Twenty songs. Ten finalists. One winner. Elina Nechayeva has become the winner of Eesti Laul 2018 and will represent Estonia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon in May, with the song “La Forza”. She’ll perform the opera track during the first half of the first Semi-Final on May 8.

She beat out stiff competition from Eurovision 2015 contestant Stig Rästa and indie group Vajé to take the crown in the super-final. 

A vision in a sparkling projection grown, Elina Nechayeva put her name in the Eesti Laul history books tonight. Serving galaxy starscape realness, she was pitch perfect and hit all of the challenging notes in “La Forza”. A runaway winner in the jury vote too, she didn’t put a foot wrong all night long.

Stig Rästa, who finished second, served minimalist hipster coffee shop staging realness. Surrounded by lightbulbs and strumming his guitar, Stig showed how to make a lot out of a little. His twinkly guitar ballad “Home” shone on stage without theatrics, but wasn’t enough to win the Estonian ticket to Eurovision in May.

ELINA NECHAYEVA WINS EESTI LAUL 2018 JURY VOTE

Elina received over 100 points, beating Sibyl Vane into second place and leaving Stig Rästa behind her.

After the jury voting closed Stig Rästa, Elina Nechayeva and Vajé all made the superfinal based on the public vote. Once there, Elina was named the winner by public vote.

FULL EESTI LAUL 2018 FINAL RUNNING ORDER

  1. Karl-Kristjan & Karl Killing (ft. WATEVA) – “Young”
  2. Eliis Pärna ja Gerli Padar – “Sky”
  3. Nika – “Knock Knock”
  4. Sibyl Vane – “Thousand Words”
  5. Stig Rästa – “Home”
  6. Vajé – “Laura (Walk With Me)”
  7. Elina Nechayeva – “La forza”
  8. Frankie Animal – “(Can’t Keep Calling) Misty”
  9. Iiris & Agoh – “Drop That Boogie”
  10. Evestus – “Welcome to my world”

Koit Toome & Laura won Eesti Laul 2017, but failed to advance from their semi-final. Their ballad “Verona” came close, and would have qualified if voting was based on televoting alone, but a subpar score from the jury knocked them out of contention.

Are you pleased with the result? Do you think Elina can win in May? Let us know in the comments below!

YOU CAN GET MORE ESTONIA EUROVISION NEWSHERE

Photo: Andres Putting

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tallin 2019
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tallin 2019

please stop hating on elina and on la forza, i understand that you guys don’t like this and stop saying it will end in a bad positions,we’ll never know until the semifinal & final

Escaddict
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Escaddict

This is a case of “pearls before swine”. Don’t expect the swine to appreciate how good this song is.
Actually, I am amazed how many positive comments there are. It just goes to show there are people with a broader appreciation of music; going far beyond 2018 pop.

Harly
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Harly

Listen to the studio version of it from Spotify
https://open.spotify.com/track/32GxSibwrYAGW4ZZ45CGHA?si=BoPx2UJ2S06dXWYKh-wD5A

It’s in the “Eesti Laul” playlist

Ann
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Ann

What’s with you guys? “Not a eurovision song”, “It’s not 1818″…Was Sobrals song eurovision type? NO. You voted for him, because he had a non-eurovision song and now you’re saying THIS is bad? I thought you said something about good music before ?
This is NOT a pop contest. It’s a song contest. And this song is a real masterpiece.

Jetty
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Jetty

THANK YOU, finally a person with common sense! Glad that there are people who can see the beauty of this song <3

Boy
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Its 2018, not 1818. This Song its so old and awful. Its not gonna be top 5.

Nel
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Nel

lol typical childish way of saying something that is sounds so “old” since you’re stuck with listening generic crap, grow up kid.

Escaddict
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Escaddict

@boy
Your ignorance of music is astounding.

blueeyed
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blueeyed

I will laugh when this song won’t qualify for the final. Occidentali’s karma had the highest ratings to win the whole thing. It didn’t 😀

honey
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honey

ahahah o cmonn it will qualifyy and win 90%.
I don’t like it but let’s face the reality.

blueeyed
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blueeyed

Malena Erman with her operesque pop song “La Voix” was really impressive, but this one is very disappointing. It definitely won’t go to my playlist.

Ann
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Ann

Disappointing?! Do you have an idea how EXTREMELY rare her type av voice is? It’s just unbelievable that a human being can sing that high. And she can.
It’s also a really deep song.

Escaddict
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Escaddict

I liked La Voix too but it was not opera, rather it was a pop song sung in an operatic style.

