The songwriter of Estonia's only winning Eurovision song "Everybody", Maian Kärmas said that Eurovision was not as popular in Estonia in 2001 and she doubted if anyone would notice the victory.
Speaking on Radio 2 on Wednesday ahead of Eurovision on May 22, Kärmas said she initially wrote the lyrics for the song performed by Tanel Padar, Dave Benton and 2XL. "We discussed the song with them and wrote it accordingly," she said.
Kärmas remembered that 20 years ago on May 12, the weather in Copenhagen was sunny and the rehearsals went well.
Kärmas was not stressed about the performers or the performance itself. "I am usually quite a worrier because I know what it's like to be on stage, but Tanel and Dave were born to be on stage, so I wasn't worried at all," she said.
She did not dare to feel happy about the win until the last moment. "I only realized that we were going to win when the last countries were giving their points," she said. "I have watched Eurovision since I was little and it often happens that someone is in the lead but then somebody comes and takes the victory. I only realized we won at the end and emotionally, I realized it much later."
Kärmas said that when they arrived back in Estonia, they were welcomed incredibly warmly. "Emotionally, it gave me such a rush that it made people so happy," she recalled.
"Everybody" is still a part of Kärmas' life and on the anniversary of the win, she is greeted every year.
This year's Eurovision Contest will take place from May 18-22 in Rotterdam and Estonia is represented by Uku Suviste.
Editor: Roberta Vaino