Turin 2022🇪🇪 Estonia

Merilin Mälk tests positive for Covid-19 ahead of Eesti Laul 2022 Semi-Final 1

Earlier today, ERR the national broadcaster of Estonia confirmed that ELYSA had returned a positive test result for Covid-19. Recently it has been announced that Merilin Mälk has also tested positive. Both artists were due to perform tomorrow night in the first Semi-Final of Eesti Laul 2022.

Eesti Laul 2022 – Merilin Mälk tests positive

Due to strict Covid protocols in the Saku Suurhall, as well as protecting the health and safety of the artists and crew, all artists must take daily rapid tests. Anyone that tests positive is then unable to perform in the live broadcasts. Already ERR confirmed live audiences will not be able to attend the Semi-Final shows.

Thus, Merilin Mälk will not take part in tomorrow’s broadcast of Semi-Final 1. However the entry ‘Little Girl’ still remains in the competition. The previous Quarter-Final music video shows allows ERR to use the videos again, in place of a live performance, in the event of a positive test. As Executive Producer of Eesti Laul, Tomi Rahula explained:

Of course we will keep our fingers crossed that there will be no more bad news, but we are prepared for the unexpected.

Tomi Rahula

Both Merilin Mälk and ELYSA will miss the live broadcast. However they will post short video messages, sending their well wishes and personal updates. Whilst their entries ‘Fire’ and ‘Little Girl’ take part without them.

The Semi-Finals will air at 5:30pm GMT, 6:30pm CET, 7:30pm EET and 4:30am AEDT on ETV, which can be viewed here.

Semi-Final 1:

Below is the confirmed running order for the 10 acts competing in Semi-Final 1 on February 3:

  1. ELYSA – ‘Fire’
  2. Helen – ‘Vaatu minu poole’
  3. Andrei Zevakin feat. Grete Paia – ‘Mis nüüd saab’
  4. Alabama Watchdog – ‘Move On’
  5. Merilin Mälk – ‘Little Girl’
  6. Stig Rästa – ‘Interstellar’
  7. Triin Niitoja and Frants Tikerpuu – ‘Laululind’
  8. Kaia-Liisa Kesler – ‘Vaikus’
  9. Elina Nechayeva – ‘Remedy’
  10. Ott Lepland – ‘Aovalguses’

Semi-Final 2:

Below is the confirmed running for the 10 acts competing in Semi-Final 2 on February 5:

  1. Jyrise – ‘Plaksuta’
  2. Maian – ‘Meeletu’
  3. Boamadu – ‘Mitte kauaks’
  4. Evelin Samuel – ‘Waterfall’
  5. Black Velvet – ‘Sandra’
  6. Púr Múdd & Shira – ‘Golden Shores’
  7. Jaagup Tuisk – ‘Kui vaid’
  8. Minimal Wind ft. Elisabeth Tiffany – ‘What To Make Of This’
  9. STEFAN – ‘Hope’
  10. Anna Sahlene – ‘Champion’

The Grand Final of Eesti Laul 2022 will take place in the Saku Suurhall on February 12, (5pm GMT, 6pm CET, 7pm EET and 4am AEDT). The winner will be decided with two rounds of voting. Firstly, a combined 50/50 jury and public vote to determine the top 3 advancing to the super-final. During the Super-Final, public voting alone will pick the winner to represent Estonia in Turin, this May.

Furthermore ERR are planning an additional show called ‘Eesti Laulu’, featuring performances from the Super-Finalists. As of yet there is no date for this show, but it will likely take place between April and May.

Hosting the Semi-Finals

Throughout this Eesti Laul season we have seen former Eurovision representatives turn their hand to hosting duties. Already we have seen previous participants, Tanel Padar, Ines, Uku Suviste, Tanja, Ott Lepland, Laura Põldvere, Jüri Pootsmann and Getter Jaani.

Now for the Semi-Finals it is the turn of Maarja-Liis Ilus, who represented Estonia in 1996 with Ivo Linna on ‘Kaelakee hääl’. Together they placed 5th, Estonia’s best result until 2000. A year later Maarja-Liis returned as a solo artist with, ‘Keelatud maa‘, achieving another top 10 result in 8th. Alongside her as host is actor, Priit Loog. Since graduating from the University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy in 2007, Priit has had an illustrious career on stage and screen. In 2020 he won Best Actor at the Estonian Film and Television Awards.

Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest

The Baltic country made their Eurovision Song Contest debut in 1994, with Silvi Vrait and her song ‘Nagu merelaine’. Since then, Estonia has participated at the Eurovision Song Contest 26 times, reaching the grand final 16 times. Back in 2001 Estonia achieved their first and to date, only victory in the contest with ‘Everybody‘, performed by Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL.

In 2020, Estonia selected Uku Suviste to represent Estonia with his song, ‘What Love Is’ which was written by Uku, with Sharon Vaughn and produced by Dimitris Kontopoulos. Unfortunately, the contest was cancelled, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rather than re-select Uku internally, they instead gave him an invitation to compete in Eesti Laul 2021, which he accepted. In a field of 24 acts, Uku won Eesti Laul for the second year in a row with ‘The Lucky One‘. However, this success failed to translate in Rotterdam. Performing 2nd in semi-final two, he finished 13th with 58 points.

All of the team at ESCXTRA wishes ELYSA and Merilin Mälk a speedy recovery.

Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter, @escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! Also, be sure to follow us on Spotify for the latest music from your favourite Eurovision acts. As well as YouTube to see our reactions to the news in the run up to the 2022 contest in Turin!

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