Tonight see’s theGrand Final of this year’s Eesti Laul – with sadly no audience in the Saku Suurhall. 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 19:30-20:45 GMT/20:30-21:45 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!
Refresh From 17:30 GMT/18:30 CET
It’s showtime! Can one of four of this year’s finalists represent Estonia again? Only time will tell. We open with a very dark and heavy metal version of “What Love Is?”, Uku Suviste’s winning entry from last year’s competition.
Here come tonight’s twelve finalists! Andrei Zevakin & Pluuto have just appeared on a Zoom link. Performances were recorded yesterday. Voting numbers and the special Eesti Laul 2021 bingo game is been explained.
Egert Milder – “Free Again”
No stranger as a finalist, Egert is aiming for Eurovision glory again this year. Vocally Egert starts off a bit one-tone, however this does turn quickly into a bit more of a tuneful voice. Joined by a pianist, drummer and three backing singers, Egert uses the space available to him on the stage to make the performance more 3D. The performance ends very nicely with Egert and the backing singers surrounding the pianist.
Suited Tüdrukud – “Heaven’s Not That Far Tonight”
It’s time for the Estonian equivalent of the lockdown kitchen disco floor filler. These girls are dressed up in full sparkly numbers and give the look of full on attitude. Their connectivity with each other and the camera is faultless. They are joined by four backing singers, who stay in the darkened background to avoid taking any attention from these divas, until the near end of the performance. A guilty pleasure!
Hans Nayna – “One By One”
Dressed in a black t-shirt and grey checked suit trousers, Hans is joined on stage by contemporary dancers – who are dressed in a contrasting light grey. For a Grand Final, there is something missing from this performance disappointedly and the backing dancers do take a lot of the focus away from Hans.
Ivo Linna, Robert Linna, Supernova -“Ma olen siin”
Ivo Linna represented Estonia at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1996, alongside Maarja-Liis Ilus. Ivo takes centre stage, while the others join him throughout the performance. It’s a very modern take on a sixties vibe. Robert eventually joins Ivo upfront for a strong duet aspect to the entry. A very good try, but sadly I don’t see it strong enough.
Karl Killing – “Kiss Me”
Another former Eesti Laul finalist is back for another try at the Eurovision Song Contest. Karl is alone on the stage with this guitar, dressed in black. There is a strong orange lighting, with traditional light bulbs elevated on poles surrounding him. With these added elements, he doesn’t look lost on stage and it works well as a performance. For the latter part of the song, he moves forward without the guitar, to a standing microphone stand.
Uku Suviste – “The Lucky One”
Last year’s winner is back, hoping to get on to the Eurovision Song Contest stage this year. Uku is dressed in a white dress shirt with a black bow tie undone – a very sultry James Bond look. The staging is very dark with elements of augmented reality at times. Pink and blue lighting adds some needed life to the performance. A previous favourite for this year, I’m not sure.
Sissi – “Time”
Sissi is the daughter of Dave Benton, one half of the winning Estonian duo at the 2001 Eurovision Song Contest. Sissi has brought a very soulful number to tonight’s proceedings. The tempo does get a bit more gospel, with the edition of her five backing singers. Very church like. Sissi is dressed top to toe in a silky white ensemble. This has a real chance of making the Super Final.
Jüri Pootsmann – “Magnus melanhoolia”
Jüri Pootsmann was the 2016 Estonian representative at the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, but failed to make the Grand Final. Some very clever lighting is in play only revealing his eyes, before a full body length reveal is made of Jüri in a white top and trousers. Sadly, this didn’t go anywhere for me and I can’t see how Jüri is a favourite.
Redel – “Tartu”
Not a performance for those with epilepsy. Voice changing is used with the microphones here, with not the real voice heard. I couldn’t even describe the genre apart from it been rather unappealing and a mess. However, the other acts seem to be going mad for it. Do they know something I don’t?
Koit Toome – “We Could Have Been Beautiful”
Koit Toome, a two time Estonian representative at the Eurovision Song Contest – in both 1998 and 2017. Koit is sat at the piano, but this time in a nice black suit. Subtle lighting ensures he doesn’t get lost on such a big stage. Another gentle song in tonight’s line-up, which allows Koit to express his emotions in full. Are Suited Tüdrukud two of the four backing singers?
Andrei Zevakin & Pluuto – “Wingman”
This is very youthful sounding entry, which vocally sounds in tune, yet we know rap generally doesn’t work as a genre at the Eurovision Song Contest. With the backing dancers and the multi-coloured lighting, we could easily be situated in a night club somewhere in Tallinn. While it’s not for me, it will appeal to many others.
Kadri Voorand – “Energy”
Kadri’s voice gives you attitude as soon as she starts singing and playing the piano. Her voice does soften in places, but at the same time, this performance is full of emotion. Kadri looks so at home on the stage in this performance, you could go as far as saying she is lost in her own little world – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I see this as a potential Super Finalist.
Back to the hosts and a time for a recap, with those important voting numbers. We will be back in 30 minutes after the Estonian national news.
Refresh From 19:30 GMT/20:30 CET
And we’re back! Pitsa provide the opening of the second part of the Grand Final. We return to the hosts and surprisingly, not, we have a voting recap! There are just over seventeen minutes left to vote.
Now for the Jury votes. Monique from Lithuania, has given 12 points to Sissi. Brian Henry from the UK, has given 12 points to Kadri Voorand. Ben Camp from the USA, has given 12 points to Andrei Zevakin & Pluuto. Jan Frost Bars from the Czech Republic, has given 12 points to Karl Killing. Sylvia Massy from the USA, has given 12 points to Andrei Zevakin & Pluuto. Stephen Budd from the UK, has given 12 points to Sissi. Helena Meraai from Belarus, has given 12 points to Andrei Zevakin & Pluuto. Pierre Dumoulin from Belgium, has given 12 points to Sissi. Steve Rodway from the UK, has given 12 points to Koit Toome.
The Jury voting is over, but the public voting is still open. With a voting recap, there is less than two minutes to vote now. Voting for the Super Final has now closed! We now have a chat with some of the acts. We are currently looking back at past Estonian Eurovision Song Contest entries.
The Smilers have taken to the stage for one of the second part’s interval acts. The results are in!
Making it through to the Super Final are: Jüri Pootsmann, Uku Suviste and Sissi! Where is Koit?
The voting in the Super Final has now opened. I personally predict Sissi for the win. We now are chatting to the Super Finalists. Mr Lawrence has taken to the stage as the next interval act. The finalists are presented with a bouquet of tulips each – a link to The Netherlands, host country of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest.
Less than a minute to vote! Voting has now finally closed for the evening! Time for another interval act – by an act who I missed the name of! It’s time for the Super Final result. The winner is… Uku Suviste!
Thank you for following our coverage of Eesti Laul 2021. We appreciate it has been slightly different to the last couple of years – hopefully we will a see return to that coverage in 2022, fingers crossed.
Author: Richard Taylor
Source: Eurovision Ireland