Estonia has been quite inconsistent at Eurovision over the last 12 years. Despite producing timeless top-ten classics such as “Rändajad”, “Kuula”, “Goodbye to Yesterday” and “La Forza”, they’ve also had their fair share of entries that sank to the bottom of the leaderboard.

But did you know that all the above mentioned top-ten ranking songs were entered into Eurovision three contests apart? Indeed, ever since they started to use Eesti Laul as their national final, Estonia have been yo-yoing back up to the top every three contests.

One could theorise that Estonia are stuck under a curse that only gives them such top-ten results every three contests. Don’t believe the theory? You’re welcome to sit back and let us convince you.

Estonia’s Eurovision record: 2009 to present

2009: Top-ten result

After the semi-finals were introduced in 2004, Estonia failed to qualify to the final for five consecutive years up to and including 2008. But in 2009, the Baltic country finally broke through. They revamped their national selection process and brought in Eesti Laul, which they’ve used every year since then.

The first act to win this new national final was Urban Symphony. At Eurovision in 2009 they came sixth with their haunting song “Rändajad”, Estonia’s best result since hosting the contest in 2002.

(Spoiler alert: the country hasn’t finished higher than sixth since then)

2010-2011: Bad results

Malcolm Lincoln’s “Siren” represented the nation at the 2010 contest, but didn’t make it through to the final.

In 2011, Getter Jaani’s “Rockefeller Street” did make it through, but placed second last. While it wasn’t received well at Eurovision, it did reach fame later, with the Nightcore version becoming a TikTok meme in 2018.

2012: Top-ten result

After finding the formula in 2009, Estonia finally replicated their actions again three years later.

“Kuula”, a moving Estonian-language track with strong vocals courtesy of Ott Lepland, led the country to another sixth place finish.

2013-2014: Bad results

With Birgit’s “Et uus saaks alguse” in 2013 , Estonia made it to the final, but ended up in 20th place.

In 2014, this result was not beaten, as “Amazing” and performer Tanja failed to reach the final.

2015: Top-ten result

An early favourite to win the whole thing, Estonia’s 2015 entry “Goodbye to Yesterday” once again brought pride to the nation.

Although Elina Born and Stig Rästa didn’t end up winning, they did reach a very respectable seventh place.

2016-2017: Bad results

Two unpleasant surprises followed. In 2016, Jüri Pootsmann sang “Play” and came last in his semi-final. This marked a new all-time low for Estonia, and remains their worst result at Eurovision.

This shock non-qualification was followed by…another one in 2017. Koit Toome and Laura’s “Verona” was expected to sail through to the grand final by fans. However, it flopped in the semi final due to a low jury score.

2018: Top-ten result

“La Forza” was another early contender to win during the Eurovision 2018 season.

A stunning live performance by Elina Nechayeva (and a lot of drama surrounding the dress) led the country all the way to eighth place.

2019 & 2021: Bad results

Victor Crone’s “Storm” fared well in the Spotify charts, as well as with the fans. Everything seemed to be going in the right direction. But despite a top-five placement in the semi final, Estonia finished 20th in the grand final.

Since Eurovision 2020 was cancelled due to Covid-19 precautions, the next official result came in 2021. Here, Uku Suviste brought “The Lucky One” to the competition. Unfortunately, he added another non-qualification to Estonia’s record and failed to make it to the grand final.

2022: Top-ten result?

With two bad results at the last two contests, the theory would suggest that Estonia are destined for another top-ten finish next year.

But, we can go further. The country’s last three good results saw them finish sixth, seventh and eighth in 2012, 2015 and 2018 respectively. Does this mean we should expect Estonia to finish ninth in 2022?

Time will tell.

Is the Estonian three-contest curse real? Will they earn another top-ten result in 2022? Let us know in the comment section!

Read more Eurovision curiosities here

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Milos
Milos
1 month ago

yes. So many good songs have come out of Estonia: La Forza, Randajad, Goodbye to Yestedray

Andi
Andi
1 month ago

Well they could have made it this year, if they sent Sissi, Gram-of-fun or Ivo Linna…. but unfortunately they missed their chance :/

Azaad
Azaad
1 month ago
Reply to  Andi

Gram of fun were bad live. Also, there was widespread sentiment that Uku deserved to win because of the 2020 cancellation.

