Estonia will select its representative for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 tonight in the grand final of Eesti Laul. The grand finale kicks off at 20.35 CET and 10 acts will battle for the Estonian title in Saku Suurhall, the venue that hosted Eurovision 2002. Based on the combined results of our fan poll and the rankings of our Wiwi Jury, the winner should be Jüri Pootsmann, with the song “Play”.
His elegant ballad, composed by Eurovision 2015 star Stig Rästa, earned 17.83% of the votes in our poll and a very respectable 8.72/10 from our Wiwi Jury. Close behind him, we have Laura with “Supersonic”, who earned 16.18% of all votes and an 8.11/10 from the Wiwi Jury.
Eesti Laul 2016: Combined Results of Fan Poll and Our Jury
Wiwi Jury Reviews and Excerpts
1. Jüri Pootsmann – “Play” (8.72/10)
The best: (Mikhail, 10/10) Mesmerizing! The production of this track is beyond! It has an amazing set of instruments, which is really great. Moreover, it has Jüri’s voice, which is deep, wich touches your soul and gives you goosebumps. Also, his look may seem cold, but it goes right through you like a laser! I absolutely love it!
The worst: (Bernardo, 8/10) My second favourite and probably the winner. Jüri owns a powerful, deep, moving voice and Stig Rasta has delivered another brilliant piece of writing. I see this working perfectly at the national final and with the correct performance it should score a final spot at Eurovision. Bravo!
2. Laura – “Supersonic” (8.11/10)
The best: (Bogdan, 10/10) I’ve had this song on repeat since I first listened to it. It ticks all my musical boxes. Electropop? Yes. Dark lyrics? Uh-huh. Haunting vocals? Yes. Charismatic singer? Hello! Head-bopping rhythms? Yeah! Dramatic key change? Yep. I am even going to ignore some clumsy lyrics like “we must have to choose”, because musically “Supersonic” is pop perfection.
The worst: (Zakaria, 7/10) Another example of songwriters who believe that assembling difficult and non-related words in one sentence make great lyrics. I quite enjoyed listening to this one after going through the otherwise depressing entries in Eesti Laul. The chorus is infectious and Laura’s voice fits in very well. I think it’s all gonna come down to the stage performance.
3. Grete Paia – “Stories Untold” (7.25/10)
The best: (Sinan, 10/10) YAAAS OMG!! That is the song which Estonian people should choose for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016! It is Eurovision style, and I can just imagine how it could be performed on the stage this year. The song grabbed me from the first listen, which is very important because you have exactly three minutes to impress the audience. Wish her best of luck – I hope she wins!
The worst: (Luis, 5/10) I’m sorry but I’m not really keen to hear Grete’s untold stories. It began quite nice, with a very appealing dark atmosphere, but then it evolved into a generic R&B tune with a very cheap beat and a long, plain chorus. I’m not buying it.
4. Cartoon ft. Kristel Aaslaid – “Inmortality” (7.19/10)
The best: (Zakaria, 9/10) “Immortality” is a very contemporary and modern song. It offers so much in staging possibilities and with the right one and a strong vocal performance, I can see it as a contender for the title. More than that, I think this song has the potential to chart decently across Europe. Nonetheless, it might need a little revamp…
The worst: (Antranig, 6.5/10) This song leaves me very conflicted because it is compelling but it never hits top gear. “Immortality” has plenty of potential but I wouldn’t want to see it in Stockholm without a revamp. The current version might get through the semis but I can’t see it doing well in the grand final. However, it’s definitely a contender to win Eesti Laul.
5. I Wear* Experiment – “Patience” (7.08/10)
The best: (Mikhail, 9/10) This was one of the first Eesti Laul entries to be released and I still love it! This music takes you away, makes you feel something. It creates a special atmosphere that makes you want to create something! A little bit inspirational, I would say. The only problem with this song is that its lyrics are a bit repetitive, but I can live with that.
The worst: (Deban, 4/10) The first minute left me spellbound! However, as we hit the chorus, the song became a major letdown. Too shouty at times, and hemmed with an unnecessary drum kit. Towards the end, I’d lost patience. What started out beautifully has turned into a hot mess!
