A total of 178 songs were submitted to the Eesti Laul 2020 song contest, 24 of which will be selected by jury vote to compete in the two semifinals to take place in Tartu next February.
In a change from prior years, when unfinished demos also qualified for submission, a new rule this year required contestants to submit only already finished songs.
According to Eesti Laul executive producer Tomi Rahula, after an initial listen, it seems as though the new rule has already justified itself. Several songs, he noted, are polished enough to play on TV or the radio already.
"The quality of the submitted songs is high, so we can expect a really exciting and diverse contest," Rahula said.
Of the 178 songs submitted by the Wednesday deadline, 76 are in Estonian and 102 are in various other foreign languages.
Rahula was pleased by how much Estonian-language music was submitted. He noted that the number of entries was a bit lower than last year's total, but the quality thereof has increased.
"I wish the jury good luck in judging," he added.
Semifinalists to be revealed next week
A 14-member jury will evaluate all of the entries, and the top 24 songs as ranked by an electronic vote will make the semifinals.
All 24 qualifying songs, performing artists and authors will be revealed on ETV's Ringvaade on Nov. 13 and 14. A longer program introducing audiences to the semifinalists is scheduled to air on Nov. 30.
Eesti Laul's two semifinals are scheduled to take place at the University of Tartu Academic Sports Club (TÜSK) on Feb. 13 and 15, hosted by Karl-Eerik Taukar and Tõnis Niinemets, with the final to follow at Tallinn's Saku Suurhall on Feb. 29.
The winner of Eesti Laul will then travel to Rotterdam in May to compete in Eurovision.
Editor: Aili Vahtla