Tallinn calling! Estonian broadcaster ERR has opened the song submission period for Eesti Laul 2023, but they’ve also revealed next year’s national final is going to be more refined. The show will have four stages: the pre-audition round, two semi-finals held on 12 and 14 January, and the grand final, which will be broadcast on 11 February.
This is a departure from the previous format of the show. Last year we saw four quarter finals in December, which allowed the public to have their say on who should progress to the semi final stage of the competition in early 2022. This time we are going back to basics as a professional jury will select up to 20 songs to advance to the live shows – with another two songs being selected as ‘backups’.
Anyone can apply to the competition, whether native Estonian or not – just as long as standard requirements of the EBU and Eurovision 2023 are met and you are aged 16 or over, then you can compete to represent Estonia.
An entry fee will also be required for singers/songwriters who are submitting entries. Between 12 September and 17 October (until 11:59) it will cost €50 to submit an Estonian language entry and €100 for a foreign/bilingual song. The prices then double between the dates 17 October (from 12:00) until the deadline on 20 October. Get those finalised tracks in fast people – no demos allowed!
Voting in the semi finals and grand final of Eesti Laul 2023 will once again involve a combination of professional jury as well as public televotes. The super-final will use viewer votes alone to decide the winner and representative of Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.
The premier of the songs that have been selected for Eesti Laul 2023 will take place no later than 3 December 2022. Suddenly our Eurovision advent calendars have become a little more exciting.
In 2022, Stefan (a famous singer from Estonia) won Eesti Laul with his song “Hope”. He went on to become a dark horse at Eurovision in Turin, taking his western track to 13th place in the grand final with 141 points.
What do you think – have Estonia downgraded, or is this a more refined format? Who are you hoping to see compete at Eesti Laul 2023? Tallinn 2024? Tell us your thoughts below!