LIVE: Eesti Laul Semi Final 1!

Tonight we have the first Semi Final of “Eesti Laul”, Estonia’s National Selection to choose their entry into Eurovision 2017!

The show starts at 2035 CET and will be broadcast live from the ETV studios in Tallinn with hosts Marko Reikop & Elina Netšajeva.

The performers competing for one of 5 places in the final (to be held on March 4th) are  :

1. Lenna Kuurmaa – Slingshot
2. Elina Born – In or Out
3. Carl-Philip – Everything But You
4. Ivo Linna – Suur loterii
5. Ariadne – Feel Me Now
6. Uku Suviste – Supernatural
7. Laura Prits – Hey Kiddo
8. Karl-Kristjan & Whogaux ft. Maian – Have You Now
9. Janno Reim & Kosmos – Valan pisaraid
10. Leemet Onno – Hurricane

There will be two rounds of voting tonight, with the first round seeing 4 songs chosen for the final in a 50/50 split of televoting and expert jury.  There will then be a 100% televoting round to choose the 5th qualifier.

We will be live blogging all the events here, don’t forget to refresh to follow the news and comment below!

You can watch the broadcast here

Blog posts below:

So that concludes the first semi-final, what a great show.  Do join us at the same time next week for the second semifinal where we will find out who the final 5 finalists will be.  We’re off now (to instagram stalk poor Uku Suviste) – bye for now!


And the 5th and final qualifier following a further round of televoting is… ARIADNE!, congratulations Ariadne.

So it seems that those are the 4 qualifiers through the 50/50 scores with the jury and televoters (Ivo – seriously?), and we now have a further reprise for a final televoting round for the final qualifier.  Lines back open for another 5 mins.


So over to the results of the televoting.  Whogaux, Elina, Lenna and Carl-Philip are mentioned.

Elina Born has now been selected from an envelope (I think from the juries) and she is thrilled.  Followed by Ivo Linna and then Lenna Kuurmaa and Whogaux.


LINES ARE CLOSED – stop voting!


final minutes of voting and a final reprise.  I’m going to stick my neck out and say that Laura Prits is finishing last.


So time for a reprise for the televoters.  Who do you think should go through?, for me it’s as follows:

1: Lenna Kuurmaa – Slingshot; 2: Ariadne – ‘Feel Me Now’; 3: Elina Born – ‘In Or Out?’; 4: Carl-Philip – ‘Everything But You’; 5: Uku Suviste – ‘Supernatural.

But then… what do I know?!!

Song 10: Uku Suviste – ‘Supernatural’

OMG – the final song already?… yup seems so, here’s Uku

And we have projection technology with the screen behind him (we’ve seen that before somewhere!) – he’s controlling the sun and the stars with his arm movements.  And he’s busting some big dance moves. It’s a big up-tempo pop song with a real modern feel to it.

I think I’ve seen enough projection though – it really is a bit 2014.  And while it works for the song it comes across as a bit too much of a copy of Mans/Sergey/Greta Salome et al… seen it before mate, sorry.

I do like the song though.  And now he has joined the hosts on the sofa and they are trawling through his instagram account, and, well… it’s impressive.  Lots of selfies in the gym, topless pics and model photoshoots. He’s quite embarrassed but has no need to be – that was quite fun to watch his dancer’s reaction as they are sat next to him.  I think they appreciated the pics too.

Song 9: Ariadne – ‘Feel Me Now’

Ariadne looks stunning in a white dress.  The backdrop is three images of mirrorballs, but there is literally nothing else on that stage with her, and it looks huge, with just little Ariadne standing static in the centre.  The vocals are really sweet, as fits the song, which is a nice electropop piece.  It has a really hypnotic effect the steady and stable beat and the simplest of melodies.  I really do love this song, but the visual performance perhaps needs a little more.  Otherwise with a static flow through the song and a static performance is just a little too understated.   It’s a comfortable second place for me so far though.

And after the song she too joins the hosts on the sofa and talks about shoes.  Fabulous

Song 8: Janno Reim & Kosmos – ‘Valan Pisaraid’

Janno has a bit of a David Bowie look about him, but that’s just about where the comparison ends.  He is joined by his band on stage and they look as though they are enjoying this just about as much as I am (not much).  The vocals are truly terrible, and verging on painful.

The light-show in the refrain is intersting, but Georgia did that far better last year than this, and with an infinitely better (less-bad) song.  #Ouch

Song 7: Karl-Kristjan and Whogaux feat Maian – ‘Have You Now’

Karl-Kristjan is wearing the hat that was missing from Leemet’s performance, and Maian is in a blue dress and looks very ‘cute’, which I guess is her role in this song as her vocals also give the contrast that the song relies on.  The two singers are facing away from each other throughout the performance – are they supposed to be addressing each other with these lyrics?.  It just doesn’t work at all.  Her vocals are nice, and the melody is ok, but not overly memorable.  Overall a little weak in such a strong heat.

