The first batch of five finalists in this year's Eesti Laul, Estonia's annual competition to pick the country's Eurovision Song Contest entry, were announced Thursday night at the competition's semi-finals first heat.
Ott Lepland with the song "Aovalguses", Andrei Zevakin featuring Grete Paia ("Mis nüüd saab"), Elysa ("Fire"), Stig Rästa ("Interstellar") and Elina Nechayeva ( "Remedy") are going to the grand final at the Saku Suurhall on February 12.
Three of the above acts have represented Estonia in the main Eurovision contest in the past - Ott Lepland appeared in 2012 (placed 6th), while Stig Rästa, together with Elina Born, finished seventh in 2015, and Elina Nechayeva placed one spot lower in 2018.
The winners on Thursday were picked via a combination of jury and audience phone-in vote, with Lepland, Rästa, Zevakin and Elysa booking their places in the final as the result of a combination of the two, and Nechayeva being the audience-only favorite.
Close to 25,000 votes were cast at Thursday's show, presented by two-time Eurovision finalist Maarja-Liis Ilus and actor Priit Loog, and while Merilin Mälk and Kaia-Liisa Kesler were selected by the jury, their audience vote was not high enough to make the cut.
The second semi-final is tomorrow, Saturday, and can will be broadcast by ETV from 7.30 p.m. Estonian time, while those who missed the first heat and want to see it can catch up here.
The entrants at both heats are listed here.
The grand final on February 12 will pick who gets to represent Estonia in Turin in the semi-final and, if they make it through that stage, the Eurovision Song Contest grand final on May 14.
Editor: Andrew Whyte