Pictures: Magnus Markus Lutter and Siim Lõvi (ERR)

“Fire” singer ELYSA has tested positive for COVID-19. “Little Girl” singer Merilin Mälk is experiencing flu symptoms. Neither will be able to perform in Semi-Final 1 of Estonia’s Eesti Laul 2022. Instead, Estonian broadcaster ERR will show their music videos.

ERR has taken several measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading during Eesti Laul. Earlier, it was announced that the two semi-finals would not have an audience. On top of that, all people entering the contest’s venue, the Saku Suurhall, have to do a rapid test. 

Reacting to ELYSA’s positive test result this morning, the show’s main producer Tomi Rahula said in a statement on the ERR web site: “Of course we will keep our fingers crossed that there will be no more similar news, but we are prepared for the unexpected.”

Meanwhile, Merilin Mälk has experienced flu symptoms that are barring her from participating in Thursday’s semi-final. Delfi quoted her saying on her Instagram stories

“Unfortunately, I can’t perform on the stage of Eesti Laul tomorrow, because I’m sick, I got the flu. That’s why I’ve treated myself here at home, I’m still doing it.” 

“We worked so hard and then I just got sick. I also have a mini dress that I wanted to wear so much.”

Despite testing positive for COVID-19 and being ill, ELYSA and Merilin Mälk are still able to take part in the Estonian selection. Instead of their performances, viewers at home and the jury can vote for them based on their music videos, which premiered during the quarter-finals. The two will both be involved in the show as they will reportedly send video greetings

In terms of Spotify streaming, ELYSA and Merilin Mälk are among the favourites to qualify from Thursday’s Eesti Laul semi-final. Merilin Mälk’s “Little Girl” ranks as the sixth most-streamed song of the whole selection, while ELYSA ranks seventh. In the past four weeks, ELYSA’s “Fire” entered the top five of most-streamed Eesti Laul 2022 songs.

We would like to wish both ELYSA and Merilin Mälk a speedy recovery!

Are you sad that ELYSA and Merilin Mälk will not take part during the live show on Thursday? Do you expect them to make the final? Let us know in the comments down below!

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John
John
4 months ago

I don’t see why they couldn’t clear the space except for distanced camera operators and filmed a rehearsal run-through for them to show instead of the videos. This gives them an unfair advantage over the other contestants who have the risk of not being vocally perfect like the engineered videos of the sick contestants.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
4 months ago

I know she can’t help being sick but with memories of Merilin’s last vocal performance at Eesti Laul in my mind, I’m kinda hoping she doesn’t qualify ahead of an act that performs well on the night.
Really think some of these broadcasters could be doing a better job of getting “something” recorded before contestants are due to perform. They’ve had a lot of time to do so and it’s important in maintaining a level playing field.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
4 months ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

Yeah, they are really not well prepared to have live on tape backups in case one of their contestants are ill instead of just using their music videos.

ete sech
ete sech
4 months ago

It must be frustrating to make it this far and being unable to perform live like the rest. Little Girl was among my favorite entries of this SF, so I hope this situation doesn’t affect its chances.
I wish both Elysa and Merilin a speedy recovery! 🙂

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
4 months ago
Reply to  ete sech

Before COVID-19 hit, singers would perform while sick, but I hope that practice ends after this pandemic is over. If you’re not feeling well, you shouldn’t perform.

ete sech
ete sech
4 months ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

I can recall that, COVID-19 came to change a lot of things, although I don’t agree with many of the changes :/

Donkey
Donkey
4 months ago

Nooooooooo those are the entries i was most excited to see live :((

Esc
Esc
4 months ago

I still think it would’ve been fairer if like they had to do for esc 2021, each act made a live on tape performance. This incident also happened in Benidorm fest where Gonzalo couldn’t perform and then he made it through to the final where he couldn’t perform. I think there should be a requirement in all selections to have all participants perform live on tapes and then in the event that someone can’t perform, the live on tape performance is shown. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike these songs its just that I don’t know if a music… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Esc
BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
4 months ago
Reply to  Esc

Well, sometimes they could show a rehearsal recording of their performance if they are able to do it before falling ill, but it looks like they didn’t get to the rehearsal stage if they have to use their music videos tomorrow. I hope they don’t get penalized for it, especially Merilin who I think is in a more vulnerable position. I think Elysa will be fine, but Merilin might be done for sadly. We’ll have to see tomorrow night.

Thanos
Thanos
4 months ago

Wishing them both a speedy recovery! Given that the final is next week, both of them will be able to perform live if they qualify, but it surely is frustrating that they can’t perform live after all the effort they’ve put in their entries.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
4 months ago

I hope they get better soon. I hope both their songs qualify so that they can have a chance for a live performance in the final.