Estonia has its hopes pinned on artist Stefan at the Eurovision Song Contest finals, taking place Saturday evening in Turin, Italy and broadcast by ETV and ERR's Menu portal.
As reported by ERR News, Stefan had to qualify through the semi-finals, which he duly did Thursday evening, in the second heat.
Stefan, full name Stefan Airapetjan, told ETV after the result that it was: "Hardest to share … moments, since if you're alone / ... / it's not as powerful as when you have people around you who believed in you and lived alongside you. This brings me a lot more."
"What was even more powerful was when I went on stage, I got to see the Estonian flags!" , and, while he did not know whether the individuals waving them were Estonian or not, "I felt at home."
As for his competitors on Saturday night, Stefan said: "I am glad that we have such a nice company and we can enjoy the finals together," he added. "It's still a shared celebration, and we're coming here with the idea of showing off our country for the better."
The draw was held Thursday night for Saturday's lineup, and Stefan's song, "Hope", comes right at the very end of the 25 offerings, ahead of voting beginning and the results coming in.
Finland's The Rasmus performs fourth in line with the song "Jezebel", hosts Italy are up ninth, Ukraine will perform 12th, with the Kalush Orchestra and its song "Stefania", and Lithuania's entry appears two spots later.
Latvia did not qualify for the finals.
Australia is also in the competition again, thanks in no small part to the popularity the Eurovision Song Contest has long had in that country, where the live finals broadcast starts very early in the morning of course.
Hope" was co-written by Stefan himself, along with Karl-Ander Reismann, and the entry made it through the pretty comprehensive "Eesti Laul" selection process, from the original 40 songs shortlisted and via the semi-finas and final, back in February.
"Hope"'s official video, evoking Sergio Leone movies and other spaghetti westerns, is here.
Last year's entry, from singer Uku Suviste, did not make it through the semis, while the 2020 event was canceled, due to the Covid pandemic. Estonia has won the Eurovision Song Contest once, in 2001, when Dave Benton,Tanel Padar and 2XL took the honors.
As per protocol, Estonia had to host the following year's finals – the Saku Suurhall in Tallinn was constructed in time for this.
Editor: Andrew Whyte