Andi
Andi
1 month ago
Reply to  Azaad

Yep that’s true.

Luc
Luc
1 month ago
Reply to  Azaad

The song had potential but they didn’t deliver. Hope they improve and can bring some better package in the near future 🙂

ESCFanGA
ESCFanGA
1 month ago

Goodbye to Yesterday is my favorite Eurovision song ever and they definitely should have placed in the top five at least. I personally blame the fact they had to perform early (#4 in the running order among 27 songs in the grand final) among other factors.

Azaad
Azaad
1 month ago

One thing Estonia does is produce a lot of fan favourites. If it were to the ESC fandom they would’ve won in 2015 and maybe even in 2017…fans went crazy for Verona.

Ashton
Ashton
1 month ago
Reply to  Azaad

the fandom’s love for Verona I will never understand. I was confused the entire time people were heaping praise on it lmao

Colin
Colin
1 month ago
Reply to  Ashton

I really like both Laura and Koit as performers in their own right, but together they had no chemistry. Something just felt off with them as a couple. The song itself is very enjoyable in a cheesy vintage kind of way, but the performance should’ve been sizzling with chemistry in order for me to really fall for it.
Personally, I found Verona’s NQ to be objectively unexpected, but it didn’t upset me like Blackbird did.

Ashton
Ashton
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

blackbird was robbed : (

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

Personally, I found Verona’s NQ to be objectively unexpected, but it didn’t upset me like Blackbird did.” That’s exactly how I felt too that year. I was also surprised Verona didn’t qualify, but I also wasn’t too upset about its elimination.

Colin
Colin
1 month ago

Estonia is, after Italy, statistically the most frequent member of my top 10, being there several times in the last decade (2015, 2016, 2018, 2019…).
Eesti Laul usually has at least 2-3 top ten material songs, so let’s just hope that the right performer with the right song also becomes a fan-favorite, because ultimately it’s people’s choice who wins.
But, as always, it’s also a matter of luck in the semi. Play should have qualified, but here we are.
I am looking forward to the (presumably) December release of their EL videos! 🙂

Last edited 1 month ago by Colin
Hellohi
Hellohi
1 month ago

Judging on how the contest has played out in recent yes and how certain winning countries made a big comeback eg Portugal, Austria, Germany or were pushing stronger and stronger enteries each time up to their eventual win eg Netherlands, Israel, Ukraine, Sweden and Denmark . I would say and underdog like UK, Czech etc or Belgium, France, Ukraine or Russia.

Yudhistira Mahasena
1 month ago

We can all agree that Uku was robbed. “The lucky one” was clearly top 10 material. Counting the canceled 2020 edition, the song would’ve reached the top 10 at the very least, and apparently Uku didn’t break this curse of “Estonia always reaching the top 10 once every three contests since the introduction of two semis” with a song better than his 2020 entry.

Ashton
Ashton
1 month ago

……..delusion

Luc
Luc
1 month ago

Eh… Not at all

Patrick Pastor
Patrick Pastor
1 month ago

I have two rank systems: the recorded song list and the performances list. Uku Suviste was my #1 amongst the recorded songs. His performance was good, but not great. Thus, it’s in the middle of the list.

Sot
Sot
1 month ago

Look, I won’t downvote you because it’s an opinion after all but I’m not sure if he even deserved top20… and he was in my top20 for the greatest part of the pre-contest season

sam
sam
1 month ago

i hope gram of fun comes back to eesti laul next year or at least very soon… with a better vision for their staging and vocal improvement i think they could be top 10 material

esc2021rotterdam
esc2021rotterdam
1 month ago
Reply to  sam

The lead singer also needs to improve her vocals as well

Luc
Luc
1 month ago

Of course, then they’d have a more complete package I’d love to be looking for

raw
raw
1 month ago

i think it was just nerves. i saw and heard gram-of-fun live few weeks ago and they sounded great!

Jo.
Jo.
1 month ago

also 4 top 10s in 4 heavily competitive years

willchrisiam
willchrisiam
1 month ago

I’ll never stop saying that Tanja was completely robbed. The Euphoria comparison is ridiculous. By that logic we can never see a female soloist dancing again. If someone told me that being exceptionally good could hurt your chances I’d laugh at their face but that’s exactly what happened to her. Someone started a rumor that she was lip synching and people just went with it. I really want to see her back but not with some weak entry like the ones she keeps sending to Eesti Laul.

