Next year’s edition of East Laul, the Estonian National Final will be bigger and better. Earlier in the summer, Tomi Rahula took over as Head of Delegation for Estonia and was tasked with improving the nation’s chances of winning the Eurovision Song Contest again.
Instead of 20 semi-finalists like in previous years, there will be 24 semi-finalists in an expanded field of participants. Not only will we see 24 semi-finalists spread over the two semi finals as usual, these will take place live, rather than pre-recorded. For the first time, the semi finals will take place outside of Tallinn – details of which two cities will be used are yet to be announced.
Tomi Rahula has opened up Eesti Laul to Foreign Songwriters too. However, a fee will be imposed to those submitting songs. Estonian songwriters will have to pay €25, while foreign songwriters will have to pay €50. The imposed fees are to ensure the seriousness of the entrants. The dates for the song submissions have yet to be revealed.
What we do know in terms of the National Final timeline is:
- Song Reveals – Tuesday 4th December 2018
- Semi Final 1 (Location TBC) – Saturday 26th January 2019
- Semi Final 2 (Location TBC) – Saturday 2nd February 2019
- Grand Final (Tallinn) – Saturday 16th February 2019
Elina Nechayeva took “La Forza” all the way to the Grand Final in Lisbon this year, earning 245 points and a final position of 8th place. Will 2019’s Estonian entry go all the way and win in Israel – only time will tell.
Author: Richard Taylor
Source: ESCXtra and Eurovoix