It was a thrilling final day for entries into Eesti Laul 2018. Hopeful acts raced to get their entries into the submission box at ERR. In the end, 258 entries were received, an increase on the 242 received last year.
ERR notes that a number of established artists and up-and-coming acts were among those dropping their entries off. However, no big names are listed, suggesting the regular stars of Eesti Laul got their entries in early.
As the remaining acts rushed to meet the 3pm deadline, Eesti Laul producer Mart Normet was waiting to receive the envelopes. He was thrilled by the record number of submissions and told ERR,
“Every year more and more songs are brought to Eesti Laul, which is a very good indicator of trust. I thank all the musicians who brought us our songs today. At the same time, I would like to see [grand final venue] Saku Suurhall be built bigger as the finale is selling out right away.”
In fact, the increased number of entries has meant a change to the selection process.
Songs will now be assessed in a two-step process. First, a 15-person expert jury, involving both Estonians and overseas experts, will listen to the entries. They’ll each give the song a rating from one to five. They’ll have a week to do this, which is intended to give jury members time to get to know the songs and not rush their decisions.
The song ratings will be tallied and the top 15 songs will advance to the live shows. The Eesti Laul editorial staff will then select an additional five acts that they feel will enrich the overall show line-up the most.
Among the submitted entries could be songs composed at the recent Eesti Laul songwriting camp. Among those who attended the camp were Eurovision stars Koit Toome, Ott Lepland and Jüri Pootsmann, along with Eesti Laul regulars Lenna Kuurmaa, Liisi Koikson and Maian.
The 20 selected songs will then be revealed on 19 and 20 December, just in time for Christmas.
The songs will compete in the two semi-finals of Eesti Laul on 10 and 17 February 2018, with the grand final due to be held on 3 March 2018.
What do you think? Who would you like to see back at Eesti Laul 2018? Who can get Estonia back into the Eurovision grand final?
Image: Kairit Leibold/ERR