Starting this Thursday, Eesti Laul 2022 will begin, Estonia’s national final to find its act for Eurovision 2022. Twenty acts will compete in two semi-finals and a grand final — but who should get the ticket to Turin? The Wiwi Jury — our in-house team of music unprofessionals — has listened to the competing entries and ranked and reviewed our favourites. Read on to see what we think!
Eesti Laul 2022: The Wiwi Jury’s Top 20 Ranking
20. Helen – “Vaata minu poole” (1 point)
19. Black Velvet – “Sandra” (5 points)
18. Alabama Watchdog – “Move On” (6 points)
17. Anna Sahlene – “Champion” (6 points)
16. Boamadu – “Mitte kauaks” (7 points)
15. Minimal Wind feat. Elisabeth Tiffany – “What to Make of This” (10 points)
14. Triin Niitoja and Frants Tikerpuu – “Laululind” (12 points) 🥇 – Tom
13. Kaia-Liisa Kesler – “Vaikus” (13 points)
12. Ott Lepland – “Aovalguses” (13 points)
11. Evelin Samuel – “Waterfall” (13 points) 🥇 – Natalie
10. Elysa – “Fire” (19 points)
🥈 – Natalie
Natalie: I feel like we get a fierce female-fronted dance banger every year in Eesti Laul, and every year it’s a spot of guiltless joy. As generic as these songs can get, the soaring vocals and thrusting bass never get old. Obviously, whether this song will pop in the loaded national final comes down to whether Elysa can nail some hot fuego choreography, and so far I’ve yet to be impressed. But regardless, you know that this will make a brilliant opener for semi-final one.
9. Jyrise – “Plaksuta” (24 points)
Natalie: I didn’t know what to make of this song when I first heard it, but the more I hear it, the more I realise how much I love it. The production is super satisfying, and Jyrise rapping about how he needs to be content despite the failures of capitalism is joyous and relatable as hell. I love how it keeps building and then finally culminates in a snare section, as though if you repeat “everything is okay!” enough it’s just a shadowy echoed voice. Seriously, I know that there are lots of favourites this year for Estonia, but don’t count this one out! I’ll definitely be holding out for it.
8. Elina Nechayeva – “Remedy” (25 points)
🥉 – Natalie
Pablo: While those who stanned Elina because of “La Forza” will likely feel disappointed by “Remedy”, the truth of the matter is this is a fairly decent effort on this style, conveying that worldly ethereal sound in a wispy, pretty way. However, It may lack enough impact for a live performance, and the high note in the climax feels has a sort of “remember me?” energy and doesn’t feel entirely thought out in the arrangement. It will be interesting to see Elina’s range live, the key being to tone her refined facade and connect to the organic feeling of this song.
7. Merilin Mälk – “Little Girl” (25 points)
🥉 – Calvin
Calvin: To be stood up by someone is something that would spark a lot of anger inside of me. Therefore, the calm and rational response of Merilin Mälk may not be relatable to me but is much more useful. This song just feels so pure, genuine and authentic. Musically, the build up towards the end is beautifully subtle – finding the balance between not being underwhelming and overly shouty. This is not the most exciting entry we have seen in Eesti Laul and it may be easily overlooked. However, the simplicity of “Little Girl” is probably its biggest strength.
6. Púr Múdd and Shira – “Golden Shores” (26 points)
🥇 – Oliver
Oliver: Metronomy meets Of Monsters And Men in one of the slickest productions of the season thus far. “Golden Shores” hits the sweet spot between pure synth rush and mid-tempo moody indie-pop, a genre which saturated British charts in the mid 2010s. The rich soundscape, one of harsh beats and punchy sawtooth patterns underscoring the pair’s smooth and gentle vocals, is in perfect balance. Púr Múdd and Shira’s bid for Estonia is an intriguing glimpse into Tallinn’s modern music scene. Will this mellow track translate on the big stage? Only time will tell. Regardless, this duo has a bright future ahead of them.
5. Stig Rästa – “Interstellar” (31 points)
🥉 – Tom
Tom: Stig is back with a very different song to 2015 entry “Goodbye To Yesterday”. Gone are the cool, smouldering indifferent looks, guitar and duet partner. In comes an irresistibly romantic and catchy pop song. Stig hasn’t reinvented the wheel with “Interstellar” – it won’t blow anyone’s socks off. What he does bring to the table, however, is a positive, people-pleasing pop song that would be not so much loved, but still liked by the masses.
4. Jaagup Tuisk – “Kui vaid” (33 points)
🥈 – Luis, Robyn
Robyn: I wasn’t much of a fan of Jaagup’s 2020 silver medal entry “Beautiful Lie”, but I find “Kui vaid” to be utterly enchanting. The song has a shimmering magical feel to it, as Jaagup explores his feelings around a fleeting love. While Estonian isn’t a widely spoken language, the intensity of the song carries the emotion beyond just the lyrics, much the same way that Ott Lepland’s 2012 entry “Kuula” did. While there are other good songs in Eesti Laul 2022, “Kui vaid” would be a strong contender for Turin.
3. Maian – “Meeletu” (35 points)
🥇 – Luis
🥈 – Calvin
🥉 – Pablo
Luis: “Meeletu” is a finely chopped piece of alternative pop. Matching the subtle yet enticing melody, there’s Maian’s breathy voice. The song is an earworm that invites you to listen to it again and again and again. It fits perfectly on any Spotify playlist, just like the Spanish lyrics fit in this song.
2. Andrei Zevakin feat. Grete Paia – “Mis nüüd saab” (49 points)
🥈 – Pablo, Tom
🥉 – Luis, Oliver, Robyn
Tom: Andrei and Grete bring the swag to Eesti Laul with “Mis nüüd saab”. A cool, calm and slightly repetitive song that has certainly pulled the Estonian fans on board with the second-most streams on Spotify out if the competition this year. Grete greatly elevates the song on her entrance with her smooth, sweet and rich voice. Speaking of rich, due to the repetitive nature of the song, it doesn’t hold up on multiple listens. It’s delicious, but one maybe two slices of the cake fills me up and I am done.
1. Stefan – “Hope” (53 points)
🥇 – Calvin, Pablo, Robyn
🥈 – Oliver
Pablo: As someone who could not see anything remarkable or special in Stefan’s last two Eesti Laul entries and profoundly opposed him in those instances, Stefan returned to shut me up in the best way possible. “Hope” is a song with absolute perfect balance. Western without feeling like a parody, electronic without copying Avicii, this track truly feels like the crowning jewel of the renaissance of Eesti Laul and a truly dignified entry for Turin. Now, someone pass me the seasoning, I got a hat to eat.
What do you think? What are your favourites in Eesti Laul 2022? Who would you like to see represent Estonia in Turin? Sound off in the comments section below!
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