Wiwibloggs continues our new series looking at all the countries currently competing in the Eurovision Song Contest and why we love them — for all the right (and sometimes wrong) reasons. Today we are taking a stroll in the medieval old town of Tallinn while reminiscing about Estonia’s history in Eurovision.

Estonia first appearance was in 1994. Since then they have only missed one contest and even have one win on their CV. Estonia isn’t exactly known for taking the regular road when it comes to Eurovision and their national final — Eesti Laul — has become one of the most popular and most anticipated events of the national season. So let us take a look at ten reasons why we love Estonia at Eurovision.

1. The beautiful Estonian language

After the changes of the language rule that allowed countries to sing in whatever language they liked, English has been the dominant language at Eurovision. But we still get to hear the less widely spoken languages of Europe — and Estonian is just one of those. Estonia has sent three songs sung entirely in Estonian and one song that was sung in the Finnic-Uralic language Võro, a language originating from the southern part of Estonia. Of those four attempts, they even made it to the top ten twice, in 2009 and 2012.

2. They know how to bring sexual tension to the stage

It’s said that “sex sells” and plenty of Eurovision acts have attempted to bring sexy singers and dancers to the stage. But actual sexual tension between two people on the stage haven’t been that common. But the smouldering tension between Stig Rästa and Elina Born in 2015 was so palpable that people are still drooling over the act today.

3. The quality and variety of Eesti Laul

Estonia’s national final, Eesti Laul, has become one of the most anticipated national finals every year. That is mostly due to the incredible variety and quality that is found in this relatively small country’s music scene. We have had everything from goth rock to pop bangers, hip hop to schlager and country to comic book pop. Every year there is at least one weird song that seems to defy being pigeonholed as one particular genre. Meisterjaan’s entry in 2016 is just one of those songs. Just sit down, relax and try to figure out what in the world is going on.

4. They gave us this highly GIF-able moment

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5. Not only can they sing, they can dance as well

In many ways, Eurovision is so much more than just a song contest — it’s about the whole package. And dancing is just one of the elements that fill up that package. In 2007, Estonia brought us former Dancing with the Stars contestant Gerli Padar, who showed us some fierce dance moves in her entry “Partner in Crime“. But they have also given us an unforgettable acrobatic modern-dance routine. Even though Tanja didn’t make it to the final in 2014, her dance moves sure were “Amazing”.

6. They gave us this dress

Y’all probably remember the big “Say yes to the dress” drama, where it seemed as if Estonia wouldn’t be able to use Elina Nechayeva‘s enormous projection dress in Lisbon. Thankfully that crisis was averted and as a result Estonia gave us one of the most extravagant outfits to ever appear on the Eurovision stage. Thank the fashion lord!

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7. They are not afraid of a comeback

Estonia has not given us just one comeback, not just two, but three comebacks. First we had the two-year consecutive appearance by Maarja-Liis Iilus. In 1996 she got Estonia’s first top-five placing with her duet partner Ivo Linna, and in 1997 she came back as a solo act and snatched another top ten placing. In 2017 we got a double comeback, when former alumni Koit Toome (first appearance in 1998) and Laura (first appearance in 2005 as a part of Suntribe) got lost in Verona but failed to find a way out of there.

8. They don’t take themselves too seriously

Humour is essential to life and Eurovision is no exception, and Estonia sure has sent us some novelty acts. Some didn’t always bring the laughs like Estonia’s entry in 2008. Kreisiraadio showed up with the song “Leto Svet” where the lyrics were made up of up mostly random words in Serbian, German and Finnish and the staging included cardboard signs of food. But they have also sent some little less “slap-in-the-face” humorous acts. Malcolm Lincoln & Manpower 4, who represented Estonia in 2010, are a good example of a less obvious novelty act where maybe not everyone actually realised that it was really a joke. Malcolm Lincoln’s name might be the first clue though, as he got the name from a quiz show where a contestant got a little confused and thought that the first name of USA’s 16th president was Malcolm and not Abraham.

9. The bring that magical element on stage

Magic tricks are a solid part of show business and Estonia gave us the Abracadabra-realness twice. Well, it might have failed in the second attempt when Jüri Pootsman tried to “Play” us with his card trick in 2016 but instead ended up in the last place in his semi-final. However Getter Jaani was a bit more successful with her illusion in 2011. At least her scarf-to-stick trick got her to the final and to be honest, that trick left some of us gagging. How did she do that? A magician never reveals her secret.

10. They came so close to defending their crown

After their win in 2001 everyone’s attention was brought to the small Baltic nation of Estonia, the first of the former Soviet Union countries to win the contest. The host nation has a big responsibility to put on a great show for the rest of Europe, so trying to snatch that trophy might not always be the first priority. But Estonia walked on to the 2002 stage on home ground with one goal and one goal only; to keep that trophy in the Baltics. And they came so close, as their temporary immigrant from Sweden, Sahlene, ran away to the stars and made it to third place. But even though they didn’t win, they saw their neighbours Latvia win, keeping the contest in the Baltics.

Bonus! Keeping it in the family

Brother and sister Tanel and Gerli Padar have both represented their homecountry, although Tanel’s results were a tad better than his sisters. Also, Koit Toome and Maarja-Liis were in a long-term relationship in the nineties/noughties.

What do you love about Estonia? Do you think they have what it takes to win it all? Let us know in the comments below!

Follow more Estonia news here 

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Polegend Godgarina
Guest

A legendary and skinny country

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

I would love to see Maarja make a comeback. Ines too.

noone
Guest
noone

Malcolm Lincoln was a joke and a novelty act? What? I don’t get why you write that, it’s a serious alternative song about depression and suicide, as far as I understand. He was a bit kooky, but it was OK. It’s by far the best song from Estonia. The other is Goodbye to Yesterday which should have won 2015. You write they had sexual tension on stage? What? They look like a couple who is fighting.