Leo
Leo
1 month ago
Reply to  willchrisiam

Well she participated two editions after Loreen and people were still in the hype of Euphoria
But the lip syncing rumor is ridiculous
Did some people know that lip syncing (excl. 2021) wasn’t allowed?

Last edited 1 month ago by Leo
Ashton
Ashton
1 month ago
Reply to  Leo

wasn’t even allowed in 2021

Badwoolfgirl
Badwoolfgirl
1 month ago

I hope this “Eurovision curiosities” becomes a new article series. We’d love to have some content while we wait for Eurovision 2022.

Ieva
Ieva
1 month ago

Randajad is so good, still gives me shivers after all these years, and the whole blue staging was mesmerizing and so fitting for the country. Estonia should’ve been in the top 3 with Norway and Iceland.

Escfan
Escfan
1 month ago

An interesting observation but it comes down to the song that is selected. Eesti laul is always a good selection consisting of multiple songs with potential to do well. However, typically Estonia, despite having a strong selection, selects either a decent but not special song or a below par song.

It appears that the televoters don’t vote the same way as the jury and usually the songs televoters prefer go to esc.

raw
raw
1 month ago
Reply to  Escfan

that is the problem with eesti laul. tv viewers like totally other songs than jury and then someone between these different opinions wins. 🙁

Apollo
Apollo
1 month ago

Eesti Laul consistently has quality entries – however, the weak songs always win.

Yudhistira Mahasena
1 month ago
Reply to  Apollo

OK, I can agree that weaker songs always win in most national selections, but we can agree that Eesti Laul had the strongest, clear winners in 2009, 2012, 2015, 2018, and 2021 (once every three years). “What love is” was weaker than “Beautiful lie” and had Eurovision 2020 not been canceled, it wouldn’t have qualified to the final. But then we got the synthwave ballad “The lucky one” – a clear winner of Eesti Laul 2021 – and Uku still didn’t qualify! The world has certainly gone mad.

Peter
Peter
1 month ago

Taste in music is subjective. You think that “the lucky one” was winning material but most people didn’t.

Apollo
Apollo
1 month ago

I firmly believe that originality + uniqueness are the most important ingredients for any Eurovision performance. Uku’s performance was far from unique, it was actually quite bland.

Sot
Sot
1 month ago

Wouldn’t expect wiwibloggs to upload ANY such curiosities but this was a welcome one! Statistics in Eurovision amuse me, though I don’t think Estonia will keep following that direction. Plus the Eesti Laul rules changed a bit since 2018, so if there was ANY such sequence it would have lost its magic with that change, if you get me… Anyways, Estonia is a quality country in Eurovision since Eesti Laul and maybe that’s what brings them to the top10 nowadays. Let’s not remember Tii or Leto Svet for example… Oh, and another thing! Maybe you should analyse on the next… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Sot
willchrisiam
willchrisiam
1 month ago
Reply to  Sot

Well that’s easy – because there are too many loud people who never checked the rules for participation and just look at the name of the contest. And those same people keep screaming for Turkey and Kazakhstan.

Ashton
Ashton
1 month ago
Reply to  Sot

I got an answer for you on that last one: our entries are always obviously more jury-friendly so far. guy and Kate are possibly the only exceptions, and they both got a really high televote as well. Dami is jury bait personified, Isaiah is the same, Jessica the same, and montaigne would have been in 2020. in 2021, montaigne was sort of neither due to how out-there the song was, but I’d say she was more jury bait because of her vocals.

Azaad
Azaad
1 month ago
Reply to  Sot

Reasons for why Australia does better with juries: Australia has no neighbours – there are some cultural connections to the UK and Ireland but they’re not that strong in comparison to Nordic solidarity for example. That means less automatic televote support. In fact, because Australia has a lot of European diasporas from Southern/Southeastern Europe who are still connected to their ancestral homelands, it supplies more diaspora votes for other countries, disadvantaging its own televote prowess. The entries we send are much more jury friendly – Australia’s internally selected entries were all variations on respectable radio pop, the type of genre… Read more »

Erasmus
Erasmus
1 month ago

well, I don’t believe these “theories”. That Superfinal should be gone for good tho.

