Review: Opera in the first semi-final of Eesti Laul

On Saturday night, Stig Rästa won the first semi-final in Estonia with an Ed Sheeran-like song. The Estonian representative of 2015 was one of the five qualifiers from the first semi final. ESCDaily’s editor Robin Tas followed the show and gives in-depth reviews of all performances.

Missed the action last night? No problem! With this review, you are up-to-date in just a minute.

Vajé – “Laura (Walk with Me)” (qualified through wildcard)

The evening took off with a song from Vajé, “Laura (Walk with Me)”. It was a weak opening song for the first semi-final. The performance starts with someone’s hand that is reaching through a blue screen to Vajé. His suit makes you immediately think about “St. Patricks Day”, this suit will be perfect for it. On stage, there are a saxophone and a guitar player. The performance itself is okay, but not something new. The song itself is not very good. After the second refrain, you’ve heard everything this song has to offer and that is why it becomes boring. Surprisingly, Vajé qualified for the final but this song will not win Eesti Laul.

Iiris & Agoh – “Drop That Boogie” (qualified)

Iiris starts her performance lying on a couch. She is wearing a white dress but the lighting on stage makes that dress purple. Her voice (and the song) are kind of similar to Lady Gaga. The performance is a bit bustling which distracts from the song. In the song, one of the sentences seems to be too long for the song, and you can hear Iiris gasp for breath. It sounds a bit amateuristic. While I think Iiris’ voice is too blatant, and she sounds like a fire alarm, this song has great potential for the final of Eesti Laul.

Etnopatsy – “Külm” (eliminated)

At the first seconds, this song seems to be a duet. In the background is a girl dancing in sheets and the second singer goes to the background with some sort of guitar on her neck. Etnopatsy sings clear and this ballad is beautiful, but lacks excitement. It does not have a decent build-up and the refrain is also not very tensive. The performance however totally fits the song and the effects on the background screen really add something to the performance. I was astonished Etnopatsy was eliminated in the semi-final.

Sibyl Vane – “Thousand Words” (qualified)

“Thousand Words” is an alternative rock song by the band Sibyl Vane. The lead singer is playing guitar while singing, and also a drum player and another guitar player are present in the background. The song itself is average, but the singers’ shy voice does not let this song come into its own. And while you eexpect some punches in a this song, they do not come. This makes “Thousand Words” too predictable end therefore a boring song.

Aden Ray – “Everybody’s Dressed” (eliminated)

When watching a performance, it is important to see the person who is singing it, so you can see the emotions on someone’s face. Aden Rays’ song starts while he is lying in a bath tub. Fun begin, but for almost two minutes the image of him is vague. You cannot see his face and he thus cannot bring the song well. I can see how this matches the song, but this vagueness is way too much. After the two minutes, he rises from his bath tub but I think it is too late.  The build-up of the song is good, but it has nothing special or new and would not distinguish from other song (if it would represent Estonia in Lisbon).

Tiiu x Okym x Semy – “Näita oma energiat” (eliminated)

“Näita oma energiat” is an uptempo rap/pop song. Both singers rap and during the non-rapping part a third guy enters. The woman on stage is wearing some sort of gold body suit which is ordinary short. All three people on stage are dancing as if their lives are depending on it.  But they focus too much on the dancing and too less on singing, and the screaming at the end is horrible.

Stig Rästa – “Home” (qualified)

In 2015 Rästa took the stage at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 together with Elina Born, finished in seventh place with ‘Goodbye to yesterday’. This year he goes fo a solo performance with his guitar and the mainstream/aternative song “Home”. Stig Rästa brought a lot of fans to the show, since a lot of people in the crowd screamed and yelled during his performance. With a beautiful performance (with violins placed in chairs on the background) he sung a song that could have been from Ed Sheeran. I first thought his voice did not suit the song. However, his “live” performance sounded very different from the recorded version. Despite that, I still think he had one of the best songs of the evening and he absolutely earned his ticket to the final.

Miljardid – “Pseudoprobleem” (eliminated)

The band Miljardid (one drum player, a guitarist, a keyboard player and a lead singer) came up with the song “Pseudoprobleem”.  This alternative rock song has a weak beginning, build up is okay but nothing special or exceptional. The performance itself also didn’t have anything special. Miljardid does not look into the camera one time and therefore completely fails to interacts with the home public. It is no surprise Miljardids’ Eurovision journey ended here.

Desiree – “On My Mind” (eliminated)

“On My Mind” is the first deep/electro house song I heard in this preselection season. But that is not the right genre for Desiree. Her voice is too raw for this song (or for deep house). Her voice is too nasal and it sounds like she is pushing the notes out of her throat. That makes the whole not very pleasant to hear. Her moves on stage are a bit nervous. Luckily for her, the four other dancers on stage do a good job and take the attention away from Desirees’ nervouw dancing.

Elina Netšajeva – “La Forza” (qualified)

Elina Netšajeva comes up with an opera/ballad “La Forza”. The producers of Eesti Laul saved the best for last. She has an enormous dress that changes color during the performance. The song is credible, has a good build-up,  is something different and Elina also manages to sing most notes clearly (she slips out one time). Definitely the best performance and the best song of the evening, and I am sure Elina’s act would be perfect to represent Estonia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018.

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