It’s the last and highest ranking of the Baltic countries – and generally Estonia often ends up being my favourite from that group and this year has fitted that pattern. Estonia have had some great songs over the years, even if they haven’t done as well as I think they deserved. I’m hoping that won’t be the case this year – and while former contestant Stig Rästa had my favourite song in the Estonian national final, I’ll be hoping Estonia can make a return to the final after losing out in 2016 and 2017.
“Popera” is a distinct muscial genre of its own and Elina certainly isn’t the first to bring it to the contest but she does bring one of the most complete packages in terms of song, staging and quality of her voice – it does have a goosebump-inducing effect even if you don’t think the song itself is that original. On top of the song and performance, it’s been confirmed that Estonia have found the cash to take the dress used in the Estonian national selection to Lisbon. Again, it’s not something wholly new for Eurovision, but coupled with the performance and the genre, it does generate a spellbinding overall impression.
Estonia were high up in the betting odds for a long time but slipped more recently once the preview parties started (Estonia hasn’t been to any of them) and also for a long time there had been doubt that the dress would go to Eurovision. That has at least been sorted now, so I think that will help in the quest to secure qualification – especially as I think this will be looking for a big televote rather than juries to take it through. Juries have generally not gone for popera as much as televoters have – Italy in 2015 being a case in point who won the televote but were several places lower with the juries and finished 3rd overall. I think a result for Estonia would be qualification to the final – once there they definitely could do well in the final with the televote of all 43 countries.
Official music video (live performance):
Estonia at the Eurovision Song Contest:
First entered: 1994
Appearances (excluding this year): 23
Best result: Winner 2001
Last year’s result: 14th in semi-final
Bonus video – official dance remix of “La forza”: