Following the death of its lead singer Riho Sibul, the group Ultima Thule have withdrawn from Eesti Laul 2023. Ultima Thule and Wiiralt were set to preform together in the first semi final of Eesti Laul 2023, Estonia’s selection format for Liverpool, with the song ‘Salalik’. Wiiralt have stated that at this time they still intend to participate in Eesti Laul choosing to honour Sibul.
The 64 year old musician had participated in a myriad of groups over his near five decade long career, in addition to releasing his own solo work, before ultimately settling as the lead singer and guitarist of the group Ultima Thule. In 2001 Sibul was awarded Order of the White Star.
Eesti Laul 2023
The fifteenth edition of the contest is set to take place in the new year, with the Semi-Finals taking place in January 12 and 14, and the final on February 11. The shows will be hosted by Tõnis Niinemets and Grete Kuld.
|Alika||“Bridges”||Alika Milova, Wouter Hardy|
|Andreas||“Why Do You Love Me”||Andreas Poom, Alan Roy Scott, Julia Sundberg|
|Carlos Ukareda||“Whiskey Won’t Forget”||Carlos Ukareda, Gevin Niglas, Chris Roberts|
|Elysa||“Bad Philosophy”||Stig Rästa, Vallo Kikas, Elisa Kolk, Anne Gudrun Michaelsen, Alex Ghinea|
|ELLIP||“Pretty Girl”||Pille-Riin Karro, Meelis Meri|
|Janek||“House of Glass”||Janek Valgepea, Kjetil Morland|
|kaw||“Valik”||Gevin Niglas, Jesse Keihäsvuori|
|Meelik||“Tuju”||Andres Kõpper, Meelik Samel, Rain Parve, Martin Petermann|
|Sissi||“Lighthouse”||Sissi Nylia Benita|
|Wiiralt||“Salalik”||Martin Saaremägi, Vahur Krautman|
|Anett x Fredi||“You Need To Move On”||Frederik Küüts, Anett Kulbin, Jason Hunter|
|Bedwetters||“Monsters”||Joosep Järvesaar, Mihkel Mõttus, Rauno Kutti, Kaspar Koppel, Karl-Kristjan Kingi, Claus Peneri ja Kris-Evan Säde|
|Inger||“Awaiting You”||Inger Fridolin, Oliver de la Rosa Padilla, Sofia-Liis Liiv|
|Linalakk, Bonzo||“Aeg”||Liina Tsimmer|
|m els||“So Good At What You Do”||Stefan Airapetjan, Andreas Poom, Hugo Martin Maasikas, Gevin Niglas|
|Merlyn||“Unicorn Vibes”||Merlyn Uusküla, Lauri Lembinen|
|Mia||“Üks Samm Korragaa”||Kersti Kukk|
|Neon Letters & Maiko||“Tokimeki”||Aap-Eerik Lai, Johanna Holvandus, Maiko Tammik|
|Robin Juhkental||“Kurbuse Matused”||Robin Juhkental|
Estonia’s Eurovision Journey
Estonia has appeared at almost every Eurovision since their debut in 1994. They have won the contest once with Tanel Padar, Dave Benton and 2XL in 2001, singing Everybody. Other notable Estonian entrants include 3rd placer Sahlene with Runaway in 2002 and Ines with Once In A Lifetime in 2000, who placed 4th. More recently, their highest-placing entries have been Urban Symphony with Randajad in 2009 and Ott Lepland with Kuula in 2012, both of whom finished in 6th place. In 2022, they elected to send STEFAN through Eesti Laul to the contest with “Hope”. He successfully qualified for the final and finshed in 13th place with 141 points.
News Source: Sky.ee / ERR
Image Credit: ERR / Ülo Josing