Today Estonia selected Getter Jaani to represent them in Dusseldorf. “Rockefeller Street” is a catchy, contemporary and a wee bit twisted pop tune. As we noted in our preview, this year’s Eesti Laul was packed with high quality tunes, and the selection turned out to be a nail-biter. I’m not sure ESC2012 is going to be held in Tallinn, but Estonia would certainly deserve a good showing this year. This is one of my favorites, and I’m looking forward to seeing it on the big stage.
Watching the Estonian national final for Eurovision was not like watching a normal Eurovision contest. It was more like watching an art school band jam. Even the most conventional songs were slightly off: Jen described Lenna Kuurmaa’s “Rapunzel” as “a cute little Petula Clark number filtered through 22 hours of darkness.” And this number, which finished second, was one of the more accessible songs.
The winner was “Siren” by Malcolm Lincoln and Manpower 4:
Jen pointed out that this sounded just like Simple Minds during its more prog moments. It probably doesn’t have a shot at all at winning the big show, but it was certainly easier to listen to than, say, “The One and Only – Love.”
Ott Sepp and Märt Avandi hosted the evening’s festivities, and in between each act, they spoofed a variety of musical genres and acts. (It’s not often you get to see Paffendorf send-ups.) Our favorites were the reggae parody and the “We Are the World” parody:
Seriously, where can we get one of those “Don’t Die” t-shirts? The thing is, they were legitimately funny even though we had no idea what they were saying. And it’s not like you often see something intentionally funny during Eurovision national finals.
While the votes were being tallied, Metsatöll performed three songs backed with a men’s choir. Who knew Vikings with bagpipes and amps would be so much fun?
The national selection show for ESTONIA!!! was held in a cocktail lounge in Tallinn. Okay, I don’t know that, but it sure looked like it.
The show was hosted by two guys who, after each song, alternated interviewing a comedian who was dressed as each act. In other words, after, say, StereoChemistry performed, the comedian would be dressed as a StereoChemistry member, and talk about their performance. Granted, I don’t speak Estonian, but it was pretty obvious that’s what was going on.
ESTONIA!!! had some eccentric acts this year. My favorite was Köök, although Jen didn’t quite dig it:
(This is not the performance from the final, but it is the song they performed.)
And that wasn’t even the most eccentric act on the night, because that had been preceded by Chalice:
Seriously, what the hell was that, besides “Seksind?”
Anyway, in the end, ESTONIA!!!!! decided to go with Urban Symphony’s “Rändajad,” which is everything Quartissimo wants to be, but isn’t:
The verse part sounds really familiar. I keep thinking it’s from some alty-pop song from the ’80s or something. Anyway, a decent effort, and one Jen picked from the start to be the winner, for she is wise.
ESTONIA!!!!! has decided to go with a… I guess… more amusing… uh… Eurovision song this year. Kreisiraadio’s “Leto Svet” is their entry, and it reminds me a bit of Verka Serduchka’s “Dancing Lasha Tumbai,” only less manic and not in drag. Instead, it looks like it’s performed by two men from the Estonian cast of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Only, you know, without togas. I’ve watched the video twice, and I guess I’m a bit befuddled.
Gerli Padar is adorable in a slightly homely way. That sounds vaguely insulting, but I don’t mean it to be. “Partners In Crime” is a pretty generic light rock song in the Pat Benatar vein, but she’s doing a great job selling it. I liked this, and not just because I’m biased due to my obsession with Estonian pop music.
Gerli Padar – “Partners in Crime”
Ani Frieda covers Bonnie Tyler. Minor key, sleek production, tight harmonies on backup vocals. On first listen it’s the kind of radio-friendly song that would easily blend into a mix on Top 40 radio in Central Europe. But there’s no way it would hold up under heavy rotation at an RTL.
Gerli Padar: “Partners In Crime”
A few years ago, Estonia won Eurovision with the song “Everybody,” which was performed by Tanel Padar and Dave Benton. Gerli is Tanel’s younger sister. Unlike last year’s representative, Gerli is actually Estonian, so I’ve put the extra exclamation point back in. The song, by the way, sounds like Vanilla Ninja, which makes total sense.
Wow, another ABBA-esque beginning. And another collection of ’80s-influenced outfits. R.U.F.F.U.S. was right: the ’80s are coming back. This is awful, but I love Estonia, so I’m giving it a pass. The singer has the old WCW Championship belt on for some reason. I’m waiting for Goldberg’s music to start. Nope, still a crappy ABBA rip-off. In fact, Estonia out-ABBAed Sweden this year. That ain’t right, but since it’s Estonia, I don’t want to be right.
[NOTE: The singer is from Sweden, but she’s performing for Estonia. I’ve removed one exclamation point from the headline to this post as punishment.]