Submissions for Eesti Laul, the Estonian selection process for Eurovision 2018, are officially open.
Estonian national broadcaster, ERR confirmed through the Eesti Laul official Facebook page that submissions for Eesti Laul 2018 are now open. The deadline for submissions is 3pm (EEST) on 1st November 2017.
Eesti Laul 2018 will be a celebration of the competition’s 10th birthday. As the official Facebook page announced, it will be the tenth time that Estonia’s best composers and musicians have the opportunity to make history and show off their talent to Estonia, Europe and beyond.
The best result for Estonia since the creation of the Eesti Laul format remains the 6th place which Urban Symphony and Rändajad achieved in Moscow 2009. 2009 was the first time the Eesti Laul format was used. This result was matched by Ott Lepland and Kuula in 2012.
Full details about Eesti Laul 2018 can be found on ERRs website, including detailed rules for the competition (in Estonian). As in previous years, there will be two semi-finals (on 10 February 2018 and 17 February 2018) and a Grand Final on 3 March 2018.
20 songs will be selected from the submitted entries by a professional jury to perform on the televised shows. 5 songs will progress from each semi-final to reach the Grand Final.
The rules provide that foreign composers may collaborate with Estonian musicians provided that at least half of the authors of each entry are Estonian citizens or residents.
Last month, Eurovoix reported that at least two entries had already been submitted to ERR for Eesti Laul 2018. Both songs have involvement of an unnamed Swedish songwriter. Eesti Laul 2017 received a record-breaking 242 submissions and interest appears to be high with the potential of that record being surpassed again in 2018.
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Estonia debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994 alongside six other countries. At the contest in Dublin they were represented by Silvi Vrait, who finished 2nd last scoring just 2 points. In 2001 Estonia won the Eurovision Song Contest for the only time to date. They were represented by Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL, who performed the song “Everybody” and took a surprise victory in Copenhagen. After the success of the late-90s and early 00s, Estonia failed to qualify for the final from 2004-2008. In 2009 Estonia launched a new selection show, Eesti Laul, and has since qualified for the final five out of eight attempts.