submitted song must be created by Estonian nationals and/or residents of Estonia. In addition, the rules state that the song cannot be completely produced by foreigners with only the lyrics being the Estonian contribution, therefore suggesting that Estonians must be involved in the production of the entry in some way.

Speaking to the official ERR website, Eesti Laul’s executive producer Mart Normet explains that the decision to allow foreign songwriters and composers is being taken with caution in an attempt to ensure that the competition doesn’t become overrun with formulaic pop songs with no Estonian connection. He continues to explain that the aim is to bring in new ideas and provide new opportunities that can enrich Estonian music through co-operation.

Submissions for Eesti Laul 2017 close on November 1st at 3pm local time. The semi-finals will take place on February 11th and February 18th 2017 with the live final taking place on March 4th at the host venue of the 2002 Eurovision Song Contest – the Saku Suurhall arena – which hosted the Eesti Laul final for the first time this year in response to the competition’s increasing popularity both inside and outside Estonia.

Jüri Pootsmann was victorious in this year’s edition of Eesti Laul but finished in last place in the first semi-final in Stockholm. Do you think the big rule change for 2017 will see Estonia return to success and potentially score a fourth top 10 finish since 2009? Let us know in the comments below!

My first memory of watching the Eurovision Song Contest was back in 2001 and, over the years, my passion and enthusiasm for the contest has very much turned into an obsession. I adore music and I love geography, so this contest is a natural fit for me. If la la loving Eurovision was a crime, I'd certainly be a criminal!

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