Donald Duck
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Donald Duck

Is clear that this horrible song dont go to the final , i hope , and i love Opera, and she have a big voice , but please not in this way , noooooooo, is just awful

Escaddict
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Escaddict

I love opera too & this song is amazingly good.

honey
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honey

Not liking it, but will it win.. 100% sure.
The naive televoters will massively vote for this, i am still hoping the jury will come to rescue us!

Safiya
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Safiya

Her voice is definitely beautiful, but to be honest it’s not the song I would enjoy listening, too… The performance may be impressive, but I wouldn’t really download the song. It does nothing for me…

Ay Jo
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Ay Jo

I waited for an explosion moment for three minutes which did not happen. But it is the only song I liked so far. (Romania is likable as well) The song`s melody itself is wonderful. I wonder how it would end up in different syle such as beautifully arranged pop certainly some head voice there, lol

Ann
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Ann

Did not happen? She sung higher than 99,9% av people can.

Ay Jo
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Ay Jo

Yes, she did. I do not remember where I mentioned she couldn’t sing in her higher register.

Escaddict
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Escaddict

I heard the explosion. It was brilliant.

bella
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bella

She is great with a great voice.Estonia wont win though.Opera isnt a music genre widely appreciated such as pop,rock,soul etc.After the classics songs from Jamala(ethnic with modern elements)and Salvador(retro jazz)something very current and modern will win that can enter the charts and the radios .Czech Republic or France.For me Czech Republic is the winner,for now.Mikolas gave me winning vibes such as Lena when i watched her the first time.His live in Ukrainian national final is great.Mercy is very catchy with a nice story .I expect Bulgaria to be among the favorites and Sweden if they choose Benjamin.So it is a… Read more »

Escphbelgium
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Escphbelgium

Amar Pelos Dois is Waltz music (as pointed by Laura Groeseneken)

Milla
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Milla

Who cares about her great vocals. She’s an operasinger! You can’t really compare it to anything. If you try to compare it with a popsingers voice you can’t because it’s two different ways to sing. That is why I think juries don’t give credit to opera. The song must be exceptionell as well.

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

As a musician taught in classical music myself, I know there is room in opera for elegance and simplicity when it comes to writing arias. Elina’s “La Forza” is no different to those, except for the harmonic undertones of pop music. It is a beautiful and emotional piece of music, regardless of the Eurovision context. I personally don’t see how it could fall short on song content, but I welcome other opinions. 🙂

Matt C
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Matt C

Wiwibloggs, and more specifically William point out that the dress projection is something never seen before and creative and innovative. If he wasn’t so blind-sighted about this entry he would’ve remembered that dress projections are so 2012. It was also a major feature in 2013 with Aliona Moon using it and also Petra had used it the same year. Nothing innovative here. I respect her voice but this song shouldn’t win. Who wants a 2019 full of opera singers? Didn’t think so!

Milla
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Milla

Right so!

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

EuroOpera 2019. Bring it on! 🙂

Matt C
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Matt C

@Purple Mask you’ll be the only one watching

Escaddict
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Escaddict

@matt c
I’ll be watching too.

Kyna
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Kyna

@ Matt C Oh c’mon mate, SO WHAT that it’s similar to Aliona Moon’s dress? Even before her the dress gimmick was used, this comparison was also said with Russia 2015 and for sure it will continue for years and years until the next victim with similar dress. And FYI, Elina’s dress is much bigger and better and owns the whole stage with it, she didn’t even need to be lifted up like Aliona was. This song shouldn’t win because you’re afraid that next year there will be full of operas? That’s such a naive way of thinking, look through… Read more »

Matt C
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Matt C

I’m not ignorant sorry. The dress part I mentioned as wiwibloggs like to invent their own truth. I only stated that the dress projection was used before and wasn’t “innovative”. Also Elina doesn’t need to be lifted because she’s just standing on a tall podium. Much prefer Aliona because there was some sort of motion/change whereas Elina is just static and doesn’t escalate as well. I’m not “afraid” don’t put words in my mouth. It just wouldn’t be as enjoyable. At the end of the day Eurovision is mostly a pop concert. Eurovision doesn’t innovate the music scene, nor does… Read more »

Kyna
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Kyna

I understand her being static, I can see that too.
It’s just the way you said that it shouldn’t win and after that assuming there will be full of operas next year sounds silly to me.
I accept if you don’t like this song, you’re totally entitled to your opinions and tastes, sorry if I sounded too aggressive 🙂

Dean
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Dean

I wasn’t a fan of Portugal last year and wad skeptical of this at first but I think it’s a great song sung beautifully. Think we’re looking at a battle between Estonia, Finland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Australia.

