Alika to represent Estonia at the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest
Singer Alika is to represent Estonia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 after winning Eesti Laul Saturday evening, bagging 42 percent of the overall vote.
Alika thanked all the finalists in her victory speech, adding all deserved to make it. "There are not so many words in my Estonian language vocabulary to be able to put a sentence together nicely."
To her supporters, she said: "I want to say a big, big thank you for believing in me, and that this energy reached you. Thank you very much for being there."
The video clip of the winning entry (preceded by announcement and presentation) is below (click on play button).
Held at the Tondiraba Ice Hall in Tallinn and hosted by singer Grete Kuld and comic Tõnis Niinemets, Eesti Laul is the competition to find Estonia's Eurovision entry, and the final followed the two semi-finals heats last month, from which 12 songs progressed to Saturday's final. The semi-finals themselves were contested by 20 entrants, whittled down from the original shortlist of 40 late last year. The shortlist in turn was taken from over 200 original entries.
Ollie with the song "Venom", and Bedwetters, with their entry, "Monsters", were runners-up.
Voting on the night took place in two phases and was a hybrid of votes from an 11-member international jury including artists, producers, songwriters and others, from various European nations, plus phone voting. The top three, Alika, Ollie and Bedwetters, made it to the "super final" after the first round, while the overall winner was determined by phone-voting only.
The other entries were: Meelik who sang "Tuju", Janek, with the song"House Of Glass", Sissi , with "Lighthouse", Inger ("Awaiting You"), Andreas ("Why Do You Love Me"), M Els ("So Good (At What You Do)"), Anett ja Fredi ("You Need To Move On"), Elysa ("Bad Philosophy") and Mia "Üks samm korraga".
Musical interludes were performed by several artists, including last year's Eesti Laul winner/Eurovision entrant Stefan, veteran composer and musician Rein Rannap, and singer Karl-Erik Taukar.
Alika will next go to Liverpool, England, hosting the grand final on May 13, in lieu of last year's winners, Ukraine.
She will have to make it through the semi-finals first, and is due to perform in the second heat, on May 11.
Estonia last won the Eurovision Song Context in 2001 when Dave Benton, Tanel Padar, and 2XL triumphed with the song "Everybody". Tallinn hosted the following year's final as per Eurovision tradition (save for this year), and the Saku Suurhall (now the Unibet Arena) was constructed as the venue.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Kerttu Kaldoja