It’s no secret that Estonia’s national final, Eesti Laul, is always one of my favourites of the national final season and I managed this year to watch both semi-finals so I have a better idea of how the songs performed live (as often for my previews I don’t know how the live performances will go).
There are 12 finalists so I’m just going to pull out mentions of a few of the favourites as well as a couple of my personal favourites. Overall quality is good I think with a lot of radio friendly (or should that be Spotify friendly these days?) songs.
Victor Crone – “Storm”
Eesti Laul wouldn’t be Eesti Laul without Stig Rästa being involved in some way and he penned this upbeat song, with vocals by Victor Crone, a Swede who has entered Melfest in the past. The live performance in the semi-final was rather patchy vocally and it’s been put third in the running order so I think it’s favourite status has slipped somewhat…
Xtra Basic & Emily J – “Hold Me Close”
This was the other big favourite coming in to the contest – one of a set of modern uptempo pop songs in this contest though with the distinction of having a part instrumental chorus. Like “Storm” though, the live vocal in the semi-final was far from perfect so again this might struggle to win after all.
STEFAN – “Without You”
This hadn’t been on my radar prior to the semi-finals but I think this can now be classed as the favourite – a very good vocal performance (which contrasted with many of the other performances in that first semi-final) puts STEFAN in a strong position and he is the favourite to win among his fellow finalists. But with a slew of solo male artists already going to Tel Aviv, will he enable Estonia to stand out?
Sandra Nurmsalu – “Soovide Puu”
Real Eurovision pedigree with this one – Sandra was lead singer of Urban Symphony which took Estonia to one of their best ever placings at Eurovision, finishing sixth in 2009. She’s back as a solo artist with this dreamy classical/electropop number. She sneaked through to the final though so her chances to return may not be so high.
Lumevärv ft. INGA – Milline päev
Another of the upbeat dance tracks with female vocalists, I actually prefer this to Xtra Basic and Emily J. Not sure it will get very far in the final but a nice bop nonetheless (and in Estonian which is always nice to listen to!)
Synne Valtri – I’ll Do It My Way
Total guilty pleasure this one – and looking at Twitter and some of the main Eurovision blogs, this getting through to the final seemed to infuriate most of the younger Eurovision fans but TOUGH! They might think this is dated, but I think it’s a glorious slice of schlager and so pleased it made the final.
That was just half the songs and it’s quite possible that the winner could come from the remaining six. While I think STEFAN is the most likely to win, it’s quite a wide open field. You can watch it via ETV’s website from 5pm UK time.