Estonian broadcaster ERR has released the details of its popular national final Eesti Laul 2020. And with it comes the confirmation that Estonia will be sticking with the expanded 24-song format that led to grand final success in Tel Aviv.
The show will keep the same format as recent years. There will be two semi-finals held on 13 and 15 February. In each semi-final, the 24 competing acts will battle for the 12 places in the grand final on 29 February 2020.
The grand final qualifiers will be decided using two rounds of voting. First, a jury and televote will decide the top eight out of the 12 acts in each semi. Those eight will then face a further round of televoting where the top six will qualify for the grand final.
At the grand final, the 12 acts will compete and will again face two rounds of voting. The top three acts will be decided by a jury and televoters. Those acts will battle it out in a superfinal. There, winner of the Eurovision ticket will be decided by televote alone
Entries for Eesti Laul 2020 open tomorrow, 1 September 2019 and close on 6 November 2019. Following the successful partnership between Estonian songwriter Stig Rästa and Swedish singer Victor Crone, collaborations with foreign songwriters are welcome — just so long as they don’t outnumber Estonians.
The broadcaster is again putting an emphasis on quality over quantity, with a limit of five entries per songwriter. And no John Lundvik situations — songs can’t be submitted from a songwriter who has submitted an entry to another country.
There’s also a participation fee, with a reduced rate for anyone entering a song in Estonian. Such songs will pay €25 for the early bird fee, or €50 if they enter in November. Songs with lyrics in a foreign language will pay €50 early bird fee or €150 if they enter in November.
From there, a jury will blindly select the 24 competing songs. They should be announced no later than 22 November, and fans should expect to hear the songs themselves by 1 December.
Eesti Laul was first expanded to 24 competing acts in 2019. There, Swedish singer Victor Crone won with “Storm”, penned by Estonian songwriter — and Eurovision 2015 singer — Stig Rästa. The performance got Estonia into the Eurovision grand final for the second year in a row, where they finished 20th.
What do you think? Who would you like to see enter Eesti Laul 2020? What sort of act should Estonia send to Rotterdam? Tell us your thoughts below!