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Semi-Final 1 artists for Eesti Laul 2023 revealed

The first Semi-Final takes place on January 12

Earlier this year, ERR the national broadcaster of Estonia confirmed their participation in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 to be held in the United Kingdom next May. More recently ERR announced the return of Eesti Laul to select the entry, as well as changes to return to the two Semi-Final format. After going through over 200 submissions, tonight during Ringvaade, ERR has revealed the first 10 acts taking part in the first Semi-Final of Eesti Laul 2023.

Eesti Laul 2023 Semi-Final 1 line up

Last night during the Estonian TV show, Ringvaade, former runner-up and two-time participant, Sissi received a Halloween treat as Executive Producer of Eesti Laul, Tomi Rahula surprised Sissi with the news that she is the first confirmed act. With big shoes to fill, being the daughter of former Eurovision winner, Dave Benton, Sissi is more than ready for the challenge.

“You need to believe in yourself. We live in a society that wants us to fit into a box. I’m working on getting out of that box and living a happier life.”

Sissi speaking on Ringvaade

Tonight, ERR announced the full line-up of the first ten acts taking part in Eesti Laul 2023. Below are the first Semi-Finalists, alongside the names of their entries and songwriting teams.

  • Sissi – ‘Lighthouse’ (Sissi Nylia Benita)
  • Carlos Ukareda – ‘Whiskey Won’t Forget’ (Carlos Ukareda, Gevin Niglas, Chris Roberts)
  • Janek – ‘House Of Glass’ (Janek Valgepea, Kjetil Mørland)
  • Alika – ‘Bridges’ (Alika Milova, Wouter Hardy)
  • Ellip – ‘Pretty Girl’ (Pille-Riin Karro, Meelis Meri)
  • Andreas – ‘Why Do You Love Me’ (Andreas Poom, Alan Roy Scott, Julia Sundberg)
  • Kaw – ‘Valik’ Gevin Niglas, Jesse Keihäsvuori)
  • Wiiralt & Ultima Thule – ‘Salalik’ (Martin Saaremägi, Vahur Krautman)
  • Elysa – ‘Bad Philosophy’ (Stig Rästa, Vallo Kikas, Elisa Kolk, Anne Gudrun Michaelsen, Alex Ghinea)
  • Meelik – ‘Tuju’ (Andres Kõpper, Meelik Samel, Rain Parve, Martin Petermann

Elsewhere in the line-up we see former Eesti Laul 2021 and 2022 participants Wiiralt, Meelik who participated in 2012 and 2013 as part of Tenfold Rabbit and Põhja-Tallinn, Andreas the son of Estonian goalkeeper Mart Poom and Elysa who has participated in Eesti Laul in 2015 and 2022. Among the illustrious list of songwriters includes Estonia’s Eurovision 2015 representative, Stig Rästa and Norway’s 2015 representative, Kjetil Mørland, as well as the writer of Eurovision 2019 winning entry ‘Arcade’ and 2021 third placer ‘Tout L’Univers’, Wouter Hardy.

Goodbye to Quarter-Finals

Since 2009 Estonia has used the Eesti Laul national final to select its representatives. Last year saw the biggest edition yet, as 40 acts took part with the addition of a Quarter-Final stage. This year the format reverts back to its usual two Semi-Finals and one Grand Final schedule.

During the Semi-Finals, five songs will advance from each show. Both Semi-Finals will have two rounds: winners of the first round will be decided by the jury vote and TV viewers’ phone votes, and winners of the second round will be decided only by the viewers’ phone votes.

In the Grand Final, the usual two rounds will return. The first round will determine the acts in the ‘Super Final’ and is decided by 50% jury voting and 50% public vote. During the Super Final, the Estonian representative is chosen by 100% televoting.

The Grand Final of Eesti Laul 2023 will take place in the Saku Suurhall on February 11, (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 next May.

Broadcast schedule for Eesti Laul 2023

Below the dates of all the selection shows on ETV are as follows:

  • Semi-Final 1 – January 12
  • Semi-Final 2 – January 14
  • Grand Final – February 11

In addition, ERR are planning an additional show called Eesti Laulu, featuring performances from the Super Finalists. There is no date for this show yet, but it will take place between April and May.

Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest

Back in 1994 Estonia made their Eurovision debut in Dublin with Silvi Vrait and the entry, ‘Nagu merelaine‘. During the contest the Baltic nation placed 24th with just 2 points. Despite the early setback, Estonia have achieved ten top ten results in total. Their best result came with Estonia’s only win in 2001. In Copenhagen the collective of Tanel Padar, Dave Benton and 2XL scored victory with 198 points for ‘Everybody‘.

Last year the Estonian public chose Stefan and ‘Hope’ through Eesti Laul 2022. During the Turin contest he qualified for the Grand Final and placed 13th with 141 points.

Who should represent Estonia in Eurovision 2023? Let us know! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter, @escxtra on Instagram, @escxtra on TikTok 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 new Eurovision season.

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