ESCXTRA’s 2018 Hopefuls: Estonia

Welcome to our brand new weekly series, ‘ESCXTRA’s 2018 Hopefuls’, in which we will tell you who we would like to see in Eurovision next year! This series will keep you entertained with new music from across Europe every Monday until the national final season begins next year, and may give you somebody new to root for to represent your country!  Today, we look at who we want to see represent Estonia in Eurovision 2018. Let’s get started!


You’ll recognise Kerli Kõiv from last year’s Eesti Laul, in which she was the big favourite to win with her song, Spirit Animal. However, she was the runner-up to Koit Toome and Laura. She rose to fame after winning the Baltic song contest Fizz Superstar, and gaining a singing contract with Universal Republic Records. Since then, she has released an album, Love is Dead, and released many singles!

Kerli’s style is undeniably unique, and her music is the same. Her music sticks in your head, it’s so catchy despite being so different to what you would normally hear. Kerli would be a great choice for Estonia in Eurovision, all she needs is for Estonia to support her and vote for her this time!

Sandra Nurmsalu

Sandra Nurmsalu became known in Estonian when she won Eesti Laul 2009 as part of Urban Symphony with the song Rändajad. Since competing in Eurovision, Sandra has gained a large fan base across Europe. In 2014, she tried to represent Estonia again, this time as a soloist. Despite being the big favourite to win, she came only fifth in the Eesti Laul final with Kui tuuled pöörduvad.

Sandra’s music has a beautiful, mystical feel to them. Singing in Estonian gives the song an unusual vibe, but it works wonderfully with the ethnic instrumentation! A song from Sandra would do well in Eurovision, she’d stand out without being too loud or in your face about it!

Jüri Pootsmann

Jüri represented Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 with his song Play. Many fans loved his song, but because of a performance described by some as creepy and lack-lustre, he came last, achieving Estonia’s worst result ever in the contest. We think that he could (if he got the performance right) do well for Estonia!

Jüri’s music is inspired by jazz, but he adds his own spin to it. Since Eurovision, his style seems to have changed slightly; his music has become more radio-friendly, and less niche. So, perhaps now his music could appeal to more people, it’s the perfect time for him represent Estonia in Eurovision again?

Grete Paia

Grete Paia has competed twice in Eesti Laul, in 2013 with Päästke noored hinged, and in 2016 with Stories Untold. In Eesti Laul 2013, she was actually the runner-up, missing out on winning by only 2.2%!

Grete’s music is exactly the sort of thing you’d expect to hear on the radio, sung by a bigger artist. It’s a wonder that she herself isn’t a bigger artist in Estonia! Someone like Grete Paia is what is needed for Estonia in Eurovision, to pull them out of their current streak of bad results.


In 2003, Iiris Vesik won third place in the Estonian singing competition Tähtede laul, and then also won third place in 2007 in Kaks Takti Ette. She has attempted to represent Estonia in 2008 with Ice-Cold Story, which came second in Eurolaul, and then came 4th with Astronaut in 2010. She also co-wrote Cartoon and Kristel Aaslaid’s Immortality for Eesti Laul 2016!

Iiris’ music style has been compared to that of Björk, Florence & The Machine, Kate Bush, and Regina Spektor. Her cute, yet eclectic style works fantastically with the catchy tunes she performs. Iiris would be too cute for Europe to not vote for!

Elina Born

Elina Born rose to fame after placing second in season 5 of the Estonian singing competition, Eesti otsib superstaari. She then went on to compete in Eesti Laul 2013 with Enough and came 4th. If you only watch Eurovision, you’ll probably know her from 2015, when she represented Estonia alongside Stig Rästa with the song Goodbye To Yesterday. Last year, she attempted to represent Estonia again as a soloist with In Or Out, but disappointingly came in last place.

We were so shocked to see In Or Out come last in the Eesti Laul final! The song is catchy and Elina performs it fantastically, as she does in most performances! Hopefully, if Elina were to try again, Estonia won’t be so harsh to her; it really would be great to see her represent Estonia in Eurovision as a soloist.

Tommy Cash

Tommy Cash is one of Estonia’s biggest music exports. However, he’s a bit different to the other acts we’ve talked about above. He describes his music as “post-soviet rap”. But, despite how bizarre this sounds, it’s actually pretty good! Have a listen for yourself:

Tommy’s music is so different and weird that he would be bound to stand out in Eurovision. But his music is still so enjoyable that he would rake in the points for Estonia! He’s also really interesting to watch when he performs live, so he seems to be the perfect combination.

Liis Lemsalu

Liis Lemsalu won the fourth season of the same competition that Elina Born took part in, Eesti otsib superstaari! Following her win, she was signed to Universal Music Group and has since released many great songs. Liis has competed in Eesti Laul 4 times, with her best result being in 2012 when she came 5th with Made Up My Mind.

Liis Lemsalu is very versatile and it seems like there isn’t anything that she can’t do! She had one big Estonian hit, Sinu Ees, but unfortunately this didn’t take part in Eesti Laul. If it had, we think that Estonia could’ve done very well in Eurovision! All that Liis needs is to find another hit, and she’d be a great choice for Estonia in Eurovision.

Next week, we will look at who we want to see represent Australia!
What do you think of our hopefuls? Is there anybody else you’d like to see for Estonia in Eurovision? Do the idea of any of these artists excite you? Tell us in the comments below!

Luke Malam

I've watched Eurovision for as long as I can remember, but my interest really built in 2008, after I decided to watch the semifinals online, out of boredom, before the final...I was blown away by the quality of the show and have been hooked ever since! I'm a competitive trampolinist and I love baking. I've also just completed a master's degree in Research Methods in Psychology at University College London.

Comments on ESCXTRA’s 2018 Hopefuls: Estonia

  • http://eurovisionthroughtheages.blogspot.co.uk Martin

    Great selection here – you’ve put Lithuania in your subtitle though…

Back to top button