Estonia is already beginning its search for its Eurovision 2024 representative. However, following changes implemented by Estonian broadcaster ERR, Eesti Laul’s producer Tomi Rahula has stepped down from the role.
No immediate successor to Tomi Rahula chosen
The change in management was explained by ERR’s Chief Editor for Entertainment Karmel Killandi. In a press release, Killandi said that the format was due for a reshuffle:
Every big project needs to be re-evaluated and updated after a while. Eesti Laul is even more so, because on the one hand it is Estonia’s biggest and most important music show and on the other hand it is a springboard to Eurovision. We want to face autumn with innovations and summer is the best time to analyse the finished season and also earlier years.Karmel Killandi, Chief Editor for Entertainment at ERR
Tomi Rahula has been one of the chief producers of the selection since 2019. Under his guidance, Estonia has qualified for the final three out of four times, with the most successful edition being in 2023, when Alika finished in 8th place. Rahula, who is a musician himself, has worked with other successful Estonian musicians, including Stig Rästa and Tanel Padar. Announcing his departure, Rahula reflected on his role and his legacy on the selection show:
It’s nice to realize that in five years you could contribute to such a big TV project. Go outside the TV studio with the semi-finals and throw a proper party right in Tartu. The autumn quarter-finals were also a test for the event, which gave excellent results to the artists, who otherwise would not have made it to the stage of the semi-finals and the final. It was also important for me to include a completely neutral jury in the final. As a bonus, Estonian music and musicians were also introduced and brought together with top foreign players.Tomi Rahula, former chief producer of Eesti Laul
As at the time of writing, submissions for Eesti Laul 2024 are not open. Estonian broadcaster ERR has confirmed the country will be participating in Malmö, however. