In this year’s Eesti Laul, there were 40 entries, four quarter-finals, two semi-finals and a Grand Final to determine the Estonian representative for Turin. With 62% of super final, Stefan could convince the Estonians with “Hope”. Stefan Airapetjan is no stranger in the Estonian music scene, he has participated several times in the Estonian national final and has also won the first series of the “Masked Singer” in 2020.
Stefan was born in Viljandi (between Pärnu and Tartu), Estonia in 1997. His parents have left their home country Armenia and settled down in a rural area of Estonia. The gifted singer has already received the title “Sexiest Man Of The Year” by the magazine Kroonika. His first appearance in the Eesti Laul Stefan was part of the group VAJÉ and the song “Laura (Walk With Me)” , they made a fantastic third place in 2018. In 2019 Stefan appeared as a solo singer with “Without You” (third place) and in 2020 with “By My Side” . This year, he was the lucky one, who could fulfil his long-awaited dream to sing for Estonia in front of millions of TV spectators.
The song “Hope” is a kind of country pop song, Stefan looks like a cowboy in a Western movie. The sound is appropriate to the style of this entry. The lyrics are as follow:
Hey sing your heart out boy For all the people great and small Oh, when all else is lost The future still remains our own I hope I hope I hope
It’s definitely not the first “Western” song in Eurovision, remember Texas Lightning with “No No Never” , who made a 19th place in Athens, 2006. Stefan’s song has a modern twist and the lyrics inspire to think twice. With his good voice and live singing qualities and his good looks he will definitely shine in Turin.
Finals: 16 (7 since 2004)
Top 10: 10
Estonia had the debut in the year of 1994. In the year before there has been an international pre-selection, which was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia to choose the songs for three open slots for the ESC in Millstreet, Ireland 1993. The Estonian entry “Muretut meelt ja südametuld” sung by Janika, could not achieve one of the higher placings, with the effect that Estonia debuted one year later with Silvi Vrait and “Nagu Merelaine”, who made a disappointing 24th place with only 2 points. But things have changed quickly.
In 2001 the big dream came true: Tanel Padar and Dave Benton could win the ESC; this was the first time that Estonia could achieve a victory and the also the first time of an Eastern European country at that time. The victory of Dave and Tanel was a big surprise for the most of the viewers, the bets placed Estonia in the middle field. At the end the swinging soul number “Everybody” has been shining and convincing the most. The year after the Estonian broadcaster ETV has organized a wonderful event in the capital of Tallinn. The Estonian national final is called “Eesti Laul” and has brought many contemporary and experimental music into the spotlight. For a country of this size it’s amazing how much creativity and optimism can be found, which can also been noticed in the good quality of music in the Eesti Laul.
The Estonians really became Eurovision enthusiasts over the years with a lot of good songs and a great enthusiasm, which inspired other participating countries. This year it will the 27th entry for Estonia. The Baltic country could not always make it into the Grand Finals. Last year Uku Suviste ended 13th in the Semi-Final.
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 59%. Estonia reached the Grand Final 16 times and even reached a Top10 position 10 times!
1x 1st place “Everybody” | Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL (Copenhagen 2001)