Tel Aviv 2019

Estonia: Submission window for Eesti Laul 2019 opens

Eesti Laul, the Estonian national final returns for another year to pick the country’s Eurovision entrant. Interested singers and songwriters have until 23.59 on November 6th to submit their entries and they must do so online. 

New online platform to submit songs

Back in June, ERR appointed Tomi Rahula as new head of Eesti Laul and he promised to take the show to the next level. One of the first changes he introduced is that now ERR only accepts song submitted through an online platform. He noted that: 

I think it is wise that the time is spent on creating and developing music, rather than going around with paper, so that the authors can easily do all the things they need in one place, and the participants do not have to drive to the center of Tallinn for only a few minutes,”

Individuals or bands may submit up to 5 songs for the contest, not exceeding 3 minutes in length. Foreign composers may submit a song provided that half the members of the writing team are Estonian citizens. However, a new rule also allows for non-residents of Estonia to perform the song. Mr. Rahula explained that:

Foreign singers add a more diverse vocal to the Estonian Song and give even more output to Estonian songwriting creations,” 

4 more songs compared to 2018

Another change compared to the 2018 edition involves the number of participating songs. In fact, 24 songs will be competing in 2019 instead of 20, divided into two semi-finals of 12 songs each. Mr. Rahula hopes that more competing songs will encourage more artists to participate, saying: 

“I look forward to the competition for very good, original and competitive music, and I would like to include fresh songwriters and artists who would compete with well-known performers and why not sign up permanently to the Estonian music world,”

The semi-finals will take place on January 26th and February 2nd while the final will take place on February 16th. Another change compared to 2018 is that the shows will not exclusively take place in the nation’s capital, Tallinn, but also in other locations around the country. 

ERR will reveal the names, authors and performers of the songs competing in the semifinals on November 15. However, to hear the tracks we will need to wait until December 4th at the latest. 

Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest

Estonia first appeared at Eurovision in 1994 with Silvi Vrait and, with the exception of 1995, it participated every year. It won the contest by surprise in 2001 with “Everybody” performed by Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL. Following the introduction of the semi-finals in 2004, the country failed to qualify until it introduced Eesti Laul in 2009. Using Eesti Laul, Estonia qualified on six occasions. This year,  Elina Nechayeva represented the country with her operatic pop entry “La Forza”. It placed 8th in the grand final with 245 points, giving Estonia its first final and top 10 placing since 2015.

Are you looking forward to Eesti Laul? What do you think of the changes? Who do you think should represent Estonia in Tel Aviv next May? What is your favourite Estonian entry at Eurovision so far?

Let us know in the comment section below or on all social media @ESCXTRA.

Riccardo Maddalozzo

Born in Italy, I have lived in 5 countries in 3 continents. I discovered Eurovision by accident in 2010 and became a superfan in 2013. I attended both Eurovision and Junior Eurovision events and covered several national finals on the ground and hope to continue doing so for a long time!

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