A year after a record 219 songs were entered into the Eesti Laul competition, the winner of which will represent Estonia at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, the record has again been broken with 238 hopefuls signing up this time.
The ball dropped on Monday at 15:00 with many rushing to get their songs to ERR offices at the very last moment.
“Elina and Stig raised the bar high, both domestically and internationally. Hopefully there are a few songs this year which are just as strong and timeless,” Mart Normet, the head producer of Eesti Laul, said.
A 11-strong committee will begin to find the 20 songs for the semi-final rounds. Those songs will be made public on November 5 at 19:00 live on ETV.
As always, many domestic stars are taking part. Luisa Värk, the prime minister's partner, is in with two songs, as is Lea Dali Lion, who recently beat cancer. Actor Kristel Aaslaid, Eghert-Sören Nõmm and Bonzo, from Kõrsikud, are among those aiming to represent Estonia at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest.
Eesti Laul has sent performers such as Urban Symphony (6th at 2009 Eurovision final competition), Ott Lepland (6th in 2012), and Elina Born and Stig Rästa (7th in 2015) to Eurovision. The eight years of Eesti Laul competition has seen 1,366 songs take part.
The first semi-final will take place on February 13, 2016. The second semi-final will air a week later and the final will take place on March 5. The 2016 Eurovision Song Contest is set for May 10-14 in Sweden.
Editor: J.M. Laats