The year of 2018 is slowly coming to an end, but 2019 promises to be just as spectacular as the year of clucking and fuego. National final line-ups are being finalised across Europe and one of those we already know is the illustrious Eesti Laul in Estonia.
Building on Elina’s success at Eurovision 2018, ERR have decided to beef up the national final by increasing the number of participants, resulting in twelve acts per semi-final. So it’s time to take a look at the first semi-final, while you, dear readers, vote on who your favourite is.
Set to take the stage on January 31st, the twelve competing acts of the first semi final are:
|1.||The Swingers||“High Heels in the Neighbourhood”|
|3.||Sofia Rubina-Hunter||“Deep Water”|
|4.||xtra basic & Emily J||“Hold Me Close”|
|5.||Johanna Eendra||“Miks sa teed nii?”|
|8.||Jennifer Cohen||“Little Baby El”|
|9.||Sandra Nurmsalu||“Soovide Puu”|
Everyone loves a good comeback and this year’s edition of Eesti Laul certainly does not lack in that department. One of the stand out names is Urban Symphony’s lead singer Sandra Nurmsalu, who competed back in 2009 with the beautifully haunting opus: “Rändajad”. While that may have been ten years ago, she has not lost sight of what made her such a memorable artist in Moscow. Other familiar names come from more recent editions of Eurovision such as Birgit Õigemeel (2013) and Tanja (2014), who are the main vocalists in The Swingers.
However, it is not just Eurovision returnees who are in abundance at Eesti Laul 2019. There are also a handful of Eesti Laul alumni set to take the stage. The first of two in this semi-final is Stefan Airapetjan (Stefan), who took part last year in the group Vajé. This edition, Stefan is taking Eesti Laul on as a lone ranger with his song “Without You”. The second returnee is Kristel Aaslaid (one half of the duo Öed) who took part back in 2016 alongside DJ trio Cartoon with the song “Immortality”. Both acts finished third in their respective years, but now they’re both back for revenge, competing to represent Estonia in Tel Aviv next May.
Genres for days…
Eesti Laul has become famous in the community for the wide spectrum of genres and styles that make the contest’s final line up. Last year we were taken to the pagan wilderness with “Külm”, to La Scala by “La Forza” and cuddled up next to the fireplace with Stig Rästa’s “Home” — and 2019 is no different y’all.
This semi-final, especially, has a grand mix of genres to choose from, as well as a couple of entries sung entirely in Estonian. Right from the offset, Sandra Nurmsalu’s entry was abuzz with fans and interest as she is, once again, bringing something unique and special to the contest and is taking the reins of the ethno-genre at the contest.
Edging more towards the contemporary, we found ourselves among the likes of xtra basic & Emily J and Victor Crone. Serving modern and original, both entries are bringing their own individual identity to the contest. They’re something that one could easily hear on the radio all over the world, making them accessible to a wide audience and helping their cause to win Eesti Laul.
Finally, it’s important to mention two of the wacky stand-outs of this semi-final, namely The Swingers and Öed, both entrants bringing something unmatched in the semi-final. Channeling their inner Mikolas Josef, The Swingers are bringing jazz, swing and pop together into a cohesive number, which we can only imagine will be as explosive and exciting live as the studio version is.
Öed are similarly bringing something upbeat and wild to the contest, albeit through a more cheeky and punk-driven medium. While you may not understand the lyrics completely, you cannot help but enjoy the fun and fresh atmosphere the girls are creating.
Who should win the first semi-final of Eesti Laul 2019?
There are, of course, numerous other fabulous artists to explore and fall in love with as these are just a few, which stood out after a first listen. Be sure to have a listen through all the songs and cast your vote in our poll below! You can vote for as many acts as you like, but you can only vote ONE time. Tick the box next to each act you want to support before pressing submit.
The Swingers, Tanja & Birgit - High Heels in the Neighbourhood
Marko Kaar - Smile (Eesti Laul 2019)
xtra basic & Emily J - Hold Me Close (Official Lyric Video) [EESTI LAUL 2019]
Johanna Eendra - Miks sa teed nii? (Eesti Laul 2019 semi finalist)
STEFAN - Without You (Official Video) [Eesti Laul 2019]
Sandra Nurmsalu - Soovide puu
Jennifer Cohen - Little Baby El (Eesti Laul 2019 semi finalist)
DEEP WATER - Sofia Rubina ft. Janika Tenn - EESTI LAUL 2019
ÖED - Öhuloss
Victor Crone - Storm (OFFICIAL VIDEO) Eurovision 2019 Entry
Ranele - Supernova (Official Video) Eesti Laul 2019 semi-finalist
INGER - Coming Home (Official Video)
Vote in our poll