ERR, the Estonian national broadcaster, has revealed that it received 258 entries for Eesti Laul 2018. This is an increase on the 2017 edition, in which 242 songs were received.
The main producer, Mart Normet, announced before the current deadline that about 50 songs were submitted in September before the official deadline was announced. Most of the competing songs were received today. Normet also went on to comment that:
“Every year more and more songs are submitted to Eesti Laul which is a very good indicator of trust, and I thank all the musicians who submitted their songs to us today. At the same time, I would like to see Saku Suurhall be expanded as the final sells out very quickly every year.”
Due to the increase in the number of songs, the pre-jury’s work will become more intense and responsible, and therefore, pre-jury work will change from last year. The selection of semi-finalists will consist of two steps. Firstly, a pre-jury will be established, which will include 15 music experts from Estonia and abroad, an increase on 11 members from last year. Each jury member will listen to the songs through a personal link and will give marks from 0 to 5. A rule has been introduced this year that the pre-jury will choose 15 songs in this blindfolded session. The remaining five semi-finalists will be decided by the editoral staff of Eesti Laul.
“History has shown that the pre-jury select about 15 songs in a mathematical consensus, but the remaining five have had a lot of re-voting and controversy, and there are still some decisions to consider. This year, we will be taking several days to evaluate the songs that receive a great deal of good marks, “says Normet. “The editorial staff will select five songs that enrich the overall picture, taking into account musical diversity.”
The 20 songs to make it to the semi-finals will be released on the ERR website on December 19-20. The semi-finals of the 10th edition of Eesti Laul will take place on February 10 and 17. The final will take place in the Saku Suurhall on March 3.
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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.