Estonia’s road to Lisbon has begun! Tonight ten acts took the stage during the first semi-final of Eesti Laul 2018, hoping to win one of five spots up for grabs in the final in Tallinn in March. After performing their hearts out, ten became five and Stig Rasta, Iiris & Agoh, Elina Netsajeva, Sibyl Vane came out on top, with Vajé winning the public vote and the fifth spot in the final. They’ll take to the stage again on March 3 during the final. 

EESTI LAUL 2018 SEMI-FINAL 1 QUALIFIERS

Iiris & Agoh “Drop That Boogie”

Offering neon anime realness, Iiris & Agoh have managed to drop their boogie all the way into the final.

Sibyl Vane “Thousand Words”

Sibyl Vane gave neo noir for days on stage, elevating a subpar song with a polished performance.

Stig Rästa “Home”

There was no doubt Stig would advance from this semi-final, but his staging paled in comparison to some of the dramatics on offer. Room for growth if he’s definite on winning the ticket to Eurovision again.

Elina Netšajeva “La Forza”

Elina was the performance of the night. Dramatic, sweeping and sonically on point, she’s the full package to beat in the final.

Vajé “Laura (Walk with Me)”

They performed first and won the fifth spot in the final. Let’s hope they keep their hands to themselves when they get there.

EESTI LAUL 2018 SEMI-FINAL 1 NON-QUALIFIERS

Etnopatsy “Külm”

Aden Ray “Everybody’s Dressed”

Tiiu x Okym x Semy “Näita oma energiat”

Miljardid “Pseudoprobleem”

Desiree “On My Mind”

Eesti Laul continues next week with Semi-Final 2 where a further ten acts will take to the stage in their bid to represent Estonia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. After two years in the wilderness, with Koit & Laura, and Juri before them, failing to qualify from their semi-finals ERR will be looking for an act that can take Estonia back to the final where it belongs.

Do you think they found the act? Are there any acts you think missed out on qualifying? Or are there any acts who qualified you’d swap out for a non-qualifier? Let us know in the comments below!

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49 Comments on "Estonia: Elina Nechayeva and Stig Rasta among first five qualifiers from Eesti Laul 2018 Semi-Final 1"

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L'oiseau
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Thanks wiwi for sharing this links. It made it very easy to listen to all the songs. I am so amazed by the overall quality of the entries. This is what a national pre-selection should be: to show the very best what is happening in the music scene of one country. La Forza seems indeed the one to beat and if gets through it will be a very strong contender, but not necessarily to win… It is not my cup of tea, though. I do love opera, but in its context, and those high notes could maybe be improved… I… Read more »
L'oiseau
Guest

*”not” in this context

Bastian
Guest

Sure it will reach the top 10 in ESC, but winning? Im quite sure it wont happen. It feels like fans are looking for their diva to represent them lol. Yeah she is a beauty, yes she can sing, yes the camerawork is amazing and yes the song is good, but lets be honest, its not the kind of song that will win, we all know that. Dont be dissapointed in May 🙂

Ohi
Guest

I think la Forza will win in Estonia and place well but I didn’t feel anything. It left me a bit cold and I think that it won’t be contending for the win in Lisbon. Top 10 maybe….of it might do a sogno

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

The Eurovision Song Contest 2018 winner Elina Nechayeva better come through.

Joe
Guest

Don’t jinx it!

Dew
Guest

This is like a vocal show…the song is just boring. Robotic at best.

Eve
Guest

Please take notes from Il Volo or Boccelli how to make pop opera song which is not boring. This is just vocal showcase, a beautiful one indeed, but that’s just it for me.

Return Denise
Guest

Laforza suce-moi

Return Denise
Guest

Iiris my beautiful petal

redfox
Guest

Aden ray really impressed me with his buddhist calm, but clearly too stylish and elite for local taste. Will become radio hit.

It would be fair if 7 got through from I semi & 3 from second (1 who is worth it & two with pity votes) second semi is trash

Mr Häggkvist
Guest

I’m so happy to see Elina in the final, she’s by far the one to beat and her stage presence is just impressive, i’m so mesmerized by La Forza and from the whole national final season, this is the most promising song to do something great in Lisbon… Stig is just “fine”, Etnopatsy was boring and Desiree a hot mess on stage… The best of luck to Elina!

Phary
Guest

I’m a little bit sad and surprised about Külm not making it, but at least Vilna made it in Ukraine if you want some “Hella-hella-hey” realness. 😀
Elina totally slayed.

Héctor
Guest

I’m so happy for Sybil Vane and Stig! They totally deserved it, though I’m not abig fsn of Sybil’s outfits… The stagings look impressive too!

Escphbelgium
Guest

The hell!!! On My Mind is OUT??? THAT’S RIDICULOUS!!!
PLEASE ESTONIA!!! ANYTHING BUY LA FORZA!!!!

Escphbelgium
Guest

*BUT LA FORZA

Laburnum
Guest

Desiree was so bad live it was laughable, that’s why she’s out 🙂

Escphbelgium
Guest

Desiree’s performance was bit rough around the edges but she still deserves to qualify over La Forza or Thousand Words.

Zolipop
Guest

There goes my favorite (Külm)
So yeah, either Home or La Forza would do it now, but I’ll miss Etnopasty.

Ely
Guest

Elina is going to win Eesti Laul for sure…

Briekimchi
Guest

Flawless.
People are going to find reasons to talk this down, as they do with anything that is a strong favourite but really, this is something special. Don’t mess it up, Estonia!

oldschool
Guest

elina’s staging is a flop….. and la forza is not as Il Volo but it will be the same destiny of France 2011, favourite of bookmakers until the end, and not in the top 10 in the final ranking, La forza is not so memorable , not enough strong to get the vote of europe, and I don’t like the way she performs….. so pretentious and not a winning song of esc for sure.

