#LIVE BLOG: Eesti Laul Semi-Final 1 from 18.30 CET
Join us tonight for a Live Blog of the first semi-final of Eesti Laul 2023. We know this competition is one of the highlights of the national final season, so let’s see if Estonia can pick a contender for the prize in Liverpool in May.
Ten songs are competing for six spots in the Grand Final of Eesti Laul on Saturday 11 February.
20.17 – So congratulations to the five that go through. And commiserations to those who stay in semi-final limbo. How many did you get right?
20.15 – Our final finalist is… Janek
20.11 – Clicherik & Max are now on stage, with some current music for people to wow at. It’s all very energetic.
20.06 – Our six acts competing for those two places are having to sell themselves, and make host Tõnis very excited in the process.
19.59 – We’ve got another 10 minutes or so of televoting now. For two more spots.
19.58 – Annett x Fredi are next. As are the Bedwetters
19.57 – Andreas is through. Ollie is through too
19.57 – Now it’s results time…
19.54 – We’re getting guitars. Not quite Guitars Unlimited. But guitars all the same. Playing our favourite riffs.
19.46 – Or maybe not
19.45 – It’s results time…
19.41 – Janika Sillamaa is on stage now. She’s performing a new arrangement of Muretut meet ja südametuld with the band Minimal Wind. It’s still a cracking song.
19.38 – As you’ve probably gathered, we’re continuing the sparkling banter and witty repartee from the Green Room in the Viimsi Artium in the town of Viimsi. It involves baby photos – the banter that is.
19.33 – Our hosts have changed frocks.
19.32 – We’re back, for the results.
19.00 – It’s break time. If you’re in Estonia, you’ll get the news now. We’ll be back in half an hour.
18.58 – We see a flashback to 1993, when Janika Sillamaa sang all the songs in Eurolaul, in order to make the Preselection for Millstreet. She was robbed of a place.
18.51 – It’s recap time and more green Room chat. Six finalists are in there somewhere.
18.48 – A ballad, the sort of song you’ll hear in a posh restaurant that’s a tad jazzy. I want to call it a plodder, but that’s too harsh a term for something that moves along under its own steam in a very cool manner. Anyway, Fredi plays a mean guitar riff.
18.44 – The final song – song ten – comes from Annett x Fredi. They sing You need to move on.
18.43 – More popular bunnies, bedecked for the occasion as monsters. Naturally. They also mean business with this upbeat song that suits the dark staging. They’re no Lordi, but this will wake up everyone who’s watching, not least by their attire. They own the stage and this will sail through to the final. There’s even a and member with a crucifix. It doesn’t ward off the monsters.
18.38 – Song nine comes from the Bedwetters (yeah, you read that right). They’ll sing Monsters. They ‘sing’ Cat story by Hillar Wimberg. Another classic.
18.34 – Bear with us, we’re back in the Green Room
18.33 – Andreas may well look to Ed Sheeran for his inspiration. This could be something he’d written. There are a lot of words crammed into this and it’s in a conversational stylee. He has one dancer on stage who mirrors his movements when she’s not draped around him. This is OK. But I’m not really feeling it as something that will do well.
18.28 – Song eight is from Andreas Poom and is called Why do you love me. We see Getter Jaani
18.27 – This is one to watch. There’s attitude (but not in a W*w*bl*ggs way) and a serious edge showing Ollie means business. It’s rock for people who dabble in rock. It’s safe for people who dabble in safe music. And it’s mean and moody. It’s great for a small venue like tonight’s, but will it translate?
18.23 – Song seven tonight comes from Ollie. He sings Venom. After we see a flashback to Maarja-Liis Ilus and Ivo Linna.
18.18 – You’ve guessed it. Back to the Green Room for more chat.
18.17 – This is sung in Japanese and English by Maiko, and has Japanese subtitles too. She and the duo of Neon Letters sing in a big box. This is innovative, and why we like Eesti Laul. The song itself is nicely bouncy with another happy vibe going on. Another one that has me smiling.
18.14 – Straight onto song six. Neon Letters and Maiko are singing Tokimeki. We hear a bit of Malcolm Lincoln’s Siren
18.13 – Mid-tempo time now, and she’s already proving popular. Mia has a piano and pianist on stage for accompaniment. And two discreet dancers. This is a really good performance, with a major piano riff that would make Koit Toome proud. It’s uplifting, and makes you take notice. With only four going home, it shouldn’t be one of them.
18.09 – Act five comes from Mia. She sings Üks samm korraga
18.04 – Back to the Green Room
18.03 – Back to English again. Merlyn means business and is in a black dress and pink hair. Her pals are two guys in pink and black. It’s an OK song. Something a bit more earnest for those who like that sort of thing.
17.59 – Song four is Unicorn vibes by Merlyn. She references Janika Sillamaa from 1993. Another good song.
17.58 – A band, singing in eesti keelt. Hurrah! It’s upbeat, sort of catchy with a hint of student pop about it. I suspect the lead singer’s microphone has that muted effect, which doesn’t do it any harm at all. Nicely done, and suited to the intimate venue we’re in tonight.
17.54 – Song three is Valik by Kaw.
17.49 – A not-so-quick look at the Green Room. It’s not green at all, but many forms of life can be found within it.
17.48 – Ooh. Monochrome and arty camera shots to start with. This starts a bit on the rap-side of things, with a sung chorus. She gets dancers who cavort all around her. It’s the epitome of funky – well, funky for song two in a semi-final. It’s a noteworthy effort, but maybe just a tad too repetitive repetitive.
17.44 – Act two is Ellip with Pretty girl. She references Estonian songstress Kate. Check out her Eurolaul stuff – it’s rather good.
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17.43 – Janek appears on an old cathode-ray tube screen. Sat on a wooden chair on a big box. Very retro. Of course, he’s also in the studio. His song starts slowly on the ballad side of things. It then builds into something that could do well with a dance beat behind it. The TV screen smashes, hence the title of the song and he gets showered by that silver confetti celebratory stuff. No sharp edges I hope. Not a bad opener, although he could do with looking at the camera a bit more.
17.38 – Act one is Janek singing House of glass. He namechecks James Bond and Rändajad.
17.37 – We next get introduced to the jury, whose votes will comprise half of the result tonight. All in the entertainment industry.
17.35 – Our hosts are Tõnis and Greta.
17.33 – The 10 semi-finalist acts are paraded across the stage.
17.31 – We’re treated to an Estonian version of Unbelievable by EMF, with an Eesti Laul twist. It’s different.
17.30 – And we’re starting…
Author: John Stanton
Source: Eurovision Ireland, ERR