A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Tobson review: Estonia picks their entry

For the last two years, I've been seated in the Nokia kontserdimaja in Tallinn to see the big final of Eesti laul live. Almost all the way back since the tiny Baltic state made its debut back in 1994, Estonia and their entries have been very dear to me, getting special attention from me and my critical eyes.

This year I won't see the final live at all, but I followed the semi finals closely and feel ready to predict the outcome of tonight's show.

As if there was ever a point in trying to predict what the Estonians will do. Most of the time they surprise you and if they don't, then that's a surprise too.

1. Brigita Murutar - Laule täis taevakaar
The big exclamation mark for me this year. What seemed like an inoffensive little ditty has grown into a simple but catchy song that could possibly appeal to rather a large section of the audience. I doubt the jurors will stand up and clap along, but it has grown into a bit of a personal favourite.
Grade: 4/5

2. Traffic - Für Elise
At some point this felt like a bit of a dark horse and a potential winner in the end but then the live performance turned out to be slightly less vibrant than the song itself and this spot in the running order does it no favours either. I wouldn't discard its chances just yet but it feels less and less like a hot favourite.
Grade: 3/5

3. Norman Salumäe - Search
Another grower, helped along by some intriguing camerawork and the rare and peculiar stage presence of Norman himself. Not as strong as his other entry with August Hunt (rejected in the first semi) but pleasant all the same.
Grade: 3/5

4. Wilhelm - Resignal
Artistic but introvert and pretty un-catchy pop. In the worst case scenario, this is exactly the kind of entry that the wrong kind of expert jury would shower in points in order to show how eclectic their own taste is. Talented band but the song wouldn't go far in Copenhagen.
Grade: 1/5

5. Lenna - Supernoova
Lenna's third solo effort is another strong rock ballad - efficient, polished and made to enthuse the local radio stations and promote her new album. It could be a winner - perhaps because the audience would think it is Lenna's turn to go - but it could a bit too demanding to stand a real chance internationally. I predict another second place.
Grade: 4/5

6. Super Hot Cosmos Blues Band - Maybe Maybe
At this point in the show, this song is sure to stand out from the rest. It's a pleasant and catchy - but ultimately too underdeveloped - little effort.
Grade: 2/5

7. Maiken - Siin või sealpool maad
Elegant and traditional, but perhaps one ballad too many in this line-up. Maiken has never sounded better vocally and could be rewarded for that, but it doesn't feel like a winner.
Grade: 2/5

8. Kõrsikud - Tule ja jää
Being original never hurt anybody in a contest like the ESC and these gents would surely leave a lasting impression also on a european audience. The song is soft and melodic but could be stronger without harming anyone.
Grade: 3/5

9. Tanja - Amazing
Being the first song in the first semi put Tanja a bit in the shadow of a number of other songs, but her new place in the running order highlights what an effective entry this is. Well sung and impressively staged. A tiny bit too Euphoria-esque for its own good but not an impossible surprise winner in the end.
Grade: 3/5

10. Sandra Nurmsalu - Kui tuuled pöörduvad
Perhaps not quite as distinct and special as Rändajad, Sandra's new song stands out as the most obvious choice out of the ten candidates. There is a danger in being the favourite, as the expert juries more than once have decided to keep their votes down for anticipated winners in the past.
Grade: 3/5

Tobson predicts: The experts and the televoters will select two songs for a super final before the viewers alone decides who will be the overall winner. The logical super finalists would be Lenna and Sandra, where the audience probably would go for the possibly more instantly graspable Sandra who would probably also have a wider appeal internationally.

Then again - if the experts decide to be a difficult bunch, they could keep Sandra out of the top two. And if one song would sell itself in a big way to the viewers, it could make its way into the final and win by a landslide there. Then it could be Traffic or Tanja, or even my personal favourite Brigita.  

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