Estonia reveals 20 semi-finalists, stars return
Today the Estonian broadcaster ERR revealed the 20 semi-finalists who will take part in their national selection for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, titled Eesti Laul.
This year a record breaking of 159 songs were sent in to the broadcaster, in a country with 1,4 million people. Out of those, 20 were picked by a professional jury to go forward to the two semi-finals.
"No song got the full 11 votes from the jury. There were songs that got 10 votes but there was no 'super hit' this year," Heidy Purga, Executive Producer of Eesti Laul said.
"We had two sorts of artist this year - known ones who qualified for the semi-finals and also totally unknown artists," she added.
The following 20 were revealed today:
- Malcolm Lincoln - Bye - Written by Robin Juhkental
- Teele Viira - City Nights - Priit Uustulnd, Teele Viira - Listen
- Janne Saar - Fight For Love - Janne Saar, Carola Madis - Listen
- POP Maniacs - I Don't Know - Rolf Roosalu
- Erasmus Rotterdamist - Kuu Pääle - Paul Daniel, Jürgen Rooste
- Ott Lepland - Kuula - Ott Lepland, Aapo Ilves - Listen
- Liis Lemsalu - Made Up My Mind - Liis Lemsalu, Rene Puura
- Lenna - Mina Jään - Mihkel Raud, Lenna Kuurmaa
- Milky Whip - My Love - Karl Kanter, Helina Reinjärv
- Traffic - NASA - Ago Teppand, Jaan Pehk
- Tenfold Rabbit - Oblivation - Tenfold Rabbit - Listen
- Cat Eye - Ride - Karel Kattai, Tanel Roovik, Margaret Kelomees
- Orelipoiss - Zombi - Jaan Pehk, Olavi Ruitlane
- August Hunt - Tantsulõvi - August Hunt - Listen
- Mimicry - The Destination - Paul Lepasson - Listen
- Soul Militia - The Future Is Now - Lauri Pihlap
- Loss Paranoias - Valedetektor - Loss Paranoias - Listen
- Birgit Õigemeel - You're Not Alone - Mihkel Mattisen - Listen
- Soundclear - A Little Soldier - Karl-Ander Reismaa
- MIA - Bon Voyage - Vahur Valgmaa - Listen
Many of the participants are well-known names in the Estonian entertainment business and many of them are veterans of the contest.
Most notably Malcolm Lincoln, who represented the tiny nation in 2010 in Oslo with the song Siren is back as well as Lenna, Janne Saar, Rolf Roosalu, Traffic, Orelipoiss, Mimicry, Soul Militia, Birgit Õigemeel and Lenna who have all taken part in Eesti Laul but have yet not won the trophy.
Soul Militia used to be known as 2XL and were thus the ones winning the 2001 Eurovision Song Contest trophy for Estonia together with Tanel Padar and Dave Benton and the song Everybody.
Jaan Pehk was a member of the band Ruffus that represented Estonia in 2003 with the song Eighties Coming Back. He also placed high last year at Eesti Laul under the name Orelipoiss.
Also, several participants of Estonian Idol have qualified for the contest, including three previous winners Ott Lepland, Birgit Õigemeel and Liis Lemsalu and also, Teele Viira who took part in the show last season.
Purga also added that Rolf Roosalu's song I Don't Know will be performed by a group of top Estonian female singers, not mentioning any names.
Decision in March
Out of those, ten will qualify for the grand final and the top two for the so-called super final where the final winner will be picked.
The first semi-final will take place on the 18th of February, followed a week later, on the 25th of February by the second semi-final. The final will be broadcast on the 3rd of March.
In 2011, the winner of Eesti Laul, Getter Jaani qualified for the Grand Final of the 56th Eurovision Song Contest with her song Rockefeller Street, making it the second time Estonia has qualified since the introduction of the Semi-Finals. She has enjoyed immense success after that, doing well in charts both in Estonia and abroad.