Tonight Estonia began it’s journey to Tel Aviv.
During Eesti Laul 2019 Semi-Final 1, twelve acts became six and we now know the first finalists of the competition.
They are The Swingers, Stefan, Victor Crone, Inger, Sandra Nurmsalu and Xtra basic feat. Emily J.
Eesti Laul 2019 Semi-Final 1 Finalists
The Swingers, Tanja & Birgit – “High Heels In The Neighbourhood”
The Swingers kicked things off with a bang, serving vocal, brassy confidence and the kind of performance broadcasters everywhere want to kick off their Semi-Finals with. This was confident, elevated live and fun. It puts you in mind of Estonian entries from years past and really popped.
Stefan – “Without You”
Call him the piano man! Stefan showed off his musicianship twinkling away at the piano, before stepping out from behind it for a rousing climax to his stageshow. Vocal was on point and the performance was too.
Victor Crone – “Storm”
This song has felt very Stig-by-numbers at times, but the performance tonight upped the ante. Especially the superb section with the storm reveal towards the end. Victor was also note perfect, which helps.
Inger – “Coming Home”
Inger was a sweet way to close the show. Competent vocal, cutesy performance and the kind of restrained North European charm we’ve seen work at Eurovision before (hey Paradise Oskar).
Sandra Nurmsalu – “Soovide pu”
Sandra served Gaia Mother of the Earth realness up on a platter, just like she did ten years ago in Moscow. She even brought along a tree of life for good measure.
Xtra basic & Emily J – “Hold Me Close”
Performance wise this felt a little bit like the stage swallowed them up. However, vocal firepower more than compensated for that and some nice ad libs were thrown in on top of what we’ve heard in the studio version. This holds up very well live.
Eliminated Eesti Laul 2019 Semi-Final 1 Acts
Marko Kaar – “Smile”
Marko Kaar was flanked by backing dancers tonight. And unfortunately for Marko, the backing dancers were the most remarkable thing about this. Flexing legs left, right and centre, the dancers aside there was very little substance to this performance. Still his vocal was on point and he found the falsetto notes, which cannot be said of every male singer competing in Eurovision national final season.
Johanna Eendra – “Miks sa teed nii?”
Sparkly eyeshadow, sparkly dress and sparkling vocal. The performance however was more of a diamond in the rough. Something between the laser matrix and interpretive dancers was off. The song is strong, but performance needed paring back a touch.
Jennifer Cohen – “Little Baby El”
The staging of the song put me in mind of Latvia 2012 and Jennifer did not sound on her vocal A-game. The choreography felt under developed and the aesthetic was underwhelming.
Sofia Rubina (feat. Janika Tenn”) – “Deep Water”
Someone on Twitter said Sofia was dressed for the funeral of a husband she’d just murdered and that description feels spot on. This was vocally well put together and the addition of some fun visual events elevated this song from its position at the back of the pack going into the semi-final.
Öed – “Öhuloss”
Estonia’s answer to Rita Ora and Iggy Azalea gave us brash in-your-face attitude and a brash in-your-face look to boot. Unfortunately, Estonian voters gave them the boot tonight, so we won’t see them in Tallinn.
Ranele – “Supernova”
The vocal veered toward the screechier end of the spectrum in places, but the production here was fun. Why not have metallic painted half-naked men dance around you while you belt out an Estonian dance banger, right? Sadly not enough to go through tonight.
What do you make of the results? Do you think Estonia has a winner in the first set of finalists? Let us know in the comments below!