They say that bigger is better.
And that proverb appears to have inspired Estonian broadcaster ERR, which has just announced sweeping changes for Eesti Laul 2019.
The semi-finals will take place outside of Tallinn for the first time and in another first they’ll be broadcast live. In previous years, the semi-finals have been taped in advance and then broadcast a week later, when live voting takes place.
Foreign artists will also be allowed to enter the competition, alongside Estonians.
A further first includes fees for participation. Artists with songs in Estonian will pay €25, while artists with songs in foreign languages will pay double.
The number of songs in Eesti Laul 2019 will also expand. There will be 24 semi-finalists, up from the usual 20 and twelve finalists instead of ten.
The dates have also been pulled forward. The first semi-final will take place on January 26, with the second on February 2 and the final on February 16.
When will we hear the Eesti Laul 2019 songs?
The semi-finalists will be revealed on November 15, but eager fans will have to wait until December 4 to hear the songs.
He also says the new participation fees are to encourage, “writing of Estonian language songs”.
Rahul also says Estonia’s most successful Eurovision songwriters were consulted on the changes and all endorse them. The change to allow foreign entries has also been driven by requests from “prominent composers”.
Speaking about his role he added, “I’m still studying every second of every day.”
In recent years Eesti Laul has developed a reputation for offering a more eclectic mix of songs than other national finals on the circuit. Whether there will be changes to the songs selected remains to be seen.
Source: Kroonika, ERR