Estonia - Kyle Woods

Eesti Laul 2018 Final – March 3, 2018 – held at Saku Suurhall in Tallinn, Estonia


1.         “Young” by Karl Kristjan & Karl Killing feat. Wateva

Not a fan at all.  I never like when they use they lyrics as a backdrop, and I found that long coat a bit distracting.  This one really started the show off wrong and didn’t really bring anything special to the table.

2.         “Taevas” by Eliis Pärna & Gerli Padar

This one was endearing.  I love the sound of Estonian, and the ladies were just so charming on stage.  Some of Estonia’s best entries have been soft, understated, Estonian-language songs.  I liked the mirror-reflection thing they had going on too.

3.         “Knock Knock” by Nika

I was halfway through the song when I realized she was singing in English!  I really didn’t understand what was going on here.  The contortionist was quite distracting and took me away from the song.  However, the song was strange enough to do well at Eurovision!

4.         “Thousand Words” by Sibyl Vane

I found the performance kind of distracting.  Too many visual tricks with lights superimposed on the performer.  However, I loved that hat!

5.         “Home” by Stig Rästa

I know Stig is a hometown favorite and a veteran of Eurovision, but I was not particularly blown away by this performance.  It felt a bit too subdued.

6.         “Laura (Walk with Me)” by Vajé

Something was wrong with the sound in this one and I could hardly hear the singer’s voice over the music.  I’m not sure what was going on with the hands reaching through the screen to grope him either.  The song itself wasn’t exactly bad, but it kind of felt old fashioned, at least until the random guy came out and started shooting the fire-extinguisher.

7.         “La Forza” by Elina Nachayeva

This was the clear winner, not only in terms of votes, but in terms of quality.  The song screams class, and Elina is a beautiful and committed performer.  The screen-dress is a Eurovision staple, though this version hearkens mostly to Moldova 2013, but this song is better than that particular entry.

8.         “(Can’t Keep Calling) Misty by Frankie Animal

I was pretty underwhelmed by this song.  I don’t know what it’s about, and the singer had no energy at all.  It was hard to hear her and I couldn’t really understand her words either.  Even when the song wakes up at the 2:30 mark, it really just served to add a grating guitar track to an otherwise unengaging and disturbing song.

9.         “Drop That Boogie” by Iiris & Agoh

Um...I am not sure how this one made it to the final, actually.  Even though the singer was adorable, the song itself was dull, and the Bioshock Splicers dancing in the background didn’t do much to help.

10.        “Welcome to my World” by Evestus

And the circus came to town to wrap things up.  Though I doubt I would seek this song out, it certainly did its job of being memorable.  Whether it was the keyboards on springs or the Mars Attacks cast rejects, the whole affair was one to be remembered.  I don’t like it, but I’m glad it happened!

Summary of Voting

The ten entries were awarded points by a jury as well as by televote.  The top three placers were “Home,” “Laura (Walk with Me),” and “La Forza.” 

These three entries advanced to the Super Final, which took place later that same evening.  The Super Final is decided entirely by televote, and “La Forza” won by a significant margin, taking approximately 70% of the votes.


I noted my own reactions above.  On the whole, I was kind of underwhelmed by this year’s crop of finalists, though there were a few I did enjoy.  However, the final lineup was on the whole less-memorable that what Eesti Laul has brought in recent years. 

Coming into the show, the general consensus was that Elina would win, and I think objectively she had the best song.  I am satisfied with the choice, for once, actually.  I hope to be able to Eesti Laul live some year.

However, I felt it would be meaningful to get a sense of what Estonians thought of the show and the winning song.  Therefore, I requested the input of several local spectators. 

Siim Kornel of Tartu, Estonia wrote: I liked the show. It centered around magic and comedic performances from the hosts, including tricks and clips full of both surprises and straightforward humor.  This provided useful contrast to allow the songs to shine. My biggest question was whether the result will be as expected or some peculiar twist could happen. There were so many songs with too much show and too little musical expression. Some disturbingly bad English in lyrics and undistinguishable pronunciation made me feel ashamed about our pop culture.  Ultimately, there were only few well-produced songs and too many attempts at experimentation with disconnected elements which created a good degree of disconnect between the story of the song and an unconnected performance.  Sometimes there was more of an attempt to shock than to shine.  Luckily the Super Final songs were all decent with only minimal gimmicks. I am satisfied with the result but confused generally about the competition itself.

Siim stated that his least favorite entry was “Welcome to my World” by Evestus, which he found to be “too weird for my brain to call it a song.”  He was also underwhelmed Nika’s “Knock Knock.”

Reimo Sannik, an Estonian living in Hämeenlinna, Finland was very excited by the show and writes that he is ecstatic about the result.   He finds the winner to be classy and classic, and said he got chills when he watched her.  He expects Elina will do Estonia proud in Lisbon, claiming this is the best choice Estonia has ever made!  He states that the biggest surprise for him was Sibyl Vane’s “Thousand Words” which he said really grew on him once he saw it performed on the program.  When asked about his biggest disappointment, he said that there were too many bad songs, but that “Young” by Karl Kristjan & Karl Killing feat. Wateva was his least favorite.

Rauno Otsing, of Tallinn, Estonia, says that he was excited about La Forza from the beginning and stated that he spent the entire evening encouraging his friends to vote for it.

Erik Põder, of Tallinn, Estonia, stated that “Usually I don’t care about Eurovision because Estonia always picks a stupid song!  But this year I am excited and I wish I had tickets to go see it live!”

In general, there was a good degree of excitement about Eesti Laul 2018 in Estonia and the Estonian people seem generally satisfied by the results.