Tonight, 12 acts will compete in the first semi-final of Estonia’s Eesti Laul 2021, but only half of them will be able to make it to the grand final on 6 March. But which songs should go on to the next stage? The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has listened to the songs and ranked their top five. See which songs got our attention.

Deban

1. Hans Nayna – “One By One”

An emotional pop offering sung with pitch-perfect clarity. Hans Nayna is an emerging singer-songwriter that stands taller amongst his peers. His emotive undertones cut through the noise of Eesti Laul’s semi-final one. Also, “One By One” stays with you long after three minutes. Great debut effort!

2. Egert Milder – “Free Again”
3. Koit Toome – “We Could Have Been Beautiful”
4. Kéa – “Hypnotized”
5. Nika Marula – “Calm Down”

Lauren

1. Hans Nayna – “One By One”

Mauritian soul singer Hans Nayna is someone I’ve known for years now. So as you can imagine, seeing his name on the list of Eesti Laul 2021 participants was a shock. “One By One” showed me a very different side of Hans that I haven’t seen before, and I’m here for it. You can call me biased, but in my defence, this semi-final is the definition of lacklustre. This is the only song in my top nine that’s in this semi! Hans Nayna is easily my favourite of the semi. His voice, the emotion in the lyrics, the percussion rhythm – this should surely qualify to the final, even from the cursed number two running-order spot! In the final, he’ll face some tougher competition. But who’s to say that’ll stop him?

2. Tuuli Rand – “Üks öö”
3. Egert Milder – “Free Again”
4. Koit Toome – “We Could Have Been Beautiful”
5. Kéa – “Hypnotized”

Luis

1. Hans Nayna – “One by One”

In a field of disposable Spotify-friendly entries, Hans Nayna’s passion clearly stands out. The song’s slow pace is compensated for by Hans’ warm and raspy voice. While “One By One” is not exactly an automatic favourite and nothing close to a Eurovision winner, it’s a very decent effort. If Hans serves it with gusto in the semi-final, we should easily see him on March 6 and who knows if in May.

2. Andrei Zevakin & Pluuto – “Wingman”
3. Koit Toome – “We Could Have Been Beautiful”
4. Tuuli Rand – “Üks öö”
5. Egert Milder – “Free Again”

Mario

1. Egert Milder – “Free Again”

I wasn’t a fan of Egert’s entry last year, but “Free Again” totally got under my skin. It’s fresh, cinematic and relatable to many. You could hear it in those indie movie scenes where characters suddenly decide to do something stupid, but you could also be listening to it on a moody day alone in your room. I don’t think Egert can win next to some of the more upbeat Eesti Laul songs this year, but it is enough of a standout to easily qualify for the final.

2. Karl Killing – “Kiss Me”
3. Andrei Zevakin & Pluuto – “Wingman”
4. Kea – “Hypnotized”
5. Tanja – “Best Night Ever”

Natalie

1. Egert Milder – “Free Again”

There’s some real Nordic heart in this song. Those guitar strums, synth beats and harmonies. Yeah, I’m into it. I mean, it sounds like every indie song that randomly comes into Spotify playlists everywhere, but you can tell there’s some genuine spirit. Its heartfelt lyrics with Egert’s cute face should be a standout hit in the first semi-final.

2. Tuuli Rand – “Üks öö”
3. Nika Marula – “Calm Down”
4. Kéa – “Hypnotized”
5. Hans Nayna – “One By One”

Oliver

1. Tuuli Rand – “Üks öö”

Tuuli Rand has taken some time to develop her sound since her last Eesti Laul stint and it’s definitely paid off. “Üks öö” is catchy, energetic, and so much fun. Slightly dated, sure, but in this case it works. It delivers that bright and bubbly Summertime vibe that we’re all craving at the moment. The guitar riff is infectious and Tuuli’s vocal is uplifting. Arguably, the track gets a tad stale towards the end, as there’s little variation between the verses and choruses. “Üks öö” will need to pop on stage if Tuuli wants to secure a spot in the final.

2. Egert Milder – “Free Again”
3. Hans Nayna – “One By One”
4. WIIRALT – “Tuuled”
5. Kristin Kalnapenk – “Find a Way”

Renske

1. Koit Toome – “We Could Have Been Beautiful”

With “We Could Have Been Beautiful”, Koit Toome has once again lent his voice to a classy ballad. Slow male ballads at Eurovision generally have a thing for being extremely dated, but this song sounds contemporary enough. Though it feels a bit empty without Laura, who’s competing on the other side of the sea this year.

2. Ivo Linna, Robert Linna, Supernova – “Ma olen siin”
3. Kéa – “Hypnotized”
4. Egert Milder – “Free Again”
5. Tuuli Rand – “Üks öö”

Robyn

1. Ivo Linna, Robert Linna, Supernova – “Ma olen siin”

“Ma olen siin” just feels right. Ivo Linna brings his decades of experience, crossed with a more contemporary setting courtesy of son Robert and the group Supernova. The song delivers plenty of drama and the melody goes in unexpected directions, all adding up to a very satisfying number. While this might not be an obvious pick for Eurovision, it should at least get a good run in Eesti Laul.

