Predicting Eesti Laul 2023 – Estonia in Eurovision Song Contest

Graphic of Eesti laul 2023 final artists

It’s been a slow start to the Eurovision national selection contest season, with only Ukraine and Albania having chosen their representatives so far. However, things will pick up at the end of this week when three countries – Estonia, Malta, and Norway – begin their selection contests, and Belgium holds its finals. Of these countries, Estonia is the only one that has released all of the competing songs for its contest, Eesti Laul, which takes place over three nights with two semi-finals and one final. The semi-finals occur on January 12 and 14, with the finals taking place on Eurovision Super Saturday on February 11. There are 20 competitors in Estonia, with ten competing in each semi-final. According to Eurovision World, “In the first round of voting, five qualifiers will be determined by 50% jury and 50% televoting. In the second round of voting, one more qualifier will be chosen by 100% televoting.” After every song is sung, 12 acts will head to the February 11 Eesti Laul Finals.


Like with Ukraine, I’m making my best amateur effort to predict the Eesti Laul winner. 2022 was my first Eurovision, so I expect to be bad at this. I made my ranked list before the first Eesti Laul odds were released and the wiwibloggs poll, so, yeah, my chances aren’t looking good. I had Ollie near the bottom because “Venom” sounds dated – like it receives regular rotation on a 90s-era classic rock station. However, in the odds, he’s currently tied for third, and wiwibloggs readers have him leading his semi-finals. 

My method was to take all the artists, rank them as a whole, and slot them into their semi-final nights. The bulk of my favorite songs landed on January 12. Below I’ve placed my ranking for each night, followed by who will come out on top from my top six from each night. 

As with Vidbir 2023, I didn’t want to comment on every song, but I want to spend a little time on my favorites. 

Eesti Laul Semi-Finals Night One

The first night of Eesti Laul has shaped into one of diversity. The night will feature a half dozen music styles plus two acts I’d put in the “Eurovision Camp” category: Bedwetters and Merlyn.

Janek :: House of Glass

“House of Glass” had the same impact as Amanda Tenfjord’s “Die Together” in 2022. The opening stopped me in my tracks and gave me chills. It hits hard as a ballad but transforms into an absolute dancefloor jam. Even if it doesn’t go to Eurovision, I predict many dance remixes for “House of Glass.” Janek’s song was in my top five most Eurovisiony songs, with the other four all landing on night two. 

Kaw :: Valik

When I was doing my first casual listen to the Eesti Laul 2023 playlist, “Valik” stood out because it sounded so different from what I usually expect from a Eurovision entry. I can’t find any performances from the artist on the Internet, so I’m curious what “Valik” will look and sound like on the stage. If Kaw makes it to the Finals, I don’t expect they’ll go to Eurovision.

Bedwetters :: Monsters

This song is precisely the camp I expect from Eurovision. Bedwetters better come on stage dressed like they are in the video or I’m dropping them to 10th place. The Bedwetters belong in the same category as Ollie, so I don’t know why Ollie is doing so much better in the odds and votes. He lacks the punk-metal panache Bedwetters bring to the contest. Also, what’s going on with the insanely transgressive video? It’s like The Menu meets The Munsters meets the Nine Inch Nails video for “Happiness in Slavery.” I love it.

Here’s my ranking for the first Eesti Laul 2023 Semi-Final:

  1. Janek :: House of Glass 
  2. Bedwetters :: Monsters
  3. Kaw :: Valik
  4. Ellip :: Pretty Girl
  5. Mia :: Üks samm korraga
  6. Andreas :: Why Do You Love Me?
  7. Merlyn :: Unicorn Vibes
  8. Ollie :: Venom
  9. Neon Letters & Maiko :: Tokimek
  10. Anett x Fredi :: You Need to Move On

Eesti Laul 2023 Semi-Finals Two

The second semi-finals is a tough night featuring most of the songs I had in the top 10 on my overall ranking list. It’s a strong night with some clear frontrunners for eventually claiming the finals. Here are some of my favorite songs of the night.

m els :: So Good (At What You Do)

I’ve learned that every national selection contest has at least one song that doesn’t go on to represent the country but ends up being an earworm I can’t get out of my head for months. For Ukraine’s Vidbir, it was Tember Blanche’s “Я вдома.” It wasn’t strong enough to break out, but it is a damn catchy pop song with radio airplay potential. “So Good (At What You Do)” has the same energy. When I make my Eurovision playlists, I’ll usually put them on in the background a few times and listen blind. The songs that stick with me are the ones that typically end up at the top of my Eurovision contender list. This song has been stuck in my head more often than any other Estonian song. Of course, I’d be delighted if it went to Eurovision, but it lacks some of the necessary elements. Ellip’s “Pretty Girl” from the first semi-final night is another song that fits nicely into the “probably not going to Eurovision but put it on the radio” category.

Meelik :: Tuju

He keeps singing, “Tuju, do you, do you know what I mean?” but, honestly, I have no clue because the rest of the song is in Estonian. That doesn’t matter because it’s a rollicking pop-rock song that transcends language. In 2022, Latvia’s Citi Zēni forced me to reevaluate my expectations of what could end up on the Eurovision stage. Meelik would be a dark horse, but “Tuju” has great energy and would get the audience on their feet. 

Sissi :: Lighthouse

In my mind, Eesti Laul 2023 comes down to three songs. Sissi gives us the first and is at the top of my ultimate list (the third is “House of Glass”). “Lighthouse” is beautiful, emotional, and epic. It has the big swirling moments that suck in a Eurovision Song Contest audience. Sissi’s vocals leave us no choice but to experience longing alongside her.

Alika :: Bridges

And Alika is the second, but honestly, it could go either way between Sissi and Alika. “Bridges” is a powerful, stunning song that builds in a crescendo that finally explodes, and….that’s it.  Many songs often feel the need to bring the listener back down gently after the climax, but not this one. Alika chooses to punctuate that she has the last word on Eesti Laul. 

Here’s my ranking for the second Eesti Laul 2023 Semi-Final:

  1. Sissi :: Lighthouse
  2. Alika :: Bridges
  3. m els :: So Good (At What You Do)
  4. Meelki :: Tuju
  5. Elysa :: Bad Philosophy
  6. Wiiralt :: Salalik
  7. Inger :: Awaiting You 
  8. Carlos Ukareda :: Whiskey Won’t Forget
  9. Linalakk, Bonzo :: Time
  10. Robin Juhkental :: Funeral of Sorrow

If my top six from each night make it to the finals, here’s my rerank with Sissi going to Liverpool:

  1. Sissi :: Lighthouse
  2. Alika :: Bridges
  3. Janek :: House of Glass
  4. Bedwetters :: Monsters
  5. m els :: So Good (At What You Do)
  6. Ellip :: Pretty Girl
  7. Kaw :: Valik
  8. Meelki :: Tuju
  9. Mia :: Üks samm korraga
  10. Andreas :: Why Do You Love Me?
  11. Wiiralt :: Salalik
  12. Elysa :: Bad Philosophy
  • January 8, 2023