Look, I love Estonia. It’s a wonderful place to visit.
And I love Eesti Laul, which usually has the reputation of being one of the weirdest National Finals in Europe.
But this year, all the weirdness was kicked out in the semifinals. The wacky song about the cats, the wacky song about the jaw harp, the wacky song about eggs (maybe it was about eggs?) all gone.
So what do we have to look forward to? Aside from what seems like a Victor Crone victory? (Victory Crone?)
Sissi – Strong
If there was any justice in the world, this would win Eesti Laul because it’s not only a moderately interesting song, but it’s performed flawlessly and easily by Sissi. She’s really really good, and I can see this being a dark horse with the juries in Tel Aviv. However, she’s got the dreaded first position opening slot.
Lumevärv feat. INGA – Milline päev
After Inger, I think my favourite performer is Inga. Not only because she carries out this performance making sure EVERYONE knows that her name is Inga, but because she actually seems like she’s enjoying this performance. The song is fairly bland, but it’s got a beat and I can dance to it, so yes.
Victor Crone – Storm
I don’t want to like this song. I really don’t want to like this song. And yet I find myself swept away with the easiness of the sleepy-eyed Stig Rasta. Victor really botched some of the vocals in the semi, but even the person who runs the Eurovision song contest in Estonia has him hands down to win. Also, would you tell us who the woman is that suddenly performs this with you? Estonian Twitter told me that she was a famous actress – but WHO?
Kerli Kivilaan – Cold Love
You know why you’re cold, Kerli? Because you’re wearing a feather-light sleeveless dress during the wintertime in Estonia.
Anyway, this song is okay. I like it, but I’m not rushing to put it on any playlists. I listen to this blandness and think, Estonia, you could have had Catlin Magi, and then just shake my head.
xtra basic & Emily J – Hold Me Close
I love this song. I love the dumb name of this band. I love the fact that this sounds like a budget version of the Chainsmokers and xtra basic think that’s a compliment because they are so excited about making music.
Emily J let her vocals loose in the live version of this at the semifinal, and they were both impressive and shaky, so I hope that she does a great job of this in the actual final.
Kadiah sings in a baby voice. That’s all you need to know.
Kadiah, *I* believe you can do better than this draggy ballad. PLEASE.
Synne Valtri – I’ll Do It My Way
Synne’s way is apparently the bland way. I feel like like this is the opening to some mid-90’s women’s empowerment video series, but Synne is no Oprah, and this song is going no way beyond the final.
Stefan – Without You
I can sing Laura, Stefan’s 2018 Eesti Laul entry, off the top of my head. I remember the staging with the weird hands. I didn’t like it, but I remember it.
This song, on the other hand, completely escaped me. I’ve heard it now about fifty times, listening to an Eesti Laul mix, and yet I completely 100% forgot what it sounded like.
Ugh. I know that Stefan has a huge fanbase, but this is just so boring. I hope it doesn’t win.
The Swingers, Tanya, and Birgit – High Heels in the Neighborhood
This jazzy little number about feminine secret police squads has done remarkably well with juries, and should do so here as well. It’s just not…a Eurovision song? I mean, I can see this doing well at a little jazz club in Estonia, but not in Tel Aviv. Anyway, it’s a fun little interlude among far too many ballads.
Uku Suviste – Pretty Little Liars
Is Uku Suviste in this contest because he’s pretty? No. Does that hurt? No. But I can’t help but imagine how much venom this song may have had if it had been performed by Juri Pootsman instead. In a field of pretty boys, I’m afraid he doesn’t have the Stig factor to stand out. Also that third act ‘whoooooooooaaaa’ is just overblown.
Inger – Coming Home
Inger is perhaps my favourite act emerging from this year’s Eesti Laul. She’s got a distinctive voice, a dstinctive look, and a wonderfully warm presence. I want to cast her as the weekly coffeeshop compere in an Estonian Gilmore Girls remake set in Tartu. She’s too NICE to lose tonight, but when she does, she’ll probably stick her chin out, strum her ukulele, and start singing a song about how there’s always next year. (I hope she then goes home and treats herself to a bunch of new button down flowered shirts online.)
Sandra Nurmsalu – Soovide puu
I feel like this is the Manic Pixie Dream Girl entry from Estonia, all floaty lyrics and vague hand gestures and ethereal upper-range vocals. It’s beautifully performed, despite the fact that it’s a dreary folk ballad, and will be a strong contender for the superfinal on the night.
Victor Crone will probably walk away with this, although Sandra Nurmsalu might steal it (and Sissi should win it). But it’s a remarkably bland field of contenders and somehwat sad to see.