NB. This version was published in March 2017 and has been replaced by an updated Top 5 from Estonia.
It’s a trip to the Baltic again for this top 5, and the second of the three Baltic countries to get my Top 5 treatment. Estonia have had the most success at Eurovision of those three countries, becoming the first ex-Soviet country to win Eurovision (in 2001) and were only the second Eastern European country to have won at that time (after Yugoslavia in 1989).
As well as their win, Estonia have managed 9 top 10 placings in their 14 grand final appearances (22 total appearances); they had a bad qualification patch in the mid 00s and can be a bit hit and miss now, but generally they do well. That said, my top 5 Estonian favourites don’t all come from their most successful songs…
5. Getter Jaani “Rockefeller Street” (2011, 24th place, 44 points)
One of the favourites before the grand final, this song fell short on the actual night, coming in the lower placings – I think maybe the staging and live performances damaged its chances, but it’s a song I still enjoy hearing several years on.
4. Tanja “Amazing” (2014, 12th place in semi-final, 36 points)
OK, it’s not a million miles from “Euphoria” but I think this is a great uptempo song and always great to hear when out dancing in a club. It was a shame this didn’t make the final – it certainly deserved a place there more than some of the other songs that made it! I loved the dancing in the live performance and credit to her for delivering the vocal herself as she danced.
3. Urban Symphony “Rändajad” (2009, 6th place, 129 points)
Perhaps an overlooked gem this one, it saw Estonia return to the final for the first time since 2003 and finished just outside the top 5.
2. Birgit Õigemeel “Et uus saaks alguse” (2013, 20th place, 19 points)
Very much a personal, vaguely guilty pleasure this one – quite an old school song and performance but I really enjoyed it and was pleasantly surprised it got to the final. She was singing for two at the time as she was several months pregnant at the time of the contest.
1. Elina Born & Stig Rästa “Goodbye to Yesterday” (2015, 7th place, 106 points)
What else could it be than this super classy song, written and co-performed by Stig Rästa. The staging and live performances didn’t disappoint but the juries and public let us down on the night as this really deserved to be top 3 at the least. I think its early appearance in the running order damaged its chances. Still, it was a comfortable top 10 result and Stig has gone on to write more songs for submission to Eurovision. Look out for Elina’s tears in the course of the song – really connects to the story of the song!
So, what are your thoughts? No “Kuula” as just not enough space but it would have been my number 6 I think. No place for their contest-winning song from 2001 but I’m not sure I would even have had that in my Estonian top 10! Let me know what YOU think in comments below!