Estonia made its debut in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994. However, the previous year in 1993, an international pre-selection event was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia to choose three songs for the open slots in the contest in Millstreet, Ireland. The Estonian entry “Muretut meelt ja südametuld”, sung by Janika, did not achieve a high placing, and as a result, Estonia made their official debut one year later in 1994 with Silvi Vrait and “Nagu Merelaine”, who made a disappointing 24th place with only 2 points. But things have changed quickly.
In 2001, Estonia achieved its first victory in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Everybody”, performed by Tanel Padar and Dave Benton, featuring 2XL. The victory was a historic moment for Estonia and for Eastern Europe, as it was the first time that an Eastern European country had won the contest.
The victory of Tanel and Dave was a surprise for many viewers and bookmakers, as Estonia was not considered one of the favourites to win. However, the energetic and upbeat soul number “Everybody” proved to be a crowd-pleaser and won over both the jury and the public, securing Estonia’s place in Eurovision history.
After Estonia’s victory in the 2001 Eurovision Song Contest, the Estonian broadcaster ETV launched a national competition called “Eesti Laul” to select their entry for the following year’s contest. The competition has since become a popular event in Estonia and has showcased many contemporary and experimental music styles.
Despite its small size, Estonia has a thriving music scene, and the Eesti Laul competition has helped to highlight the country’s creative and optimistic spirit. The competition has also been praised for the high quality of music that it produces, which often reflects the diversity and originality of Estonian culture. The Eesti Laul competition has also helped to cement Estonia’s place as a hub of musical talent and innovation in the region.
However, the enthusiasm and creativity of Estonian artists and songwriters continues to inspire other participating countries, and the country’s commitment to the Eurovision Song Contest remains strong. This year it will the 28th entry for Estonia. The Baltic country could not always make it into the Grand Finals. Last year Stefan could make a good 13th place in the Grand Final in Turin.
Nevertheless there have been many strong and memorable songs with good placings, and often Estonian entries were able to qualify for the Grand Final. Statistically the chance for a place in the final is at 63%. Estonia reached the Grand Final 17 times and even reached a Top10 position 10 times!
1st place, Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL with “Everybody” (Copenhagen 2001)
3rd place, Sahléne with “Runaway” (Tallinn 2002)
4th place, Ines with “Once In A Lifetime” (Stockholm 2000)
- Debut: 1994
- Participations: 27
- Victories: 1
- Finals: 17 (7 since 2004)
- Chances to reach the final: 63% (39% since 2004)
- Top 10: 10 (4 since 2004)
- Chances to reach the Top 10: 37% (22% since 2004)
- Last place: 1
Jüri Pootsmann with “Play”, Rang 18 (Semi-Final) (Malmö 2016)
Evelin Samuel & Camille with “Diamond Of Night”, Rank 6 (Jerusalem 1999)
Gerli Padar with “Partners In Crime”, Rank 22 (Semi Final) (Helsinki 2007)