Ziv
Ziv
1 month ago

Is this “Eurovision curiosities” a new series during the low season? I hope so.
Let me suggest another one: Slovenia has qualified for two years in a row, then not qualified for the next two years since 2012. And this will continue in 2022 no matter they qualify or not, because it depends on whether you count 2020 an edition.
If they qualify, 2020 and 2021 — not qualify (to be more accurate, “not in the grand final”);
if they don’t qualify, 2021 and 2022 — not qualify.
Oh yes, it sounds cherry-picking.

Una
Una
1 month ago

Oh well. Whether countries have success or not has to do with a lot of factors in different combinations: what is the motivation of the broadcaster meaning are they aiming for a top result; how the entries are selected; who’s involved in the selection; who choses to enter and what entry; the public’s mood for a certain artists or song; who brings the resources; interest to support an entry; other. I maintain my opinion that the broadcaster’s motivation is absolutely essential for success AND so is the composers/artists motivation to feel they are able to reach *that stage* and bring… Read more »

Leo
Leo
1 month ago

If Estonians stop sending mediocre, safe songs, then they can get good results or even win the contest.

esc2021rotterdam
esc2021rotterdam
1 month ago
Reply to  Leo

Ig now that Uku had his esc moment and we probably won’t have to see him again in Eesti Paul we can be hopeful for that

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
1 month ago

Rändajad should have won in my opinion! Timeless!
Let me tell you even more about their ‘curse’. I believe it is not only about Estonia but in general.
The contests themselves have been really great every 3 years
2009, 2012, 2015, 2018 and now 2021
I’m hoping it would work on 2022 as well as we didn’t have 2020 xD
Oh and obviously 2016 is an exception as it was strong as well

Ashton
Ashton
1 month ago

let’s hope. every year there is a top-5-potential song in Eesti Laul and sometimes it is chosen (la Forza, Kuula, randajad), but sometimes it is not (magus melanhoolia, seis, etc.). the issue is the stupid superfinal system. at this point I just dont trust Estonia to choose their entries without juries helping them

Toby
Toby
1 month ago
Reply to  Ashton

Or even Jaagup Tuisk in 2020 or our beloved Kerli in 2017… There are always Pearls in Eesti Laul but the jury and public only agree every 3 years as it seems…

Ashton
Ashton
1 month ago
Reply to  Toby

literally. jaagup genuinely was a top 5 entry

Erasmus
Erasmus
1 month ago
Reply to  Ashton

exactly… televoters are super biased and kinda not in touch with the music industry today in Estonia. that superfinal should be gone asp. Can you imagine Seis, Spirit Animal and Magus Melanhoolia instead of Play, Verona, and The Lucky One?

Ashton
Ashton
1 month ago
Reply to  Erasmus

the way Estonia would have been top 10 every single year if that happened

Giolo
Giolo
1 month ago
Reply to  Ashton

I honestly believe Estonia had no chance chance qualify this year, even Juri would have had many problems, since as we saw in Eesti Laul, it is not a televote magnet song, The Lucky One is closer to something a public wants to vote for, it’s more accessible than Juri’s songs. I preferred Magus Melanhoolia to The Lucky One, too but that does not mean it was an obvious top 10, I really could not see Juri getting more than 35 points with the televoting (mainly thanks to Finland and Latvia) and more than 60 jury points (probably even less,… Read more »

Ashton
Ashton
1 month ago
Reply to  Giolo

it may not have been top ten, but there is absolutely no way that it would not have qualified. the juries would have respected his vocal too much

TobGor
TobGor
1 month ago

This myth is awesome whether it’s real or not.
Good Luck to Estonia 🙂
They have produced some quality songs which I rooted for in 2019, 18, 15 & 13 😉

TobGor
TobGor
1 month ago
Reply to  TobGor

Denmark actually have a similar curse which is just less specific.
Because whenever they don’t qualify they get a streak of not bad results, which I hope doesn’t happen next year. 🙂 😉
For example
2013 – 1st
2014 – 9th
2015 – NQ
2016 – NQ
2017 – 20th
2018 – 9th

Similar in 2002-4 and 2006-7

Sot
Sot
1 month ago
Reply to  TobGor

So you’re saying the NQ two times ONLY?

TobGor
TobGor
1 month ago
Reply to  Sot

I’m saying that when the don’t qualify they get bad results for the next 2-3 years aka. NQ or 20-26 place

I’m just pointing out a pattern

Last edited 1 month ago by TobGor