Estonia: Eesti Laul 2019 submissions kick off; Significant changes implemented in the national selection process
The Estonian national braodcaster ERR has opened the submission window for the country’s Eurovision 2019 national selection, Eesti Laul 2019.
Acts and songwriters interested, can submit their application through the new web portal up to November 6. Back in June, ERR appointed Tomi Rahula as new head of Eesti Laul and he promised to take the show to the next level. One of the first changes he introduced is that ERR only accepts songs through an online platform.
The changes in Eesti Laul 2019
At the beginning of September the national broadcaster revealed significant changes in the national selection process of Eesti Laul 2019:
- For the first time the two semi final shows will be held out of the city of Tallin and will be aired live. So far the two semi finals were taped and broadcasted one week later while the voting was held live.
- In this year’s edition foreign singers and composers, apart from Estonians, are allowed to submit an application and claim a spot in the national selection.
- In this year’s edition, the application requires a participation fee, which is 25 euro for songs in Estonian and double amount for entries in any other language..
- The competing acts in the two semi finals increases from 20 to 24 acts while in the final will qualify a total of 12 instead of 10 which was the number until last year.
- The national selection shows will kick off earlier than previous years. On January 26 the first semi final will take place , and one week after on February 2 the second semi final show. The grand final is scheduled for February 16 2019.
The semi final comepting acts will go public on the 15th of November and their entries will be unveiled on December 4.
On 18 June Eurovision songwriter Tomi Rahula was revealed as the new Head of Eesti Laul. Tomi has written some past entries in the Estonian national selection and the Eurovision Song Contest itself. Specifically ESC 1998 in Birmingham, one of the authors of the song “The Children of the Sea” was Tomi Rahula.
The new Eesti Laul manager stated that these changes will bring the audience closer to the show and will encourage submission of songs in Estonian.
In this year’s Eurovision Estonia was represented by Elina Nechayeva and her song La Forza, which finished 8th in the final with 245 points.
THE EUROVISION STORY SO FAR
Estonia joined the Eurovision family in 1994 . On their debut participation they were represented by Silvi Vrait, who finished 2nd last with only 2 points. Seven years later the country was crowned winner of Eurovision Song Contest 2001 for the first and only time until today. Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL, performed the song Everybody and managed to top surprisingly the scoreboard in Copenhagen. However this success didn’t continue as Estonia failed to qualify for the final from 2004-2008. In 2009 after successive bad results led to the establishment of Eesti Laul, as the show through which the country has been selecting its Eurovision entries the last ten years, having six times qualified to the final.
Lets remember Estonia winning entry back in ESC 2001: