Estonia: Amazing race ahead26 February 2011 at 09:02 CET
It all started just two weeks ago when the first semi-final of the Estonian national selection, Eesti Laul - or Estonian Song in English - was held. Out of ten, five qualified and went on to tonight's final. It was the tiny country's first time to use a format including semi-finals.
Then it was time for the second semi-final. Once again, it was five who qualified but as one song was disqualified, then only nine were in the race for the trophy.
A day later, the final running order for the biggest Estonian music contest was decided, check it out below!
- Ithaka Maria - Hopa'pa-rei!
- Rolf Roosalu - All & Now
- Orelipoiss - Valss
- Getter Jaani - Rockefeller Street
- Jana Kask - Don´t Want Anything
- MID - Smile
- Outloudz - I Wanna Meet Bob Dylan
- Mimicry - The Storm
- Noorkuu - Be My Saturday Night
- Victoria - Baby Had You
The show will be hosted by the two girls of Vanilla Ninja - which represented Switzerland in 2005 with the song Cool Vibes - and the comedian Ott Sepp.
"If the temperature is below 20 degrees, I won't come out and will host the show via my mobile phone," Sepp says.
However, as Estonia has been hit by a cold wave, the actor is not sure about it.The organisers do not confirm this information, though.
What about the favourites?
This content is unfortunately no longer available
In Estonian polls, there are at least four songs who are still in the highest game - Hopa'pa-rei, Rockefeller Street, I Wanna Meet Bob Dylan and Baby Had You.
Ithaka Maria has been involved with the Estonian national selections since 1998 when she co-wrote the Estonian entry by Koit Toome - Mere Lapsed - together with her husband and father.
The latter two are also in the game this time - her husband, Tomi Rahula, plays in Outloudz and her father, Peeter Pruuli, co-wrote her this year's entry, Hopa'pa-rei.
She also tried to represent Estonia in 2003, 2004 and 2009 but has yet to win the right to carry the flag. Will everything change tonight? According to the polls, she's one of the top runners in this race.
Another favourite to win is Getter Jaani with her Rockefeller Street. She's a newcomer in Estonian music, with her debut single released a bit over a year ago.
However, the writer of her song is Sven Lõhmus, and he has quite some experience with the Eurovision Song Contest.
Namely, he's composed two Estonian entries for the Eurovision Song Contest - Let's Get Loud (2005) and Rändajad (2009). He's also the man behind several popular Estonian artists, such as Vanilla Ninja, Mari-Leen, Laura and of course, Urban Symphony.
The third most talked about participant of the final is Outloudz and their song I Wanna Meet Bob Dylan, has been high in the polls.
The band is also a newcomer in the Estonian music business but the people in the band are established artists, Tomi Rahula and Stig Rästa.
The first one has played in the band The Sun, led by the 2001 Eurovision Song Contest winner Tanel Padar. Rästa has played in another popular band, Traffic, which reached the second place in the 2009 Estonian national selection. They have also played together in one band before - Ithaka Maria's Slobodan River.
Last, but not least, Victoria is also one of the main favourites with her Baby Had You. She's been quite unknown in Estonia so far, mainly because she's concentrated on the Central European music markets. But now, she's hoping to rise to bigger stages.
"I've lived in Düsseldorf for quite a long time and I love the city almost as much as I love Tallinn. This was the reason we decided to take part in the competition - we took it as a higher sign." - Victoria explains.
The man behind her, Vladimir Adarichev is also responsible for the 2003 Russian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest and world-wide phenomenon, t.A.T.u. Will he do the same for Victoria?
However, all previous editions of Eesti Laul - two, to be fair - the winner has been a so-called dark horse, so will it happen again this time? Is it Jana Kask who's the crowned queen of Estonia Is Looking For A Superstar, Rolf Roosalu, who's tried to get the Estonian ticket for several times before?
Or will it be the charming newbie duo MID, who holds the top place in Estonian Top 7 chart? Then again, it might be Orelipoiss (Pipe Organ Boy in English) who was crowned the Best Male Act at Estonian Music Awards just a while ago?
Maybe it's the usually-a-capella-band Noorkuu or Mimicry who describe their music as "a fusion of electroclash with psychedelic techno, ethnic beats and garage rock"?
In any case, one thing is for sure - it's one of the strongest Estonian national selections in years, according to critics. And you can see it culminating tonight in our Web TV!
Who will make the final call?
Tonight's decision for the winner will be made in two stages - in the first part, a professional jury will vote together with the viewers. Out of that result, two super-finalists will emerge.
Then, they will be put up for another vote but this time, it'll be just up to the viewers to decide on the winner. And the lucky one will thus represent the small Nordic state in Düsseldorf, at the 56th Eurovision Song Contest.
Last year, Estonia did not qualify for the Final of the Eurovision Song Contest with Malcolm Lincoln's (who's also the backing vocal of this year's finalist, Orelipoiss) Siren.