She had runaway success at Eurovision 2002 and remains the last Estonian act to have made the top three at Eurovision.
But Swedish singer Sahlene has revealed she failed to make the cut for Eesti Laul 2019 and that her candidate song was written by Eurovision winner Linnea Deb.
Speaking to Estonian outlet Kroonika the star said she’s “disappointed”:
“I’m disappointed the song didn’t go through and miss the Estonian audience.”
But, Sahlene added it hasn’t discouraged her from trying again:
“Unfortunately the Estonian pre-selection round didn’t want me for this year’s competition, but I will definitely try again next year!”
The news follows a change in Eesti Laul rules that allowed foreigners to enter the competition again. Sahlene had previously criticised the fact foreign artists could not compete in 2013:
“I find it a bit unfair because I’ve done a lot to represent this country – the last time an Estonian reached the top three, it was me!”
The star has made no secret of her desire to represent Estonia again, but unfortunately 2019 won’t be her year.
Sahlene at Eurovision
As mentioned, the Swedish star sang for Estonia at Eurovision 2002. She only heard her song “Runaway” the day before the national final and in fact only heard half of it. But, she agreed to sing the song and the rest, as they say, is history.
Sahlene won the national final, became a star in Estonia and finished in third at the close of voting on the night in Tallinn.
Eurovision 2002 was not her first experience of the contest though.
She sang backing for Charlotte Perrelli in Jerusalem in 1999 and then went on to appear in Melodifestivalen in 2003.
She also sang backing for Dami Im during Eurovision 2016, helping power Australia to the runner up spot on the scoreboard in only their second appearance in the contest.