ERR has announced some major changes to Eesti Laul following Estonia’s first qualification for a Eurovision final this year since 2015.
This year a total of 24 artists will be vying to represent Estonia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 as the new Head of Eesti Laul announces changes to the format. Tomi Rahula appeared on Estonian television earlier today to announce the changes to the competition.
24 artists will now compete in the show, with two semi finals featuring twelve artists each. Six artists will qualify from each of the semi finals and compete in the live final in Tallinn. The semi-finals will also travel outside of Tallinn for the first time, with the shows to be broadcast live.
The competition has also been opened up to foreign songwriters for the first time. Previously the selection had only been open to Estonian songwriters. Mr Rahula has also imposed a fee on songs being submitted to the contest;
- 25 Euros for Estonian language songs
- 50 Euros for songs in other languages
Two months ago it was also revealed that former Eurovision songwriter Tomi Rahula would become the Head of Eest Laul. Tomi has experience as a competing songwriter in Eesti Laul as well as at the Eurovision Song Contest, while he was also a runner up in Eesti Laul as a performer.
Estonia was represented by Elina Nechayeva at the 2018 contest in Lisbon, Portugal. With her song “La Forza”, she placed 8th in the final with 245 points.
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 six out of ten attempts.