The first Baltic country in my countdown, Estonia, is also the most successful at Eurovision. They scored an impressive 13th place in last year’s contest and as per usual, have selected their entry via the Estonian national selection show Eesti Laul. Alika won this year’s show, winning both the jury and televote, and going on to win the televote-only superfinal. Can she carry that dual appeal to juries and general public when in Liverpool?
Alika (full name Alika Milova) is bringing one of the very few big female solo ballads to the contest this year. Perhaps the televote only semi-finals have made countries nervous of sending this jury-friendly staple of the contest? “Bridges” though is most definitely a big power ballad with a focus on Alika’s vocals. The pedigree of the songwriters can’t be faulted – Alika has written the song with Wouter Hardy and Nina Sampermans, who were co-writers of 2021’s jury-winning “Tout l’univers“. Alika herself is a veteran of many TV singing contests and talent shows and in 2021 signed a deal with Universal Music Group.
This falls very firmly in my metaphorical mid-table (I realise it’s not exactly numerical mid-table) and it’s a very decent song, and very well sung. Alika performs this so consistently every time I have seen her, including at the London Eurovision Party (this is the first blog post written since I was at LEP). The chorus does remind me somewhat (in terms of tune) to parts of “Roi“, France’s 2019 entry, though I seem to be the only one to have noticed that. This is an entry I respect though perhaps doesn’t quite excite me as perhaps it could – perhaps Alika is just too efficient in her performance and vocals!
Estonia are sitting in the more open second semi-final and general consensus has been that this is a fairly certain qualifier. Among the other songs in that semi-final, I would concur, it should be able to generate enough televote to make it to the final. Once there, I suspect the majority of Alika’s points will come from the jury. It’s not impossible she could pull off a jury win like North Macedonia did in 2019, but I think it’s more likely she will do pretty well with jury, less well with televote and finish a respectable mid-table.
Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest
First entered: 1994
Appearances (excluding this year): 27
Best result: Winner 2001
Last year’s result: 13th