Eesti Laul 2022

#ESTONIA: #LiveBlog Of Eesti Laul 2022 Semi Final 1 – #JoinUs From 17:30 GMT/18:30 CET

Eesti Laul 2022 is back!!! Following the introduction of the Quarter Finals back in November and December, we are here with Semi Final coverage today and Saturday. Forty acts started out in November and we are now down to just twenty.

So join me, Richard, from 17:30 GMT/18:30 CET, as we discover who the first five finalists will be. You know what to do by now, refresh regularly to see what we have to say in our #LiveBlog.

Refresh here from 17:30 GMT/18:30 CET

Good evening Europe and beyond! This is Richard calling from Eurovision Ireland with our coverage of tonight’s Eesti Laul. Tanja, who represented the nation back in 2014, open’s the show with Anna Sahlene’s “Runaway”. The on-stage band are unmasked, while the backing dancers are wearing face masks.

We are now been introduced to tonight’s acts. Maarja-Liis Ilus and Priit Loog, tonight’s hosts have joined us. While in the Green Room, everyone is wearing face masks. Voting numbers are also been displayed on screen for the Estonian audience.

Jüri Pootsmann is hosting from the Green Room tonight and will interact with the acts throughout the show.

ELYSA – “Fire”

Due to ELYSA testing positive for Coronavirus, her official music video for “Fire” is been shown.

Helen – “Vaatu minu poole” (Look at me)

Helen is the first semi-finalist to take to the actual stage. She is dressed in a short silver-metallic dress, with added random black stripes. She is joined on stage by four backing dancers, who are similarly dressed. A lot of pink-blue lighting – just like that of many acts at the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest. Vocally however, I found it slightly monotone.

Andrei Zevakin feat. Grete Paia – “Mis nüüd saab” (What now)

Andrei starts the performance backstage, before joining Grete, who he meets on the stage. Andrei is in black, while Grete is dressed in light silver. So yes, there are elements of rap – a genre that generally doesn’t work at the Eurovision Song Contest, but the twosome get away with it because they out weigh the rap with so much more sung content. Their vocals complement each other too.

Alabama Watchdog – “Move On”

Here comes the hard rock. It is all very dark and moody in places. This is a very eighties version of Maneskin and if that is what they are trying to achieve, it isn’t working. For a hard rock entry, I’m quite enjoying it – for once. Vocals aren’t bad and it’s all rather tuneful.

Merilin Mälk – “Little Girl”

Due to Merilin Mälk testing positive for Coronavirus, her official music video for “Little Girl” is been shown.

We are been introduced too and speaking to some of the Jury – which includes Tanja and Elina Born.

Stig Rästa – “Interstellar”

Stig is back! Having represented the nation back in 2015, he has been back at Eesti Laul most years since. Wearing a white top and black trousers, he looks very much at home on the multicoloured-lit stage – for that space theme. His vocals are really strong and match the tune. The nation’s representative of 2019, Victor Crone, helped to write “Interstellar”.

Frants Tikerpuu and Triin Niitoja – “Laululind” (Songbird)

Frants is sat at the piano, with Triin standing at the side. After the opening moments, they both move to the centre of the stage. Now they’re sat a piano each – slightly confusing. While they harmonise well, I do find Triin’s voice slightly harsh throughout. Frants went for a white shirt/black trouser combo, while Triin was in a white dress.

Kaia-Liisa Kesler – “Vaikus” (Silence)

We start with a classical shadow of Kaia-Lissa behind a screen, before she moves to the centre of the stage in a flowing white dress. I’m loving the black and white filmography used during this performance. For the final third, we revert to colour which features a lot of blue. Vocals are absolutely stunning throughout.

Elina Nechayeva – “Remedy”

Having represented the nation back in 2018, as well as featuring in the Eurovision film “Fire Saga”, Elina is back! The stage is dark to begin with, with only a view of Elina’s face, before the camera pans out to show her in a white/silver garment. This is soon removed to reveal jewels in her hair. This isn’t an operatic number like we are use too, but very classical sounding all the same. Two contemporary backing dancers feature on stage at various points.

Ott Lepland – “Aovalguses” (In the light)

Having represented the nation back in 2012, Ott is back! Another black and white opening, featuring more classical ballad vocals. Ott is sat on a stool at the near-rear of the stage. As he stands up and moves forward, we have plenty of blue lighting. Ott is dressed fully in black. Strong vocals, yet very different from “Kuula”.

The voting recap is now been shown. As is with tradition in Estonia, we will now take a break for thirty minutes while the national news and sport is broadcast.

Refresh here from 19:30 GMT/20:30 CET

We’re back! A voting cap is now been broadcast with less than 15 minutes for the Estonians to make a phone call or text.

Maarja-Liis Ilus, Priit Loog and Ivo Linna have taken to the stage to perform “Kaelakee hääl”. The first round of voting is ongoing.

The acts leading so far are:

  • Ott Lepland
  • Merilin Mälk
  • Stig Rästa
  • Kaia-Liisa Kesler

Voting has reached a conclusion for the first time. It’s a bit of a wait isn’t it? The first four finalists are:

  • Ott Lepland
  • Andrei Zevakin feat. Grete Paia
  • Stig Rästa

Ten minutes of voting start again. Who will be the final finalist for tonight? A dance act is teasing us further with another Interval Act! The voting has finally CLOSED for tonight!

The final finalist tonight is:

  • Elina Nechayeva

Join us again on Saturday from 17:30 GMT/18:30 for further coverage of Eesti Laul 2022.

Let us know what you think about Estonia and the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest – either in the comments below or on our FACEBOOK and TWITTER pages.

Author: Richard Taylor

Source: Eurovision Ireland

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