Antranig Shokayan
Editor

Elina slayed!

AngieP
Guest
Elina had the best performance by far! What an amazing singer is she! At this point, I want to mention that in my mind opera is like someone screaming words I can’t understand and that’s why I don’t quite like it. However, that changed with my beloved Italian trio “Il volo” in 2015. They gave context and emotion to an entry which wasn’t just 3 men singing opera. Back in 2018, Elina gave context and life to an opera song in Italian and made it completely different and distinguished from the other 9 songs. I’m not sure if she can… Read more »
Mar
Guest

Sad for Etnopatsy 🙁 they were my favourites this semi. Of course Elina delivered, she’s an opera singer singing an opera song. I fail to see waht the big deal is about La Forza, and that staging was very been there done that.

Joe
Guest

I make no predictions on anyone winning this. There’s a lot to consider, of course (who wins the nationals, then the jury semi, then the semi-final, then – if she gets that far – jury final and, of course, the grand final, and on top of all that, we still don’t know the majority of the other competing songs). I wouldn’t rule her out of the top ten if she makes it, but I make no early predictions. Let’s see where the chips fall. I can only hope, and I HOPE this wins Eesti Laul.

Brent Ohlund
Guest

OMG! Had goosebumps listening and watching Elina’s performance! Stunning! Estonia: just send this already! 10/10!!! Amazing!

Catriona Colville
Guest

I’m going to laugh hard when Elina (who might not even win, Stig was very strong) flops at ESC. Eurovision fans are too quick to hop on hype trains. The general public will be less impressed.

Sabrina
Guest
Wow, that was a great semifinal. Don’t let the danish watch it, otherwise they’ll feel bad about their final. 😛 “La Forza” may be overrated as a song and opera a tricky genre for Eurovision but how can you say no to Elina? That’s powerful, exquisite and impressive. It also has production values, even if the projections on her dress aren’t a thing we already have seen before. I love Iiris! She’s my spirit animal in this competition for sure. Loved her performance, the staging, the costumes, everything. If if wasn’t for Elina, it would be my pick for Estonia.… Read more »
Marx
Guest

I agree.. Külm and Aden Ray would have been a better choices for finals than Stig or Vaje. Especially Külm 🙂

Although I think that Sibyl was not very deserving for their spot because vocally it didn’t shine through like it does in studio version. It was hard to understand what she was saying and Chorus lacked proper power. Although the quality of the song still makes it far better than bland Stig and even more bland Vaje.

Daniel
Guest

Elina swept the floor back and forth with everyone else tonight. She was astonishing! <3

Pavel
Guest

Elina’s song is another ”Sognu(Dream)” type of opera pseudo-odds favourite.
The song is so boring and lazy, even ”La Voix” looks exciting in comparison.

Daniel
Guest

Typical when someone cannot distinguish between crossover genres. Who compares a true opera singer like Elina and her opera-dominant song to crossover singers?

Pavel
Guest

It’s not an opera song anyway, it’s tries to mimic an opera song

Joe
Guest

Yeah, but we KNOW she can sing live. Amaury was sabotaged by not being able to adjust to a lower key.

Return Denise
Guest

Amaury was cheated by trash german sound equipment in stadium. He was the favorite and german host cannot allow lena to lose to a pretty french boy

West
Guest

I’m happy that Iiris is in final, but sad that Etnopatsy isn’t.
Elina has the best vocals of them all – I get it. I still don’t like her song – too bland and uninteresting for my taste.
Vajé was my n.2 going into this, but live performance really weak.
Did I mention I’m sad that Etnopatsy isn’t in the final? I’m not sad – I’m furious!

Stephanie
Guest

I’m being brutally honest here: I’m not buying into the hype over Elina and “La Forza”. Sure she singlehandedly shot Estonia to the top of the bookies’ odds (it’s still too early to call regarding that) and everyone is saying that it’s the greatest NF song since sliced bread, but why all the fawning over the song? Opera is one of the riskiest genres to cover in ESC, and I’m not sure the casual viewer will get it if it goes to Lisbon

Marx
Guest

Sad that Everybody dressed and Külm didn’t manage to get to the finals.. They had a good song and good show that could have become even more impressive in finals.. Instead Vaje and Sybil got in 🙁

chup
Guest

Definately have to agree with you…
But at least the result matters (Elina)

Zebb
Guest

The bathtub though. I’m second time being kicked in my eyes, after wonderful Noeme – Levegot (in A Dal) was tortured. Yet the last part was kinda crumpled, loosing all vibing.
Elina was a likeable on stage. Was it that one perfomance though? Not even blatant Gagarina whirpool to captivate me as not a fan of song.

Not like I’d dare to expect solid stage from Estonia

Zebb
Guest

Pardon me, I misplaced a comment 🙂

JonathanUK
Guest

Elina has to go to Lisbon!!! That was inspired.

Jo
Guest

As we know, every three years Estonia comes back to the Top 10, so welcome back!

Joe
Guest

Or it can be 1999-2002 and they make the top ten four years in a row (or, better still, win!).

Pavel
Guest

Opera fanwank of the year. Another ”Sognu(Dream)” on our hands.
Can only be saved by Elina’s (very) good looks, she’s very likable.

Jo
Guest

I kinda agree with you. I don’t think she’s an ESC winner, the bookies are overrating this (I think it’s because of Il Volo). But she’s a Top 10 contender.

ESCBEE
Guest

Elina must win!! She’s the creme de la creme

Lewis S
Guest

Yes Elina… if she wins the final she easily gets my 12 points!!!