Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest
|National selection events|
|Appearances||24 (15 finals)|
|Best result||1st: 2001|
|Worst result||Last: 2016 SF|
|Estonia's page at Eurovision.tv|
| For the most recent participation see
Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018
Estonia has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 24 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 failing to qualify. Estonia has won the contest once, in 2001.
Estonia's first participation in 1994 was unsuccessful, finishing 24th (out of 25). Estonia went on to finish in the top eight in six out of seven contests (1996–2002), with Maarja-Liis Ilus and Ivo Linna fifth (1996), Maarja-Liis Ilus returning to finish eighth (1997), Evelin Samuel and Camille sixth (1999) and Ines fourth (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. Sahlene then finished third for the hosts in Tallinn in 2002.
Since the introduction of the semi-final round in 2004, Estonia has failed to reach the final on nine occasions and has reached the top ten four times, with Urban Symphony sixth (2009), Ott Lepland sixth (2012), Elina Born and Stig Rästa seventh (2015) and Elina Nechayeva eighth (2018). Estonia's total of ten top ten results, is more than any other Baltic country.
Estonia finished 24th (out of 25) on its debut in 1994 and was relegated from the following years contest.
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). Maarja-Liis Ilus and Ivo Linna's fifth-place in 1996 was the first top five ranking for a former Soviet country. Ilus returned to finish eighth in 1997.
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. The 2002 contest was held in Estonia, in the capital city Tallinn, where Sahlene finished third for the hosts (tied with the UK).
From 2004 to 2008 Estonia failed to qualify to the finals, mostly receiving poor results – during that period its best entry was 11th 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.
Since 2012, Eston has achieved three more top ten results. Ott Lepland qualified Estonia to the final of the 2012 contest, with his song "Kuula", ending up 4th in the second semi-final. In the final, he equalled Estonia's result of 1999 and 2009, placing 6th. Elina Born and Stig Rästa finished seventh in 2015 and Elina Nechayeva finished eighth in 2018.
- 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 2018, Estonia's voting history is as follows:
|2002||Tallinn||Saku Suurhall||Annely Peebo and Marko Matvere|
Commentators and spokespersons
|Year(s)||Television commentator||Dual Television commentator||Radio commentator||Russian commentator||Spokesperson|
|1994||Vello Rand||No Dual Commentator||Marko Reikop (Raadio 2)||No broadcast||Urve Tiidus|
|1995||Jüri Pihel||No broadcast||Estonia 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||Olav Osolin (final)||Laura Põldvere|
|2010||Sven Lõhmus (final)||Rolf Roosalu|
|2011||No Dual Commentator||Piret Järvis|
|2012||Ilja Ban, Dmitri Vinogradov, Aleksandra Moorast (Raadio 4)||Getter Jaani|
|2013||No broadcast||Rolf Roosalu|
|2016||Aleksandr Hobotov||Daniel Levi Viinalass|
|2017||Aleksandr Hobotov, Julia Kalenda||Jüri Pootsmann|
- Peeter Lilje (1993 pre-selection)
- Urmas Lattikas (1994)
- Tarmo Leinatamm (1996–1997)
- Heiki Vahar (1998)
- 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. Archived from the original on 2009-03-10. 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 (1994 - 2015)". eurovisioncovers.co.uk.