Who will represent Estonia at Eurovision 2016?
Good Evening Europe and welcome to Tallinn. I’ve settled in to the hotel quite nicely and have even had a couple of Saku Kuld – the local beer – well it would be rude not to, wouldn’t it?
It’s time to get down to business however. Join me here from 09:00 CET tomorrow morning for coverage of the day’s rehearsals of each of the participating artists.
We will be loading pictures on the Eurovision Ireland Snapchat account (EurovisionIrela) – so you need to follow us for the live as they happen pictures of the rehearsals.
Please feel free to leave comments as the day goes on. It has been requested that photos are not taken until Saturday, so pictures will be sparse.
I’ve never been to the Saku Suurhall before (let alone Tallinn), so I didn’t really know what to expect. It is a lot smaller inside that it looked on screen back in 2002 – I’d rank it alongside Malmo and Vienna in terms of size. Once I got in and found the Press Centre (that’s a story in itself), I got myself ready for the artist rehearsals. What should’ve been three hours long, lasted five! Apologies as you are only getting rehearsal coverage now, as I’ve had to return to the hotel to access Wi-Fi.
I should also point out that today was the first time I’d seen any of these songs properly as I’d not seen either of the Semi Finals.
Laura – “Supersonic”
Supersonic this track most certainly is! Laura is dressed in a little futuristic dress which is overflowing in lights – think Electro Velvet from the United Kingdom last year and add a few more! We are treated to a light show all in all, which gives Supersonic its futuristic feel.
I should point out here that the stage is similar to the Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo, 2010. Instead of a videowall/LED screen backdrop, its a curtain of lights. These lights will give some wonderful effects throughout the whole show. I should also say that the curtain of lights have giant, what I’ll call a wall of light orbs in front of them too.
Go Away Bird – “Sally”
Sally is a complete change of pace to Supersonic. Go Away Bird tries to be a lot more rocky and she doesn’t quite get there unfortunately. Don’t get me wrong though, she is a sassy one with some attitude thrown in for good measure! Go Away Bird is joined on stage by Drums, Keyboard and Electric Guitar.
Mick Pedaja – “Seis”
Seis is quite a dark and eerie entry and reminded me a little bit of Silent Storm from Norway back in 2014. There is a gimmick here though – the lighting effects that are projected on to his body (but not as extravagant as Wiktoria in Melodifestivalen). The one concern I have here though, is like the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest, they had three run throughs and the lighting effects were slightly different on each. I don’t think they know what they are doing yet!
Greta Paia – “Stories Untold”
About twenty years ago, this entry would’ve been surrounded by candles on stage, however we now have to put up with light bulbs on stands or hanging down instead. Is this Health and Safety gone mad? This is the first of two songs that you’ll hear that would feature quite nicely in a Disney film. It is a nice up-tempo ballad that is neatly broken in the latter middle of the song with a burst of thunder and lightning. This adds a special something to Stories Untold that I’ve not quite yet put my finger on.
Kea – “Lonely Boy”
Kea starts off with a question in the lyrics – Got a question? And I’ve got one in reply – Why does the song take so long to get going? When Lonely Boy does get going, Kea tries to rock it out and like Go Away Girl, she doesn’t quite achieve the rock god inside of her. Also like Go Away Girl, she is joined on stage by drums, keyboard and electric guitar.
Juri Poostmann – “Play”
Mans’ videowall pops up in Tallinn for the first of two entries in the Eesti Laul final. Juri however, isn’t joined by a cheeky little friend like Chalk Boy. No, multiple images of Juri appear instead to fit in with the song. Play it most certainly is, in fact it’s playful enough that it could quite easily sit amongst other songs on the soundtrack for Fifty Shades Of Grey.
Kati Laev feat. Noorkuu – “Kaugel Sinust”
Kati Laev has a strong classical number on show here. Her face is hard to understand though – I can’t quite work out if she’s meant to be sad or angry or even both. I do worry how well this song would do in Stockholm. Before Il Divo came along last year, Pop-Opera hasn’t really succeeded in any shape or form at the Eurovision Song Contest.
Cartoon feat. Kristel Aaslaid – “Immortality”
With Mans’ videowall back, I’m not joking when all you’ll see is a cartoon girl on stage via the videowall! Is this a gimmick that Estonia are hoping that would get them their second victory? I think personally its a gimmick too far. In the very latter stages of the song, we do get to see Kristel singing the song behind the videowall, followed seconds later by the videowall opening so she can be seen properly singing the final few lines. This is also the second of two songs that would quite easily sit in a Disney film.
Meisterjaan – “Parmupillihullus”
I don’t get this at all and find it far too contemporary. Is it me or has he come from outer space? I suppose the hideous lime green light doesn’t help there! I don’t think he knows what he is doing – it’s not quite rapping and it’s not quite chanting. The only song I can relate this too in terms of sound is Leto Svet, that represented Estonia in 2008.
I Wear Experiment – “Patience”
Patience, more like patience of a saint! This song is slow to get going and for me once it does get going, it doesn’t really achieve anything. I hate to say this, but an anti-climax to the ten songs. Along with the drums, keyboard and electric guitar that we had previously seen, I Wear Experiment do have the addition of a string quartet too – a slight change to what many will expect no doubt.
So if I was to choose a winner after today, it would have to be one of the Disney-like songs. Unfortunately, I feel that Immortality is too much of a gimmick with it relying on the cartoon. I think Stories Untold on the other hand as a better chance of carrying it off and even qualifying for the final in Stockholm.
Quirky, Fun Facts about Tallinn!!!
It’s time to educate you, the Eurovision Ireland community on all things Tallinn! While I’m here in Tallinn, it’s not purely about Eesti Laul, no it’s all about Estonian culture too. When I was in the airport on arrival, I picked up a leaflet with these fun facts:
- Tallinn is Estonia’s medieval capital and the biggest city, with a population of around 400,000.
- Tallinn’s Town Hall, built 1402-1404, is the best preserved Medieval town hall in Northern Europe.
- For several weeks each winter Tallinn’s Town Hall Square is filled with an elaborate Christmas Market.
- Tallinn is a beach town. In the Pirita district, a 2km stretch of sand beach borders Tallinn Bay.
- Tallinn is a popular cruise destination, with more than 300 ships landing here each year.
- Tallinn’s medieval Old Town is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site with first traces of human settlement dating back 5000 years.
- A weather vane, the figure of an old warrior called Old Thomas, was put on top of the spire of the Tallinn Town Hall in 1530 that became a symbol for the city.
- During the Moscow Summer Olympics in 1980, the sailing regatta was held in Tallinn.
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Author: Richard Taylor
Source: Eurovision Ireland