Bastian
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Bastian

Tell me where i can hear both Bulgaria and Australia…. lol

Konstantinos
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Konstantinos

1. Czech Republic
2. Estonia
3. Greece
4. Germany
5. Italy

Bastian
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Bastian

She is better than that song, i mean, where is the song??? You cant win with a beautiful voice only, its still a song contest after all. Give her a better song and she will be the queen of the night. Good luck

Ben-dazzled
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Ben-dazzled

I am relieved to find that there are a few voices here and through the Esc Fandom that are capable of seperating novelty acts from “quality” entries. La Forza was the obvious choice because I can see it working in the context or flow of a live show, NOT because this is class or quality. Coloratura sopranos work in THEIR art form and establish themselves in the right communities. Only rejects and sellouts aim at becoming crossover stars. Seeing Elina skyrocketing in odds and preferences is just disheartening. It is Il Volo all over again, even worse. I hope that… Read more »

Eurovizin
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Listen this masterpiece male version all please enjoy 🙂
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFPDK3vNa-I

Escaddict
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Escaddict

What a beautiful performance. He pushed his voice so high. This is not a song for light weights.

Music is art+vibs
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Music is art+vibs

The quality of this entry and her voice is undoubtable. But: the high tech overdose is an off for me at this point. I guess Im at that moment I prefer intimate personal essence and simplicitaty and this one brings me some kind of coldness and indifference. I appreciate a lot the varierty it brings to the contest and will surely do quiet well. Let’s see how Europe feels with this.

Bastian
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Bastian

+1000

Anita
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Anita

P.S. This is performance Jackie Evancho stile – not Eurovision.

L'oiseau
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OMG! I so totally agree. Worst victory ever! I hope Estonia wins one day with a good song to erase that horrible experience

L'oiseau
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Well that seemed inevitable. Among the three super finalist Elina was the obvious choice. She performed much better than in the SF and the staging is mesmerizing. The song in itself does not appeal to me very much. It seems a bit unoriginal and the production a bit 90’s new-age stuff. But it will be a strong contender and a great television moment, which will certainly pay off with a sure qualifier and a place on the left side of the scoreboard. If it is a winner? There I have my doubts, as I don’t see it making the cross-over.… Read more »

Anita
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Anita

…come to it’s senses – sorry, English is not my mothertongue

Anita
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Anita

This song mustn’t reach the final in Lisbon. I really enjoy classical music. This song – in spite of it’s nice dress thing and a good voice – is boring and the performance is boring too, I hope Eurovision will come to it’s sences and will leave this song in the semifinals! Vote for Albania, France, Ukraine, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Denmark, UK, whatever, but not this.

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

This performance almost moved me to tears. Elina, you are a wonderful singer. I do hope that you make the ESC final and give Estonia its best result in years. Bravo.

About Frankie Animal: I still love this band and hope they’ll go on to do great things. Sybil Vane too – they impressed me. And well done to Nika and to everyone else. A stunning National Final – Estonia is awesome!

Max
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Max

Absolutely an amazing song. It’s really an experience to watch! I get goosebumps. Stay pressed fastfoodies! And stop comparing this to Italy 2017. Italy’s curse was that it had to be cut short for time and it also won San Remo much earlier that Elina won Eesti Laul. She will definitely get top 3, if not win the whole thing.

AurelianTamisan
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AurelianTamisan

The only question is how this will do with the juries, otherwise it seems the clear favourite to win this year. And it would deserve, for sure.

Thirta
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Thirta

Oh thank god I wouldve raged if it werent her lmao

Youslay
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Youslay

An opera singer showing off her vocals with a pretentious song on the Eurovision stage. I hope juries do the right thing like they did before.

Lady Gaga
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Lady Gaga

Yup, totally agree. C’mon juries, use you cutting scissors 😛

lasse braun
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lasse braun

the much better conchita has won! 🙂

oggy
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oggy

Thank you for Estonia altought dont send Estonian language entry. But Italian song is best entry too. Nice for Estonia. <3

redfox
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redfox

yesss it is a nice change that we at least don´t have an english song. English makes all songs sound generic

Barnaby
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Barnaby

Elina looks like Laura from last year, even the Chewbacca hairstyle. Is this a thing in Estonia?

redfox
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redfox

worry, we have one stylist per country. Waiting list 55 years

Escphbelgium
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Escphbelgium

Egotistic entitled La Forza fans in 3…2…1…

Carlos
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Carlos

/her voice is magical,but no no no …i wound’t back to lisen it for second time,sorry

Colin
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Colin

Congrats, Estonia! Best song won! Tallinn 2019? Why not!

Dyon Trible
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Dyon Trible

This will win Eurovision 2018! TALLlNN2019

Barnaby
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Barnaby

I agree with Chris Halpin, opera is jury poison. Look at Cezar (Romania 2013) Il Volo (Italy 2015) Jacques Houdek (Croatia 2017), and those were songs that had chorus.