2. Tuuli Rand – “Üks öö”
3. WIIRALT – “Tuuled”
4. Koit Toome – “We Could Have Been Beautiful”
5. Tanja – “Best Night Ever”

Tom

1. Koit Toome – “We Could Have Been Beautiful”

Original it is not but “We Could Have Been Beautiful” is a very pleasant ballad. I do feel however, that everything is a just tad overproduced. Though Koit does possess a voice that can cut beautifully through the air, it seems that the music is sometimes more powerful? It has too many effects and I feel the vocals are not always clear. Sometimes I genuinely have no idea what he is saying. However, from what I can understand, it is a lovely, romantic, modern song that should easily get out of this semi-final. And I think (hope) this will also massively improve when sung live.

2. Hans Nayna – “One By One”
3. Nika Marula – “Calm Down”
4. Andrei Zevakin & Pluto – “Wingman”
5. WIIRALT – “Tuuled”

What do you think? Which are your favourites songs in the first semi-final of Eesti Laul 2021? Who do you think will make it to the grand final? Tell us your thoughts below!

Read more Estonia Eurovision news here

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Colin
Colin
8 months ago

It’s hard to have only 6 qualifiers, but here we go:

  • Koit Toome
  • Egert Milder
  • Ivo and Robert Linna, Supernova
  • Andrei Zevakin & Pluuto
  • Kristin Kalnepenk (the best surprise of the evening)

6th place is quite open IMHO…

  • Nika Marula / Hans Nayna / Karl Killing / Kea ???
Sabrina
Sabrina
8 months ago

I’m glad that Robyn and Renske sent some much deserved love to “Ma olen siin”. I’m not saying this should necessarily win Eesti Laul, but it’s possibly the most ellegant song we have in this Eurovision season. Everything about it is so soothing and natural.

Aksel
Aksel
8 months ago

Ohhh Koit Toome! I just can’t stop listening to his song We could have been beautiful.
I literally got Goosebumps all over my body on the last chorus! He must win!?

Zsófi
Zsófi
8 months ago

So wiwi’s combined rating is:
12th: Kristin Kalnapenk – “Find a Way”
11th: Tanja – “Best Night Ever”
10th: Karl Killing – “Kiss Me”
9th: WIIRALT – “Tuuled”
8th: Nika Marula – “Calm Down”
7th/6th: Andrei Zevakin & Pluto – “Wingman” & Ivo Linna, Robert Linna, Supernova – “Ma olen siin”
5th: Kéa – “Hypnotized”
4th/3rd: Tuuli Rand – “Üks öö” & Koit Toome – “We Could Have Been Beautiful”
2nd: Hans Nayna – “One By One”(yay my personal favorite!)
1st: Egert Milder – “Free Again”

Jack Fincher-Pricefield
Jack Fincher-Pricefield
8 months ago

I don’t get the love for Tuuli Rand’s song, it’s so childish, cheesy, idiotic and a shameless “Say So” rip-off.

Asides, the ones I really like in this semi are Hans Nayna, Egert Milder, Kea, Tanja & Ivo/Robert Linna.

2nd semifinal is gonna be hella better and more competitive with Gram-of-Fun, Uku Suviste, Rahel, Suured Tüdrukud, Alabama Watchdog and the dark horse everyone is overlooking, Kadri Voorand.

Kris
Kris
8 months ago

Why are booking rating energy so high ? It’s not that good tbh

Una
Una
8 months ago

Can you provide the name of the song? Thanks.

Una
Una
8 months ago
Reply to  Una

Nice song. Thank you.

Miss Uncongeniality
Miss Uncongeniality
8 months ago

I’m glad to see that Hans Nayna is the favorite option in this semi for some members of wiwibloggs… i hope he gets through the final. He is indeed my favorite entry in Eesti Laul

Last edited 8 months ago by Miss Uncongeniality
GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
8 months ago

My favorite of this semi is Koit, but I wouldn’t be mad if either Hans or Egert would win this semi.

bored pineapple
bored pineapple
8 months ago

I think First Semi Final is stronger than Second. Yes, there is Uku, Juri and Gram-of-Fun there but I really like to qualify 6 songs from First Semi and 4 from Second. My favourites from First Semi Final are: Hans Nayna, Egert Milder, Nika Marula, Karl Killing, Koit Toome and Andrei Zevakin with Pluuto.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
8 months ago

Robyn, so full of taste.
My shock to see “One by One” in 1st place in so many rankings.

raw
raw
8 months ago

I would be very surprised if they get to the final show tonight: Wiiralt, Kéa, Nika Marula, Tuuli Rand, Kristin Kalnapenk. I don’t see jury points or popularity among TV viewers.

Liisa
Liisa
8 months ago
Reply to  raw

Nika will qualify instead of Tanja, I think

Esc addict
Esc addict
8 months ago

Team Hans for me, I loved his song at the first listening, and the guy has charisma and such a good voice, my winner of Eesti Laul 2021.

GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
8 months ago
Reply to  Esc addict

Indeed, but his English pronunciation isn’t that good, which will bring him down a bit.

Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
8 months ago

Really surprised by the love for One By One. It’s not a bad song, but it’s just so aggressively generic to me.