MusicIstheKey
Guest
MusicIstheKey

I have always liked “Siren”, and what you write makes me like it even more. Credit for song writers who dares with serious issues when they write lyrics forESC

pp77
Guest
pp77

For me best 3 song from Estonia 2000 (deserved to won more than 2001), 1994 and 2004. I also like song from 1999, 2009, 2011, 2012 ( for me better is version from their nationa final ),2014, 2016 ( good song but stage perforamance was not good and singer was to nervious) , 2014, 2017,2018
For me overrated in 1996,1997,2001,2002
Underrated in 1994,2011
Deserved tp be in final 2004, 2006, 2007,2014
Don t deserved to be in final 2013

Hrvatska
Guest
Hrvatska

I love Estonian, please give this song in 2019

Nora Madaras
Guest
Nora Madaras

One of the best countries in this modern Eurovision age tbh. I love Randajad, Play, etc. but my favorite song OF ALL TIME is Goodbye to Yesterday. What a masterpiece. Definitely should have won

Ana
Guest
Ana

Estonia is my third favourite country in the modern Eurovision (after Italy & Hungary). This year, I preferred Laura (Walk With Me) to La Forza, but Elina’s performance was very good too. The songs I like the most are Kuula, Lost in Verona, Et Uus Saks Alguse, Play, Siren – but my favourite one is definitely Goodbye to Yesterday (it was so beautiful! <3).

Jayy R
Guest
Jayy R

Estonia is by far one of my favourite countries in Eurovision! I watch their national final every year without fail. I cheer for them in the Semi-Final and the Final. I’ve even managed to get a small Estonian flag to wave during their performance! Ma armastan Eesti!

MusicIstheKey
Guest
MusicIstheKey

I agree, Eesti laul is a great national selection. Lots of musical diversity, and they are not afraid of thinking outside the box.

james
Guest
james

“But they have also sent some little less “slap-in-the-face” humorous acts. Malcolm Lincoln & Manpower 4, who represented Estonia in 2010, are a good example of a less obvious novelty act where maybe not everyone actually realised that it was really a joke.”

Malcolm Lincoln was not a joke act, it was just different from the usual Scandipop you have come to expect from Eurovision. The song “Siren” was about suicide. Do some research before making statements like that.

Pandaman
Guest
Pandaman

Yeah, that was a strange point. I’d never think of it as a joke act – and still cannot. Because what exactly is so funny about it, the band name? If so, we could say that “Midnight Gold” was a novelty act, because what serious band name themselves “Young Georgian Lolitaz”?

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

Oh Estonia… Another one of my 3 favourite countries at Eurovision (the other ones are Hungary and Italy). Estonia almost never fails to deliver something great and memorable… But am I the only one who noticed, that Estonia just has a thing for dark haired women with light eyes? Like seriously, look at the last years: 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2018 , in all those years they’ve sent that kind of woman…. It’s kind of a funny coincidence. ^^ These are my Top 5 favourite entries from the fabulous Estonia tho: 1.,,Rändajad”-2009 (10/10, my 2nd favourite eurovision song… Read more »

Joe
Guest
Joe

Man, they’ve actually won and there isn’t even a full spot to talk about it? Definitely speaks to how little people think of Everybody, often regarded as one of the weakest songs to win the contest. And there’s my dirty little secret: stupid though it may be, it’s one of my favorite winners and I’ve listened to it more than any of the supposedly “better” songs from that year (ok, except maybe for France). It’s catchy, it’s simple, and it’s fun. I admire the fact that a song with relatively low ambition except to be catchy and fun could be… Read more »

Joe
Guest
Joe

Oh! Forgot Randajad. Close to being my favorite of 09, as a lot of non-Rybak songs that year do (alas, it’s always gonna be Rybak for me).

Joe
Guest
Joe

Songs that are close to being as good as Norway in 2009: Estonia, UK, Moldova, Israel, Iceland. Armenia, Azerbaijan, France, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey, Spain, Montenegro, Ireland, Portugal, Malta, Greece, Cyprus, Albania
Only song that’s as good as Norway in 2009: Norway

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

Why I love Estonia:
1. Songs like “Goodbye to yesterday”. One of the best esc songs of the decade in my opinion!
2, The language. I still remember the 2009 song, no idea what it was about but still loved it!
3. Eesti Laul. I’ve been following this national selection since 2015 or 2016 and I think that the quality of the songs is quite good.

ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)
Guest
ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)

I simply love “Rockefeller Street”. It is so uplifting! “Keep moving, keep moving, keep moving, keep moving, if you want to know what Rockefeller groove is” <3 <3 <3

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Estonian language is magical!

Reality Checker
Guest
Reality Checker

I like their take-it-or-leave it mentality, for the most part. 2008 is unforgivable as it was just disgusting nonsense and not even funny on any level. But Ott Lepland redeemed Estonia for me. Beautiful song, beautiful voice, beautiful performance, beautiful guy. Everything was just beautiful. Same with Koit Toome. in 1998, obviously. Also, I still liked Jüri despite coming dead last and having an obviously unfortunate performance. I am glad that nowadays they embrace their Estonian merits and developed one of the most interesting national selections we currently have. It’s a complete turn around from 2002. Importing a Swede to… Read more »

Juri's Toy
Guest

Rumor has it they make it into the top 10 every 3 years
2009
2012
2015
2018
2021?

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

6th
6th
7th
8th
9th?

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Given this pattern, probably 8th in 2021; then maybe 9th in 2024.

Kyna
Guest
Kyna

*blushing in Estonian*