Preview: Two frontrunners in Eesti Laul

Two semi finals later, and we have reached the final for Eesti Laul 2020. Jaagup Tuisk and Uku Suviste are the two big favourites in the lead up to Saturday, but which acts have a shot at representing Estonia at Eurovision?

Estonia will be aiming to continue their two-year qualification at Eurovision when they select their entrant for Eurovision. Three super finalists will be selected by the jury, with the televote selecting the winner. The synopses of the competing songs are listed below in running order…

Inger – Only Dream

After competing in last year’s Eesti Laul, Inger is back with ‘Only Dream’. Inger’s entry fits into her signature relaxed style, and vocals have improved since last year. The simplistic staging suits the song, but the stage does feel slightly empty at times. This act should be received well by the public and jury, and could be an underdog to win.

Rasmus Rändvee – Young

‘Young’ is an energetic and uplifting track that appears to draw influence from Avicii. For Rasmus Rändvee, however, the vocal performance is what needs to improve the most. In the semi final, he appeared out of breath and often out of key. To have a chance of scoring well and let the song shine, he will really need to clean up his vocals.

Stefan – By My Side

Stefan delivers a clean and emotional performance of his song ‘By My Side’. It translates really well from a studio track to the live stage, which a number of Eesti Laul songs have struggled to do this year. This could pick up some jury votes, but may lack the x-factor to win it all.

Synne Valtri feat. Väliharf – Majakad

This track certainly feels like a blast from the past, with a fun retro Europop feel. It is fair to say that this song will not win on Saturday night, but Eurovision national finals are all about diversity in music. ‘Majakad’ is an upbeat track to break up the show in Tallinn.

Uudo Sepp – I’m Sorry. I Messed Up

There has been a mixed response to this song, which is often the case with simple ballads. ‘I’m Sorry. I Messed Up’ is gentle and personal to the singer. Staging does lack intimacy, though, which could be it’s downfall. Amongst other competing songs, this entry may not stand out, but it could quietly do well with the jury.

Uku Suviste – What Love Is

One of the favourites coming into the final of Eesti Laul 2020, Uku Suviste delivers a vocal performance that falls slightly short of the studio track. The song itself is not groundbreaking, but there is a nice powerful element to it. Staging is very cluttered, however, with numerous props that take away from the performance. If the vocals (and stage) are cleaned up, this is a solid option for Estonia.

Shira – Out in Space

‘Out in Space’ is atmospheric on a live stage, but vocals may need to be restrained a little for the final. Staging fits the dark and mysterious nature of the song, although a piano is bizarrely on the stage, but never played. This entry has broad appeal, and its jazz elements are hypnotising, so this has potential to make the superfinal. It may be a case of how other artists perform on the night.

Anett x Fredi – Write About Me

Following Shira is a song in a similar genre by Anett x Fredi. This entry improves in leaps and bounds from the studio track, with the live performance bringing the song to life. The lead vocalist has great vocal control, and the staging feels intimate and unmistakably jazzy. There may only be room for one jazz song in the superfinal, but as it stands, this entry has the edge over ‘Out in Space’.

Jaagup Tuisk – Beautiful Lie

According to bookmakers, ‘Beautiful Lie’ is the big favourite to represent Estonia at Eurovision 2020. The performance is dramatic and emotional, with well thought out staging. The song itself is strong, but Jaagup Tuisk’s vocal performance takes it up another level. He has great control over his falsetto, and appears to sing effortlessly throughout. It is understandable why this is the favourite.

Traffic – Üks kord veel

Former 2015 Eurovision contestant Stig Rästa joins this year’s Eesti Laul line up with his band Traffic. ‘Üks kord veel’ is a positive and upbeat number, drawing similarities to the work of Mumford and Sons. Staging is very cramped to begin, but thankfully moves onto the main stage towards the end. Estonia’s national final this year lacks high tempo songs, so this act will likely stand out, and could squeeze into the superfinal.

Egert Milder – Georgia (On My Mind)

Egert Milder brings us a feel good, relaxed entry with ‘Georgia (On My Mind)’. The track is executed well live, with a warm and confident performance. Some could find this song repetitive though, which is its biggest downfall. A nice addition to the mix this year, but it may struggle to reach the superfinal.

Laura – Break Me

Laura, another former Estonian Eurovision entrant, returns to Eesti Laul with ‘Break Me’. The transition from pre-recorded footage to live on stage is creative, but the song itself is lacklustre. As a popular artist, Laura could do well in the televoting, but she will need to make the superfinal first. It may be a step too far for this song to score well with the jury.

ESCDaily will be running an Eesti Laul liveblog this Saturday from 18:30 CET, along with the other national finals. Keep an eye out on our website for updates.