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

Give me an example of opera done to this level at Eurovision. Oh wait, you can’t. Because it never has been done.

Barnaby
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Barnaby

Sweden 2009, France 2011

Adam
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Adam

Those aren’t similar examples. La Voix was popera with very definable pop-like verses that only become opera in the chorus. France 2011 is only slightly similar yet had completely terrible staging, nothing similar to La Forza. Either way both those songs lack the epicness and power that La Forza has.

Barnaby
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Barnaby

Fine, but Estonia 2018 doesn’t have good staging. Aliona Moon and Polina Gagarina want their dress back.

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

Those were definitely not world-class opera singers by any stretch of the imagination. Elina, on the other hand….

And as Adam pointed out, La Forza is just such a better song than anything we’ve heard before at Eurovision in terms of opera. This could break new ground for opera in the same way that Salvador did last year.

eurovision6
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eurovision6

Chris does make a really good point. If Il Volo only finished like 6th with the juries, I imagine La Forza not even making top 10 with the juries let alone winning the televote..

Milos Perisic
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Milos Perisic

What a class. Go take some History of Art lessons everyone, don’t be Gaga era cliche queens.

iosa
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iosa

There’s no doubting her vocal talent – and the dress/production is spectacular (bravo!) but I just can’t see this type of tune doing well in Eurovision… (Plus, did we not have the dress gimmick-thing for Azerbaijan back in 2012?!)

Anaconda
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Anaconda

Please, we had the EXACT same dress (not just a lookalike as in Azerbaijan) in Moldova in 2013. That is exactly Aliona Moon’s dress, complete with effects.

MD
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MD

Popcorn: check
Some kind of alcohol: check
Relax in sofa: check
Ready to watch Eurofans hating their life out of La Forza, because they can’t stand its perfection. GO ESTONIA, NEW NO 1!!!

Jake
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Jake

Great voice and performance…but not sure why everyone is falling all over this song. I don’t think its a winner. The melody and the lyrics are not as memorable as Grande Amore…I actually think it pales in comparison.

Denis
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Denis

I kinda don¨t like this new direction ESC seems to be going in:the serious dramatic artsy entries. There is a place for them too but it’s like people forgets the fun aspect of ESC.?

Bring Back Denise
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Bring Back Denise

IIRIS IS THE WINNER. PRETTY KAWAII IIRIS

Ffs
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Ffs

Just No

balint345
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balint345

Where are now the people who called Hungary a “screamo”? 😀 This has even more screaming, I wonder why that doesn’t bother anyone. Opera never really works, unless you are a vampire or 3 handsome boys. Plus she seems douchy.

Say What
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Say What

And you are comparing Estonia to Hungary (Opera high notes vs screaming like drug-taking zombies) Just wait for the result to slap you in the face 😉

eurovision6
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eurovision6

Dont compare that masterpiece from Hungary to this useless fanwank

AurelianTamisan
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AurelianTamisan

In my opinion the Hungarian guy is not ‘screaming correctly’ if I am allowed to say it like that. I don’s see him as a great vocalist at all, it is not a top metal song. The only remarkable thing is that it is the only one from its genre, but it’s not a great one. And you can’t compare the song from Hungary with the one from Estonia, the girl is not screaming, she’s singing with very high notes, she’s a soprano, I think she’s singing perfectly. Her song is a top one and it is a quite original… Read more »

AngieP
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AngieP

It will stand out for sure! Great voice, wonderful performance. Juries will love her. And even if people don’t really like it, it will draw their attention instantly!
Good luck!

Ari
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Ari

Estonia is closing in on the betting odds. Iceland is now in last place and deservedly so. Still hoping they won’t choose the ultimate train wreck and at least stick with Dagur.

Zebb
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Zebb

The only selection that’s got chances to send modern genres’ showcasing songs goes all into tailored operatic… mhm, show 🙂 As if last year wasn’t enough, where you’ve had to blame esc juries, stage’s team and unstable vocals.

I just don’t wanna afraid that well produced diverse stuff will get lowered in submissions since it’s never properly supported by juries and perfomance producers.
Still, lots of admirable efforts from people that unwittingly push frames of ‘format’ is something that will keep special fire in this selection.

The Anders
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The Anders

Don’t like it at all. It is very over-the-top, and the composition seems messy to me. The production doesn’t go well with Elina’s classical singing style, which by the way is the only oper-like thing about it. The composition and production is clearly pop.

I’d rather listen to a real opera.

The Anders
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The Anders

(*only opera-like thing about it)

Joe
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Joe

Aw, I liked that one.