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Estonia: big changes in the national selection

14 October 2008 at 16:52 CEST

The first change is the name of the selection, which will become Eesti Laul (Estonian Song). Thus it will not have the name it has carried since 1993 - Eurolaul (Eurosong).

"As we wanted to change the whole charachter of the event then changing the name seemed appropriate. And if we decide one day that we do not want to participate at the Eurovision Song Contest then Eesti Laul will still continue as an important musical event," explained Heidy Purga, the newly appointed Executive Producer of the Estonian selection. "We wait for songs which suit to the musicians themselves and to Estonian people. The musicians cannot change into "europroducts" and lose their identity."

This time the contest will be open to all Estonian residents. They have to submit their entries by 8th of December to ERR, the broadcaster announced. A professional jury will make their selection out of the songs on 11th of December and the 10 winning songs will be released the same evening.

Eesti Laul will start introducing the songs and the writers on 7th of February and will do it weekly for a month. The final will be held on 7th of March which is a month later that the past years.

So far it has not been decided whether only televoting, jury or a mixed system will be used. In the rules it has been stated that two voting sessions will take place at the final concert whereas in the second one the two best songs will compete. 

Estonia has not been doing very well at the Eurovision Song Contest the past years, being one of the few countries that has not made it to the final of the contest since introducing the semi- finals in 2004.