On January 31 Estonia’s launches head-on into its Eurovision 2019 selection Eesti Laul. The first semi-final will kick off with a bang, featuring established Eurovision stars like Sandra NurmsaluBirgit and Tanya (the latter two comprising part of The Swingers). But do the songs live up to the hype of their reputation?

Deban and I wanted to find out, so we sat down to listen to the songs together for the very first time — all in front of a camera. Our candid reactions can be found in the video above. If you want to skip to a particular act, you can see the timestamps below.

Eesti Laul: Semi-Final 1 reaction

0:42 Inger – “Coming Home”

3:52 Johanna Eendra – “Miks sa teed nii?”

6:38 Öed – “Öhuloss”

8:29 Ranele – “Supernova”

11:48 Marko Kaar – “Smile”

14:01 Victor Crone – “Storm”

17:51 Sandra Nurmsalu – “Soovide Puu”

22:54 Jennifer Cohen – “Little Baby El”

26:35 Stefan – “Without You”

28:37 xtra basic & Emily J – “Hold Me Close”

32:11 The Swingers – “High Heels in the Neighbourhood”

34:14 Sofia Rubina-Hunter – “Deep Water”

Eesti Laul SF1 poll update

Since December 10, we’ve been running a poll asking you to choose your favourite in this semi-final. These are the current standings as of January 5 at 00:01 GMT.

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Total Votes: 2,487

Which songs elicited the biggest reactions from you on first listen? Who do you think will win this semi — and who do you think is going through to the final? Let us know down below!

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CrystalWilliam Lee AdamsAnitaJo.Gorilla716 Recent comment authors
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Crystal
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Crystal

As an Estonian, I think that Sandra or Victor should win Eesti Laul. Sandra’s song is just magical, the lyrics are about dreams and how they give you motivation and push in your life and they match with this year’s slogan 🙂 Moreover, the lyrics are written perfectly, they’re just like a poem. Victor’s song is typical pop song but unique and we need this kind of music to Estonian music industry.

Anita
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Anita

Victor Crone remembers me of Sebalter. I prefer this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoV3QbfSYKI
I love the lyrics: humans were my tribe, we are family you and me …. read it

Gorilla716
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Gorilla716

William and Deban were pretty negative towards Stefan’s song in the video which I don’t think is fair because I personally think it is one of the strongest songs and if they had listened to the song in its entirety (which they didn’t), then they certainly would have had a much better opinion. Also I find Victor Crone’s song to be very overrated and generic and if it went to Eurovision, it’ll most likely suffer a similar fate to Poland’s song last year, which was also similarly generic.

Jo.
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Jo.

Victor’s song sounds like an Avicii/SHM reject from 2010.

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

William and Deban are amazing in this video. Definitely YouTube icons. I just wanted to say: Thank you both. x

Jo.
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Jo.

I don’t get the hype with Sandra’s song. Those were three very long minutes…

Andrii
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Andrii

SANDRA NURMSALU must win the whole Eesti Laul 2019, because she has an unearthly song, when you listening to her it feels like you are immersed in the fabulous Estonian forests. This song is breathing Estonian culture. Every year I admire Estonian performers at the Eurovision Song Contest, they like nobody know what real high art is. Last year, Elina would have to win, but a terrible unprofessional jury favored less talented participants. From viewers was the expected result, Estonia always has problems with televoting, despite the song.

Marx
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Marx

No Deban.. Soovide Puu would not be in English. Eesti Laul doesn’t take place in Albania or Iceland where you have to have your song in native language. And singer herself is known for singing in Estonian.. did she translate Rändajad.. no.

Okawe
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Okawe

I really like Stefan’s song. It needs a bit revamp and it could be an international hit. Sandra’s song is like a typical radio song in Estonia, nothing special.

Hexular
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Hexular

Right now I´m thinking that with a good staging Victor Crone would bring the best result for Estonia this year (possibly top 10) although Suviste´s “Pretty Little Liar” has lots of potential with a good revamp.

In my opinion Sandra´s song is overrated by some ESC fans because of the masterpiece from 2009 – in reality this year´s song is pretty boring (i get the appeal though)

Andrii
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Andrii

I think that Victor Crone would be a new Jüri Pootsmann if he won this year Eesti Laul.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

Sandra. A thousand times Sandra. <3
(though I guess I ought to listen to the other songs as well to make an informed decision)