A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Estonia 2011: the best final of the season?

I did it with Latvia, so then I have to do it to the other Baltic neighbours as well. After a couple of not so good final (2009 was pretty disastrous, honestly), ETV has managed to work up an impressive overall standard.

These are the ten finalists and my short reviews:

1. Ithaka Maria - Hopa'pa-rei
I have always quite liked Ithaka Maria (especially when she entered with Slobodan River in 2004, I would gladly have sent her to Istanbul), and I like her wild and crazy side. This year she goes all Ruslana on us, rather unexpectedly. Not bad, but a bit confusing and not catchy enough to be a great choice. 2/5

2. Rolf Roosalu - All And Now
Rolf, who has tried several times in the past, is a good performer but usually manages to come across as a bit too much for the televoting audience. This time, oddly, there is too little going on, at least in the chorus department. The song builds nicely but never erupts. Rolf will be a terrific choice one day, but this song is not the perfect opportunity for him. 3/5

3. Orelipoiss - Valss
Jaan Pehk was the lead singer of Köök, who performed the rather odd (but amusing) "Üürnik" in 2009 (see the clip here , you will find it most rewarding). He is back with something radically different, a soft folksy tune performed in an oddball fashion but with plenty of musical skills included in the package. Not a safe choice for the ESC, but not bad at all. 2/5

4. Getter Jaani - Rockefeller Street
Sweden has Bobby Ljunggren and Estonia has Sven Lõhmus who has made it to the ESC twice, with Suntribe and Urban Symphony. This could very well his third time lucky with a modern sounding pop entry with an unexpected breakdown and a very hooky chorus. Could go down a storm in Estonia unless the viewers would prefer something more simple. 4/5

5. Jana Kask - Don't Want Anything
Typical (bordering on stereotypical) big ballad with a soul influence. Not badly performed, but there are always a million songs like this one. Nothing to write home about. 1/5

6. MID - Smile
Popduo that visually reminds me a bit of the Pet Shop Boys or Hurts, and this song starts out interestingly. Too bad it feels to keep my interest up, despite several cute little details and a minimalist sound I enjoy the song never goes anywhere. 2/5

7. Outloudz - I Wanna Meet Bob Dylan
Another song to begin in a minimalist way with a laidback chorus, but then the chorus keeps building and building, adding little details along the way. The Bob Dylan hook is efficient without ever threatening to fall over into being a comedy entry. Something of a personal favourite. 4/5

8. Mimicry - The Storm
Bang up the elecropop street that works wonders in the pop charts around Europe at the moment. Works up a rather menacing feel in the verses (unpleasant in a pleasant way) before turning into an aggressively efficient chorus. Could result in a positive result at the ESC should it get selected. 3/5

9. Noorkuu - Be My Saturday Night
Many good ideas in the same place, matched with good voices, but the final outcome doesn't measure up to the good intentions. The song is all over the place and whenever you think you are about to grasp it, it takes a new direction. And the whole delivery is a bit too jaunty for my liking. 1/5

10. Victoria - Baby Had You
More electropop but less distinct and hitfriendly. Slightly repetitive, but Victoria is dynamite with a great way of nailing the camera with her eyes. Given easier competition (or a slightly better chorus) she would be a good choice for Estonia. 3/5

Easily one of the best Estonian finals ever and easily one of the best national finals anywhere this season. A tight race between several strong candidates and unless the televoters have a real eurovisional breakdown, there could be a very good placing coming.

Tobson predicts:
Most people seem to expect Getter Jaani to win hands down and that would probably be my prediction as well. But Estonians love surprises, and last year the favourite who couldn't fail lost out in the super final.

I say Getter Jaani will win in the end, and if she doesn't then please let it be Outloudz or Mimicry instead.

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