The first semifinal round of the Eesti Laul, Estonia's Eurovision pre-selection contest, has ended, with five contestants tapped to advance to the March 3 final.
With makeup, hair and questionable costumes firmly in place, ten musical acts crowded into ETV's Studio 4 for the Saturday night event, which was hosted by Piret Järvis, a member of the blond girl-group Vanilla Ninja.
As with last year's semis, there were no live performances in the show - viewers were instead shown clips recorded a week earlier. Audiences may have been distracted from that bit of TV slight-of-hand, however, by Järvis's endless wardrobe changes, which at times seemed to pose a threat to herself and others.
In the end, the following songs passed through the semifinal stage, based on a 50/50 combination of jury and televoter polling:
"I Don’t Know" by POP Maniacs
"Kuula" (Listen) by Ott Lepland
"Tantsulõvi" (Dance Lion) by August Hunt
"Made Up My Mind" by Liis Lemsalu
"Valedetektor" (Lie Detector) by Loss Paranoias
Early performances of the winning entries can be seen here to the right. These songs will be pitted against the winners of the second semifinal, to held February 25.
The 20 semifinalists were chosen from a starting pool of 159 entries submitted at the end of last year.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2012 will be held in Baku in late May.