Estonia have competed 22 times in the Eurovision Song Contest. Their first attempt in 1993 saw them fail to qualify for the final, something that they repeated on a further seven occasions. Their most successful period was from 1996-2002 which gave them six top ten finishes including a win in 2001 for Tanel Padar/Dave Benton/2XL with ‘Everybody’ and a third place the following year with Sahlene’s ‘Runaway’. In 2015 they had been earmarked as early favourites when they selected Stig Rasta and Elina Born to represent them with ‘Goodbye to Yesterday’, the momentum for the song waned however and they finished in seventh place. Estonia return in 2016 with their Eesti Laul selection competition. Read on to find out more.
Eesti Laul 2016 is the eighth time Estonian broadcaster ERR have used this competition to select their Eurovision song. 20 acts will compete over two semi finals to be held on 13th and 20th February. Five acts from each semi final will advance to the final of the competition which will be held on 5th March in Tallinn. The winner of the final will go on to compete for Estonia at Eurovision 2016.
The deadline for entries for Eesti Laul 2016 closed on 2 November. All artists and composers must have had Estonian citizenship or have been a permanent resident of Estonia. As per the rules of Eurovision, songs could not exceed three minutes in length or have been performed publicly before 1 September 2015.
Eurovision alumni returning to compete in 2016 include Laura Remmel (represented Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2005 as part of Suntribe and participed in Eurolaul 2007 and 2009), jüri Pootsmann’s entry was written by Stig Rästa (Eurovision 2015) and the entry from La La Ladies was co-written by Tanja (Eurovision 2014). In addition to this Anett Kulbin, Grete Paia, Meisterjaan, Põhja-Tallinn, Tuuli Rand (Windy Beach) Rosanna Lints (lead singer of Würffel) and Noorkuu (in duet with Kati Laev) have all competed in previous editions of Eesti Laul.
Below is a list of the acts competing in both semi finals of Eesti Laul 2016. Have a listen to each of the songs and let us know which you prefer by voting in our poll and share your thoughts by commenting on the post.
Semi Final 1- 13th February
Mick Pedaja- Seis
Cartoon feat. Kristel Aaslaid- Immortality
Kéa- Lonely Boy
Kati Laev & Noorkuu- Kaugel sinust
Zebra Island- How Many Times
Windy Beach- Salty Wounds
The Jingles- Love A Little Bit
Würffel- I’m Facing North Indrek Ventmann- Hispaania tüdruk
Semi Final 2- 20th February
Go Away Bird- Sally
Jüri Pootsmann- Play
I Wear* Experiment- Patience
Grete Paia- Stories Untold
Púr Múdd- Meet Halfway Põhja-Tallinn & Jaagup Kreem- Ei ole mul olla Anett Kulbin- Strong Gertu Pabbo- Miljon korda La La Ladies- Unikaalne