Estonia, Ott Lepland, 1

This morning the Wiwi Jury headed to Tallinn to review Estonia’s ESC 2012 entry “Kuula.” Did Ott Lepland keep our attention with his dark and mysterious voice? Or did we get bored and go eat some potato dumplings halfway through his song? Read on to find out.

Wiwi: “Kuula” means “listen” in Estonian. Unfortunately, that is not something I can do after the first minute of this song. It’s monotonous and repetitive and lacks trajectory. Rather than playing hard to get and building to a grand climax, “Kuula” crescendos to several  climaxes—all of which leave me wanting. When there are so many peaks, it’s difficult to tell them apart or to see the valleys. The composer is to be blamed, not sweet Ott. (Oh wait. He wrote the song, too.) To his credit, his voice is lovely. From a fashion perspective, I hope he ditches the iridescent suit before Baku. No matter how cute you are, those just look cheap.

Score: 2.5/10

Vebooboo: Wow, what is up with all these ballads this year?! But seriously, so refreshing to see a grown man sing with such class. Reminds me of Israel’s Milim, but without the stress-induced pitch problems that Harel Skaat experienced, perhaps because he was still in the closet. Wish the guy was a bit more attractive, but eh, what can you do? And I wish he didn’t have such strong ballad competition this year.

Score: 5/10

Meows Kitty: I feel like copying and pasting the comments I just did for Bosnia. In fact, let me do that: “Boring boring boring, a dull ballad without any catchy melodies or climatic moments. This has got to be the least memorable song I’ve heard so far in the competition.” Seriously, what is with all these boring ballads? Where is the crazy wacky shit that we used to see at Eurovision? It’s no fun when the countries take themselves too seriously.

Score: 5/10

Deban: “Kuula” is a song that commands you to listen. Written, sung and performed by Ott Lepland, this is a masterful pop-ballad that really captures your attention. A stark contrast to the musical styles of Estonian entries in recent years, this song is high in quality and sophistication.

Sadly, this may also end up being the entry that gets overlooked. Estonia hasn’t promoted internationally this year, and this could affect votes. Entries that do well in ESC sometimes place high because of familiarity with the voting public. “Kuula” hasn’t been heard much outside Estonia. Not much good can come out of that, because Estonians can’t vote for themselves! Furthermore, ESC radio stations tend to spin more upbeat numbers for obvious reasons, leaving Estonia with reduced airplay. However, don’t let that dissuade you. “Kuula” rightly deserves your attention.

Score: 6.5/10

The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 4.63/10

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[…] Estonia: Ott Lepland with “Kuula” […]


Yes Estonia. You got it right and this will do will of there is any justice.This is way up there.He could wear anything he wants.I could not care less.If he was old and fat.No problem.I would still listen to his voice and be mesmerized by the beauty of it.This is pure pop ballad perfection.Be my guest!
Some of the other participants must feel very ashamed when they present their “music”.They should listen to this and see how you create a gripping song that builds up so well


[…] Read the Wiwi Jury’s review of “Kuula” […]


Beautiful song.
Deban, I couldn’t have said it better.

Listen, and ye shall find. There really is a lot to appreciate and enjoy in Ott’s finely articulated delivery of the Estonian lyrics. But it is subject to the provision that one commits to close listening, and there’s the problem. The opening bars make it clear that it’s going to be slow and dreary. If you do hang in there for the first verse, the start of the second makes it clear that changes are not due for a while. It’s too easy to go on autopilot, unconsciously monitoring structure and waiting for changes instead of listening. Another problem is… Read more »

Dull? really? I actually find it amazing!. He has a wonderful voice, the orchestrations is beautiful and he puts so much feeling into it that it moves you…deeply moves you. If they were to look at the artistic merit of the songs rather than the popularity contest for the country that it tends to be, i think this would be a winner


What a very powerful song I love it so much.


The world is doomed.


Count me in as a soulless shell.


Wiwi, Kitty, you both are soul-less shells.


What a lovely sounding ballad – don’t know what the lyrics mean apart from ‘listen’. Many crescendos but who makes the rules on what makes a good song. Very professionally put together with little distraction.


Quite biased here since I live in Estonia and have been a fan of Ott Lepland for a few years, but he’s my favourite, and I think he’s pretty hot. I do hope he qualifies, and if he does, I will be satisfied!


This is actually one of the best ballads this year. I do not appreciate Vebooboo stealing my “eh” as I am the Canuck, not he!

I actually think the build-ups in this song were quite effective and powerful. And I was kuula-ing quite attentively. I don’t have much else to say.


[…] Eva Boto with “Verjamen” (4.75) 19. Ukraine: Gaitana with “Be My Guest” (4.75) 21. Estonia: Ott Lepland with “Kuula” (4.63) 21. Hungary: Compact Disco with “Sound of Our […]