6. Mick Pedaja – “Seis” (6.61/10)
The best: (Cristian, 10/10) Is “Seis” a right song for the Eurovision? No, not at all but… who cares? I could have said exactly the same thing for “Love injected” the last year but it became one of my fave Eurovision entry ever so I’m here to support Mick Pedaja and his song, pure eargasmic emotion. This is possibly the best entry of this Eesti Laul!
The worst: (Antranig, 0/10) I like songs that are a little different but what on earth is this? This sounds like something they would play at a medical clinic to numb your senses before they stab you with a needle. Strangely enough, a needle would be less painful than listening to this again.
7. Go Away Bird – “Sally” (7.03/10)
The best: (Kristin, 10/10) In the words of the great George Takei, “Oh myyy!” Go Away Bird completely slays! I love this raspy, throwback sound of theirs and they’re all just so darn cute as well! “Sally” is one of the strongest entries in Eesti Laul this year, and is certainly a force to be reckoned with. They’re actually just too cool to function!
The worst: (William, 4/10) The ’60s opening reminds me of Franz Ferdinand’s “Walk Away”. Sadly, this song is nowhere as good as that one. The breathy vocals ooze sex and sass, but the monotonous backing and shapeless melody get old fast. This works as a canapé, but not a main course.
8. Kéa – “Lonely Boy” (6.39/10)
The best: (Josh, 8/10) C’mon, Estonian Kelly Clarkson! “Lonely Boy” is poppy, catchy and radio friendly. Kéa has a great vocal range and it suits the mood and style of this song perfectly. Because this could mesh too well into some other mainstream acts likely to be sent by other countries, I don’t think this would stand out very much in Stockholm, but it’s still a decent song.
The worst: (Bogdan, 4/10) An interesting effort compromised by the chorus, which is not only underwhelming but also annoyingly repetitive. The singer has a decent voice, but unfortunately is not helped by an uneven song that goes nowhere. I would be surprised if it makes the final!
9. Kati Laev & Noorku – “Kaugel Sinust” (5.39/10)
The best: (George, 8.5/10) When the intro is over, I was really expecting to hear “waking in the rubble”, but “Kaugel Sinust” came instead. It’s a really nice song and that orchestral backing fits perfectly. I don’t know if it’s going to win Eesti Laul, but I know that I want Sam Smith’s 007 song replaced with this one…
The worst: (Patrick, 2/10) The drama…. my God, it could be from the ’80s book of Eurovision. First of all, she is a beautiful young girl but she sings like reincarnated Willeke Alberti in a young body. Mama mia, this would be too much for Eurovision and people would fall asleep, I mean what can she do on the stage? Meanwhile I grab some cushions and take a nap. NEXT!
10. Meisterjaan – “Parmuphillihullus” (2.78/10)
The best: (Kristin, 8.5/10) This is so deliciously quirky!! I smiled the whole time, while listening to this. OK, so its probably not gonna do some major damage in Eesti Laul, but golly, this is entertaining! The jawharp, the rythm and his obvious “Whatever, I’m just gonna do my thing here” attitude leaves a strange feeling of satisfaction. Weirdness alert? Hell yes! Need my support? Where do I sign??
The worst: (Zakaria, 0/10) Each national final has a joke entry and I guess this is Estonia’s. I can hardly imagine someone actually writing, composing and singing a song like this. No voice, no rhythm and something tells me I don’t need to know what the lyrics are about. Come on Eesti Laul, you got us used to better than that!
Eesti Laul 2016: Poll results
- I Wear* Experiment – “Patience” 5.83% (148 votes)
- Go Away Bird – “Sally” 3.19% (81 votes)
- Kati Laev – “Kaugel sinust” 2.99% (76 vote)
Our poll also contained the non-qualifiers. Take a look at the full results here (qualifiers are highlighted in bold):
Wiwi Jury results
- Jüri Pootsmann — “Play” (8.72)
- Laura — “Supersonic” (8.11)
- Grete Paia — “Stories Untold” (7.25)
- Cartoon & Kristel Aaslaid — “Immortality” (7.19)
- I Wear* Experiment — “Patience” (7.08)
- Go Away Bird — “Sally” (7.03)
- Kéa — “Lonely Boy” (6.39)
- Mick Pedaja — “Seis” (6.61)
- Kati Laev & Noorkuu — “Kaugel sinust” (5.39)
- Meisterjaan — “Parmupillihullus” (2.78)
Eesti Laul will take place tonight at 20.35 CET. You can follow it here!
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