Eesti Laul preliminary judge: We had a lot of boring song entries

Robert Linna.
Robert Linna. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

This week, the semi-finalists of 2023's Eesti Laul, the annual song contest to determine which act will represent Estonia at Eurovision, are set to be announced. Singer Robert Linna, one of the sixteen judges tasked with assessing the songs submitted for the competition, admitted on Raadio 2's morning program, that a lot of the entries were quite similar.

Linna explained, that after accepting the offer to be a member of Eesti Laul's preliminary jury, he received a playlist containing all 217 songs that had been entered into the competition. To ensure impartiality, judges were only provided with the titles of the songs, with no details about the identities of their performers or songwriters.

Each judge then gave the songs a score on a five-point scale, with five being the highest and zero the lowest. The 20 highest scoring songs once points awarded by all the judges had been tallied up, advance to the semi-finals of Eesti Laul.

Linna said, that the scoring process had not proven too difficult. "After I had listened to a hundred songs, ( I knew) about 50 were definitely scoring zero points. There were a lot of songs that, for me, were boring," he said.

"I've listened to enough music in my life that I can more or less figure out within the first couple of seconds where the song is going. In terms of production and vocal quality, there were some below-par songs that could definitely use some work," said Linna.

Linna said, that there had been a lot of rock songs as well as piano ballads sent in for this year's competition. "In terms of points, they varied a lot - there were some rock songs that got zero points and others  that I gave five points to," he said.

All the songs selected for the semi-finals of Eesti Laul will be heard for the first time on December 2 in a special show on ETV

The semi-finals themselves are set to take place on January 12 and 14. Both semi-finals have two rounds, with the winner of the first round decided by the jury along with votes from TV viewers. The winner of the second round is decided by the viewers alone.

The final of Eesti Laul 2023 is scheduled for February 11, with the winner earning a chance to compete at next year's Eurovision final, which will be held in Liverpool, UK in September.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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