The Estonian national selection, Eesti Laul 2017, had it’s national final last night. In a tough competition, Koit Toome & Laura won with their song “Verona”. The collaborative duo will be heading off to Kyiv, Ukraine to represent Estonia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017.
The song is about Romeo & Juliet hence why the title of the song is the name of the Italian city, Verona, where the Shakespearean play is set. It was written by Sven Löhmus.
The Eesti Laul 2017 national final consisted of two rounds; the first final had three acts going into the next round. In the Super Final, Koit Toome & Laura beat favourite Kerli – who came second with her song “Spirit Animal”. They also beat Rasmus Rändvee, who performed “This Love”.
Prior to this performance, Laura had been ill; she had been battling a cold that meant she had to skip the dress rehearsal. But being on vocal rest certainly helped, as she performed well and nailed it on the night.
Looking completely stunning in a white and silver dress, Laura finds her inner Miss World and struts around the stage, totally owning it. As for Koit Toome, he’s slightly outshined by Laura, but his dapper suit and killer vocals are exactly what makes this song. With Laura feeling well, they could lift the roof off the International Exhibition Centre in May at Eurovision.
This isn’t the first time Koit Toome has represented Estonia at Eurovision; in 1998 he sang “Mere lapsed” where finished 12th with 36 points. He was also, previously, in a successful pop duo called Code One. He has released a total of five albums, collectively as a solo artist and as part of Code One.
As for Laura, full name Laura Põldvere, she launched her career attempting to represent Estonia in 2005, but came second with her song “Moonwalk”; however, the winners that year was Suntribe, a girl group she was a part of at the time. So, she went off to Eurovision 2005 with the rest of the group and performed the song “Let’s Get Loud” which didn’t make the Grand Final, coming 20th in the semi-final with 31 points. She tried again to represent Estonia in 2007 but came third. In 2009 she came third, and in 2016 she came second in the Super Final. It just goes to show that you should try and try again because she is now representing the country in 2017.
Estonia has only ever won the Eurovision Song Contest once, in 2001, with Tanel Padar/Dave Benton/2XL who sang “Everybody”. In recent years, Estonia has had their ups and their downs; but can Koit Toome & Laura change all that with their song “Verona”? Time will tell.
They’ll be competing against many diverse acts, from various countries. Announced so far are: Cyprus’ Hovig, The Netherlands’ O’G3NE, Belgium’s Blanche, Macedonia’s Jana Burceska, Azerbaijan’s DiHaj, Ireland’s Brendan Murray, Austria’s Nathan Trent, Albania’s Lindita, Armenia’s Artsvik, Montenegro’s Slavko Kalezic, Greece’s Demy, Georgia’s Tako Gachechiladze, Belarus’ Navi, The United Kingdom’s Lucie Jones, Finland’s Norma John, Switzerland’s Timebelle, Germany’s Levina, France’s Alma, Spain’s Manel Navarro, Italy’s Francesco Gabbani, Israel’s Imri Ziv, Czech Republic’s Martina Barta, Croatia’s Jacques Houdek, Malta’s Claudia Faniello, Poland’s Kasia Mos, Hungary’s Joci Pápai, Slovenia’s Omar Naber, Denmark’s Anja Nissen, Moldova’s SunStroke Project, Ukraine’s O.Torvald, Latvia’s Triana Park, and Serbia’s Tijana Bogicevic.
Last year, Jamala won with “1944”, so the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest will be held at the International Exhibition Centre in Kyiv, Ukraine. The semi-finals will take place on 9 May and 11 May, to whittle down the acts for the Grand Final on 13 May 2017.