Song 6: Lenna Kuurmaa – ‘Slingshot’

Lenna’s song has topped both our reader poll and our own team’s poll.  So it’s perhaps a hot favourite to qualify tonight.  The performance starts with an overhead shot, and Lenna is in black and joined by five dancers all in black.  She looks AMAZING and vocally she is excellent too.  The visuals are understated – some nice camera angles, and a dance routine (learning this already for practice at home later!), but there’s not much else going on.  I’m not sure it needs it though as the song, and the performance particularly are very much strong enough.  Bravo Lenna, surely that’s enough to qualify tonight

My favourite so far!

Song 5: Ivo Linna – ‘Suur Loterii’

I wonder if the Finnish juror will change his mind after song 5.  Ivo has a full band with him, and the song is very very dated indeed.  I wonder if he was famous in Estonia in the 60s/70s.  If so he may have a fanbase out there.  I gave some advice once to Paul McCartney* (after his awful performance in the Olympic opening ceremony in 2012) and I can share this with Ivo too. Stop while the going is good and don’t damage your reputation with second rate songs once your career is on the downward slope.

Seriously though it has a nice plodding melody and it’s fairly charming, but it’s just not 1982 anymore.

(*via twitter – I don’t actually know Paul McCartney)


OMG- #SKANDAL – the one Finnish juror has complemented the songs and said they are all better than those from the Finnish final, and the show is better too! (ouch!)


We now have a break, and they use this opportunity to introduce the jury.  The jury will make up 50% of the score for the first 4 qualifiers tonight, and then it’s down to televotes only for the final qualification place.  The jury is made up of professionals from the Estonian music industry.

Song 4: Leemet Omno -‘Hurricane’

This song has a real country feel to it, but it’s not exploited in the staging, and it all falls a bit flat.  Leemet is in a blue shirt and trousers and it doesn;t look like a ‘costume’ at all in that sense, just looks like he’s heading out for dinner or something.  A big stetson might have helped.  The vocals are good, and the song is a fun piece of country-pop which should gain a few votes tonight, but will it be enough?

The hosts seemed to enjoy it though.

Song 3: Laura Prits – ‘Hey Kiddo’

So the running order is a little different to advertised.  Next up is Laura Prits!

Laura is in a pink jacket and jeans, and is backed by girls on pushbikes.  The backdrop is really colourful, and it’s definitely trying to appeal to a young audience.  There’s a sense of the Ace Wilder about her as she is perhaps a little older than the song would seem.  The vocal isn’t great, but it’s passable – but the overall experience isn’t endearing at all.  It looks like a unicorn has vomited on the stage (if you know what I mean).  And as for the rap middle-eight – erm…. no.  Sorry Laura, I don;t like this at all.

The hosts are pretending to have enjoyed it, but I’m sure they realised that was awful too.  They’re just more polite than me – haha!

Song 2: Carl-Philip – ‘Everything But You’

Carl-Philip is up next, backed by a guitarist, keyboard player and drummer.  He’s all in black, with a leather-effect jacket.  The song is an electro-infused pop song and has a really strong chorus.  The vocals are a little shaky, but we’ve definitely heard worse in other national finals.  The visual performance is perhaps a little bit too static though, at contrast to the energy in the lyrics and the song.

I like this, but will it be enough to qualify tonight?, our poll suggests not, and I’m not sure the performance will change opinions wildly.

Song 1: Elina Born – ‘In or Out’

And we have our first returning artist.  Great to see her back after doing so well at Eurovision itself with ‘goodbye to yesterday’.  She’s on stage sitting in a gigantic ‘O’ – but then she’s out of the ‘O’ and then in again.  I guess that makes sense.  The song itself has a rally catchy chorus, but the lyrics aren’t exactly profound.  Back ‘in’ the O, with a sillhouette effect.  and then ‘out’ again and a big strut for the final chorus to the front of the stage.  That was fun.  Well done Elina!

She takes to the sofa and speaks to the hosts about her performance.  Sadly no translation available, but they are all smiling, so I guess they liked it.  A series of viewer tweets are also being shared.


Viewers are being encouraged to use the hashtag #eestilaul2017 throughout the show.  Ok… so we are about to get underway with the first performance which will actually be Elina Born with her song ‘In or Out?’


And we now have the artists being introduced one-by-one as they enter the studio on a red carpet. They are being introduced in the order we have set out above, confirming the running order for the show.


And we are underway.  Welcome to the blog.  We open with a fun piano ballad with an operatic feel to it.  What a great way to introduce the show!


Just under 10 minutes until the show starts! – really looking forward to this one!

1 Comment
  1. SilverApple says

    I think you were too harsh to song 8 in your review….I LOVED that indie rock song

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