Estonia: Elina Born and Ivo Linna safely through in Eesti Laul

With many national selection events occurring across Europe tonight, it’s easy to forget that Estonia will be kicking off Eesti Laul this evening. 20 acts have come together for this year’s competition and the first artists for this year’s final will be decided tonight.

2232- And that’s it! We have the first five finalists for Eesti Laul 2017. You’ll have to join us again next week for the liveblog where ten more acts will compete for the remaining five places in the final.

2230- So it’s time for the results! And the five acts going through are:

Elina Born
Ivo Linna
Lenna Kuurmaa
Karl-Kristjan & Whogaux feat. Maian
Ariadne

2155- OMG the presenters just went through his Instagram and I changed my mind, he totally is hot. VOTE FOR UKU.

2149- The last song of the night is “Supernatural” by Uku Suviste, he’s quite a handsome young(young? we’ll say young) man wearing a black shirt and a blue blazer. OMG he’s quite sexual, I like him! I think it’s the eyebrows that are doing it for me. This song is Europop GOLD. It’s a little bit theatrical, he interacts with a galaxy effect screen before being joined by two dancers, very formulaic; it’s so Eurovision. It’s a typical upbeat pop song with a great hook and an over the top performance. Slightly dated, but this is the big europop dance number of the night, surely this will qualify.

2141- “Feel Me Now” by Ariande is song number 9. Lots of hype around her. She’s very modern and current, emulating Zara Larsson. She’s dressed in white shorts, a white top, and a white sequined bomber jacket. The song is a typical pop song with entrancing synthpop elements. The vocals are good but there’s nothing particularly spectacular about the song, no chances to show off. She is standing alone on stage with a microphone stand whilst holograms of the earth rotating surround her on the screens. The staging could definitely be improved on this one in order to give the song that extra lift.

2136- Janno Reim & Kosmos are up next with “Valan pisaraid” which translates to “I’m Pouring Tears” and I’m pouring tears, you know why? Bootcut Jeans. What even… Regardless, they’re going for a traditional 90’s folkpop vibe, it all sounds like a lot of shouting over an acoustic guitar. There’s not much rhythm here, I’d be tempted to label it 90’s grunge but I don’t think they’re cool enough for that label. They’re a bunch of badly dressed men with guitars attempting to sing, the song is a bit confusing and doesn’t really go anywhere, but I still can’t get over those bootcut jeans. Can’t look past it. Soz.

2130- Karl-Kristjan & Whogaux feat. Maian are next with “Have You Now”. They are super cute. This is great. If the Common Linnets were teenagers and had a synthpop feel, this would be it. It’s so 2017. Everything about this performance is current, the male and female singer sing with their backs to each other, the vocals are on point, the song is perfect and it carries itself really well. It’s a cutesy electropop love song with a great hook. This could definitely be a qualifier tonight.

2123- Song number 6 is “Slingshot” by Lenna Kuurmaa. This is interpretive and artistic. She’s wearing black fringe and accompanied by five backing dancers/singers who perform a dramatic dance around her. She’s kinda similar to Greta Salome from Iceland, except slightly less folksy, and more artsy. There is the huge resounding issue of what kind of 30 year old woman wears purple glitter eye make up? TRAGIC.

2116- Ivo Linna is next on stage to perform “Suur loterii”, the first entry so far to be sung in Estonian. The song translates to “Big Lottery”. This is quite classic, it’s good. The guys are a group fronted by an old gentleman not incredibly unlike Hasse Andersson from Sweden. The song is very 70’s feelgood britpop. The whole visual performance marries quite well together also, with the guitarist, basist, and drummer, featured on black podiums, Beatles-style. The backdrop is black and white spirals and it gives a nostagic feel to the performance. The song itself is mid tempo and guitar heavy, like the music of the 60’s and 70’s. Very good.

2107- Leemet Onno is on stage next to perform song number 4: “Hurricane”. Do I know him from somewhere? Have I seen him before? I get the feeling I have…he must have a doppelganger. Anyway, this is a country song and we all know how well country music does at Eurovision. It’s a modern take on a classical American genre. He’s standing alone on stage in front of two silhouette dancers. There’s some weird dancing, awkward interaction, and red and blue strobe lighting going on. This lacks style. It feels like an attempt has been made to make a country song modern and typically Estonian but there is such a conflict of interest here. Nobody needs this. Nobody.

2102- Song 3 is “Hey Kiddo” by Laura Pritts. She promises a lot with a vibrant pink outfit, street style, and her claims of being influenced by the Spice Girls but she really does fail to deliver on this one. “Hey Kiddo” is a slow in tempo party song, it doesn’t live up to the vibes it promises. It’s actually quite embarrassing. The girls are dressed in pink and blue brightly coloured outfits and there’s energy there but it doesn’t really match the song. It’s just a bit slow, it needs some tempo to match the energy. There’s a clash here and I feel like it’s resulted in a not well thought out entry.

2053- The next artist on stage is Carl-Philip with “Everything But You”. He’s quite a cute young blonde guy, boyband appropriate, with GREAT hair. The song is a mid tempo pop song, sounds similar to One Republic. He’s accompanied by a pianist, guitarist, and two backing singers. He’s hitting all the high notes on this one and it’s a good vocal showing. Staging wise, there’s something to be desired there, it’s very traditional and quite old fashioned. The song itself is quite a solid effort nonetheless.

2047- Kicking off this year’s competition is returning 2015 champion Elina Born with the song “In or Out”. She’s turned up the raunch on this one, wearing a black leotard, showing so much leg, this is super sexy. The song is sax heavy and uptempo and extremely catchy. She’s lacking something super impressive vocally but it’s a visually very sound performance, quite simplistic as she’s standing alone on stage with a giant O. Elina is an artist who knows how to perform to a camera and she captures the audience through the screen very well.

2041- We’re then treated to the traditional Eesti Laul catwalk, where the artists competing tonight are showcased and introduced before the performances can begin.

2038- A very #melfest start to the evening. A woman is singing a likely satirical song regarding Estonia’s participation in Eurovision. She’s then joined by presumably the male host. This is going in all kinds of Melodifestivalen directions.

Ten acts will perform and a combination of televoting and jury voting will decide which five will go through to the final to be held on 4th March. The ten acts performing in tonight’s show are:

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

Many fan favourites will be featured tonight, including Carl-Philip, Ariadne, Uku Suviste, and 2015 Eesti Laul winner Elina Born. The show kicks off at 2035CET and we’ll be updating the liveblog with all the action at ESCDaily.com.