Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest
|National selection events||Eurolaul
|Appearances||20 (13 finals)|
|Best result||1st: 2001|
|Worst result||22nd SF: 2007 SF|
|Estonia's page at Eurovision.tv|
Estonia has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 20 times since making its debut in 1994. Its first appearance would have taken place in 1993, however a qualification round was installed for seven former Eastern bloc countries hoping to make their debut in the contest, with Estonia failiing to qualify. Estonia has won the contest once, in 2001.
Estonia's first participation in 1994 was not a successful one, coming second last only to Lithuania. The country was then relegated from the 1995 contest. From its second entry in 1996, the country entered its best era in the contest, finishing in the top eight in six out of seven contests (1996-2002). Maarja-Liis Ilus and Ivo Linna were fifth 1996. This was the first top five ranking for a former Soviet country. Maarja-Liis Ilus returned to finish eighth in 1997, Evelin Samuel and Camille were sixth in 1999 and Ines was fourth in 2000, before Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL gave Estonia its first victory in 2001. This made Estonia the first former Soviet country to win the contest and the second eastern European country to win, after Yugoslavia in 1989. The 2002 contest was held in Tallinn, with Sahlene finishing joint third for the hosts.
Since the introduction of the semi-final round in 2004, Estonia has failed to reach the final on seven occasions and has only reached the top ten twice, with Urban Symphony in 2009 and Ott Lepland in 2012, who both finished sixth. Estonia's total of eight top ten results, is more than any other Baltic country.
Estonia's record at the contest was a successful one from 1996 to 2002, only failing once to make the top 10 (in 1998 when it ended up in 12th place). The country's first win came in 2001, when Tanel Padar and Dave Benton, along with 2XL, sang "Everybody" and received 198 points, therefore making Estonia the first former USSR country to win the Contest and the second country of eastern Europe after Yugoslavia. As such the 2002 contest was held in Estonia, in the capital city Tallinn.
From 2004 to 2008 Estonia failed to qualify to the finals, mostly receiving poor results – during that period its best entry was 12th place in the 2004 semi-final by Neiokõsõ with the "Tii" (The Way), sung in the Võro language, a southern-Estonian dialect.
Despite news that Estonia might withdraw from the 2009 contest, set to be held in Moscow, Russia, due to the war in South Ossetia, Eesti Rahvusringhääling (ERR) confirmed that, due to public demand, Estonia would send an entry to Moscow. After a new national final, Eesti Laul, was introduced to select the Estonian entry, the winner was Urban Symphony with "Rändajad" (Nomads or Travellers), which had beaten the televoting favourite, Laura, by the votes of a jury.
At the second semi-final of the 2009 contest, Urban Symphony qualified Estonia to the final of the contest for the first time since 2003, receiving 115 points and placing 3rd. The group performed 15th in the final, where it received 129 points, placing 6th of 25 competing entries as well as being the highest placing non-English language song at the 2009 competition.
In 2011, Estonia was represented by Getter Jaani with the song "Rockefeller Street". She was the bookmakers' pre-contest favorite for victory along with France. She qualified to the final but eventually placed 24th of 25 entries- tying Silvi Vrait's 1994 result for Estonia's worst placing in the contest final.
In 2012, Ott Lepland qualified Estonia to the final with his song "Kuula", ending up 4th in the second semi-final. In the final, he equalled Estonia's result of 1999 and 2009, ending up 6th. Together with "Urban Symphony" in 2009, "Kuula" gave Estonia its best result in the contest since 2009.
- Table key
- a. ^ Estonia unsuccessfully attempted to participate in 1993, when there was a pre-qualifying round for seven countries hoping to make their debut in the contest. The official Eurovision site does not count 1993 in Estonia's list of appearances.
As of 2014, Estonia's voting history is as follows:
|2002||Tallinn||Saku Suurhall||Annely Peebo and Marko Matvere|
Commentators and spokespersons
|Year(s)||Television commentator||Radio commentator||Spokesperson|
|1994||Vello Rand||Marko Reikop (Raadio 2)||Urve Tiidus|
|1995||Jüri Pihel||Did Not Participate|
|1996||Marko Reikop (Raadio 2)||Annika Talvik|
|1998||Reet Linna||Urve Tiidus|
|1999||Marko Reikop||Vello Rand (Raadio 2)||Mart Sander|
|2001||Ilo-Mai Küttim (Elektra)|
|2005||Mart Juur (Raadio 2)
Andrus Kivirähk (Raadio 2)
|2009||Marko Reikop (All)
Olav Osolin (final)
|2010||Marko Reikop (All)
Sven Lõhmus (final)
|2011||Marko Reikop||Piret Järvis|
|2012||Mart Juur, Andrus Kivirähk (Raadio 2)
Ilja Ban, Dmitri Vinogradov, Aleksandra Moorast (Raadio 4)
|2013||Mart Juur (Raadio 2)
Andrus Kivirähk (Raadio 2)
- Floras, Stella (2008-08-22). "Estonia: Minister discusses possible boycott of Eurovision in Moscow". ESCToday. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
- Floras, Stella (2008-09-17). "Estonia will participate in 2009". ESCToday. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
- "Estonia: Staging modern fairytale". 2009-04-26. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
- Calleja Bayliss, Marc (2009-03-07). "Urban Symphony to represent Estonia in Moscow". Oikotimes. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
- Webb, Glen (2009-03-07). "Urban Symphony win Eesti Laul in Estonia". EBU. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
- Points to and from Estonia eurovisioncovers.co.uk