Estonia (Semi 2) - Cindy Zhang

On the night of February 2, Eesti Laul held its 2nd semifinal, where 6 more acts, out of a total of 12, were selected to join the final on the 16th.

Synne Valtri “I’ll Do It My Way”

The opener for the night sounds more suited for Eurovision 1979 than Eurovision 2019. Synne did give her performance with enough energy and conviction to sell it, even if her vocals were not always at 100%.

Iseloomad "Kaks miinust"

The retro vibes continue with this act’s classic rock n’ roll sound. A nice song, if a bit plodding with disorienting camera angles.

Lumevärv ft INGA "Milline päev"

A nice party song with a good beat. Inga performed it with great energy, but I thought she could probably do with a few back dancers.

Sissi "Strong"

The daughter of Dave Benton, the 2001 Eurovision winner for Estonia, Sissi cuts a striking silhouette in her dark blue suit. She’s very engaging as a performer, although I’m not entirely convinced by her vocals during the chorus.

Cätlin Mägi & Jaan Pehk "Parmumäng"

While this one might be marmite, it simply won’t be Eesti Laul without something quirky like “Parmumäng.” While I was initially baffled by the strange-sounding (and -looking) jaw harp when I checked out the MV, their performance had me sold.

Kadiah "Believe"

This entry is so sweet and sincere that saying anything less than nice would feel like kicking a puppy.

Kaia Tamm "Wo sind die Katzen?"

The weird German cat one, featuring: dark feline Alice in Wonderland, scientists in lab coats, cats, ‘80s disco DJ who proceeds to play the violin, and dancers in masks who resemble bank robbers. I almost wanted to see this win the whole thing just to see their unique brand of stark raving bonkers in Tel Aviv. Just watch it.

Kerli Kivilaan "Cold Love"

A chill song (no pun intended) with a cozy livehouse vibe and the best vocals thus far. Beautiful and understated.

Grete Paia "Kui isegi kaotan"

A good song with nice staging throughout. Grete Paia’s vocals hold strong most of the time, but isn’t always in tune and failed her on the key money-making high note.

Lacy Jay “Halleluja”

Eesti Laul goes international with a singer-songwriter number from this Dallas native. Girl really brings it on those high notes, but her “butterfly kimono” and her odd hand movements make the whole thing feel shamanistic rather than spiritual and anthemic.

Around the Sun “Follow Me Back”

Fun song for the Instagram generation. I liked the studio version, but the live vocals are a bit questionable.

Uku Suviste “Pretty Little Liar”

The vocals were on point, the interpretive modern dance complements the song well, and there’s good production value. Best package for the night.

The jury and televotes combined to send through Sissi, Kadiah, Kerli Kivilaan, and Uku Suviste, and Lumevärv ft INGA and Synne Valtri rounded out the list of finalists after a second round of televotes-only voting.