Tonight see’s the start of this year’s Eesti Laul – with at least both Semi Finals with no audience. This year, Tõnis Niinemets will be joined by Grete Kuld for hosting duties. The show is in two parts don’t forget. Part One will be 17:30-19:00 GMT/18:30-20:00 CET and Part Two will be 19:30-20:15 GMT/20:30-21:15 CET.
Join me, Richard, from 17:30 GMT/18:30 CET as we follow the fun and frolics that the Estonians have for us this year! Don’t forget to refresh the page to get the up-to-date comments!
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And we are off! While the Saku Suurhall is in vision, the Semi Finals are coming from the ERR television studios in Tallinn. Before we are introduced to tonight’s Acts, we have an Estonian/Eesti Laul version of Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes.
Tõnis and Grete welcome us to the first Semi Final. They go on to explain the voting process.
Tanja – “Best Night Ever”
Tanja hasn’t changed a bit since we saw her at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. However the perm and the modern sounds don’t really do her justice now. While “Best Night Ever” isn’t screechy, it is on the verge of been performed like that. The blue sparkly dress suits Tanja and her four backing dancers are dressed similar.
Hans Nayna – “One By One”
Hans is an English-American, taking part in Eesti Laul after residing nearly one year in Estonia. Hans is joined on stage by a pair of classical dancers. While Hans is providing a great voice, his singing sounds quite monotone and at points, spoken. Sadly “One By One” could be played on the radio and it would past me by easily.
Wiiralt – “Tuuled”
The first of three Estonian entries tonight. Wiirait provide a country band vibe that is very inoffensive. The small orange lit-up cacti are quite sweet and add to the performance. While some may consider there to be a rock sound to this entry, the country genre still comes through. Fiery coloured lighting is used throughout.
Kea – “Hypnotized”
Kea starts out on a sofa in her sparkly dress before joining her three male backing dancers – all in white suits. The dancing is synchronised, however vocally I want to say Kea is nearing a monotone voice like Hans had. This could’ve been more of a disco number.
Andrei Zevakin & Pluto – “Wingman”
Mum and I went to that Crazy Golf course last year as featured in the postcard. Oh dear, this is too modern – spoken and rap mixed. With their backs to the camera, this will not bode well for Andrei and Pluto. The pyrotechnics don’t even add anything to the performance sadly – another monotone number.
Karl Killing – “Kiss Me”
Karl is back for another attempt at representing Estonia. It’s just him and his guitar on a slightly orangey lit stage. You can hear the love story through the lyrics of the song. After dumping the guitar, Karl moves forward to a microphone stand where he situates himself for the remainder of the performance.
The Hosts now introduce and chat to the Jury members.
Nika Marula – “Calm Down”
Lovely, we have a nice black and white opening before colour is added – mainly in the form of red lighting. Nika and her backing singers seem to be attached to strings. Nika has now been lifted above the stage onto another platform. More of a tune, more of a vocal range – good work Nika!
Egert Milder – “Free Again”
Egert is back for another attempt, just like Karl Killing. Egert is in hold of a guitar, just like Karl, however he is joined on stage by a pianist, drummer and three backing singers. While Egert may sound slightly flat, the backing singers add some depth to the performance. Egert has a Loreen moment with falling snow, while the three backing singers surround the pianist.
Tuuli Rand – “Üks öö”
Tuuli is wearing a bright lime green, power outfit. She is stood on a LED encrusted platform, before making her way down to the stage. While this is a great disco number, this is a great radio song. It’s missing backing dancers and more performance elements to make it a visual song.
Koit Toome – “We Could Have Been Beautiful”
Koit is back for his third attempt at reaching the Eurovision Song Contest final – the last time been in 2017, Kyiv. Sat at a piano to begin with, black and blue lighting is been used for Koit before some orange is injected. Four backing singers are in the darkened background – making Koit the star. Koit maybe a little too old for that denim jacket, but he has provided us with a great song.
Kristin Kalnapenk – “Find A Way”
Kristin has finally brought us a Sunday morning, easy listening type number. She is joined on stage by a brass band and pianist. She has great connectivity with the camera – when its not focused on other performance elements like the acrobatic. This was another performance that you could see the story portrayed.
Ivo Linna, Robert Linna, Supernova – “Ma olen siin”
Ivo is back for his second attempt at reaching the Eurovision Song Contest final – more than two decades later. Oh Ivo, that flat voice needs a bit of vocal variety for any chance of Rotterdam – thank goodness you have some vocal support in Robert and Supernova. This isn’t a number to bop along too, more like a smoochy number for the slow dances or behind the bike shed.
After the last of tonight’s entries, we have a near enough direct recap from the Hosts, with the all important voting numbers. Before we hand over to the Estonian news, there is time for a quick interview with Ivo and Robert. We will be back for Part Two of Semi Final 1 in just thirty minutes.
Refresh From 19:30 GMT/20:30 CET
Welcome back to Part Two of Eesti Laul 2021, Semi Final 1. With just under fifteen minutes left, it’s time for another voting recap. The Hosts are now chatting to all of tonight’s participants.
We have an interval act, rapping through the performance. We have some announcements!
Nika Marula, Koit Toome, Egert Milder, Ivo Linna, Robert Linna & Supernova are the top four so far.
Now it’s time for a final voting recap with less than two minutes to go. The voting has now CLOSED.
We are now having a sneak peak at the Acts from Semi Final 2.
Karl Killing, Egert Milder, Ivo Linna, Robert Linna & Supernova, Koit Toome are the top four. We have ten more minutes of voting for the two remaining Finalists.
The Hosts are talking to the remaining hopefuls before the voting closes.
Elina Born and friends have taken to the stage for another interval act, with a song co-written by Karl Killing, one of tonight’s Finalists. The remaining two Finalists are Hans Nayna and Andrei Zevakin & Pluto.
The credits have given away that we were in fact in the Saku Suurhall tonight. Join John (& possibly the odd squeak from Staggy) on Saturday for Semi Final 2.
Author: Richard Taylor
Source: Eurovision Ireland