Eesti Laul 2022 open for entries

Entries for Eesti Laul 2022, Estonia's annual competition to find its song for Europe, opens today, Thursday. The competition is open to submissions until October 20. The winner will be revealed on February 12 2022.

The event has gone through several changes since last time out, and, for the first time ever, quarter-finals, as well as semis, are to be held.

The contest will also be open to more entries this year.

"Eesti Laul is the biggest platform to present music in Estonia and we are glad that we can make amendments, which give musicians better chances," head producer Tomi Rahula said.

Next year's contest will make use of four quarter-finals and instead of a 24-song limit, 40 submissions will be showcased at the quarter-finals.

This will be whittled down to 20 songs in the semi-finals, followed by a shortlist of 10 songs in the final.

The quarter-finals will start on November 20 and the semi-finals will take place on February 3 and 5.

Songs can be submitted until the October 20 deadline.

The competition is open to non-residents of Estonia, as well as citizens and foreign nationals resident in the country, both for songwriters and performers.

A cap on non-residents means these cannot exceed the number of citizen or resident entrants.

A maximum of five entries applies to both performers and songwriters.

As last year, the entry fee depends on the language of the song submitted. Before October 17, an entry in Estonian will cost €50 and a song in English or any other language twice that, at €100. After October 17, these fees will be €100 and €200 respectively.

English has been dominant in winning songs over the contest's 70-year history, with 33 entries in that language compared with 14 in French.

Another 13 European languages have been represented between one and three times in grand final winning entries, including Ukrainian, Norwegian and Italian.

An Estonian-language song has yet to win the event since the country started participating in 1994.

A duet, "Kaelakee hääl", sung by Maarja-Liis Ilus and Ivo Linna, is the highest-placing Estonian-language song in the contest finals so far. It placed 5th, back in 1996. Most famously, the English-language "Everybody", performed by Dave Benton and Tanel Padar, won the competition in 2001.

Estonia will have to qualify for the 2022 Eurovision finals in Italy via the semi-finals a few days earlier. Uku Suviste's "The Lucky One" failed to get past the semi-final stage at this year's contest, in Rotterdam.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino, Andrew Whyte

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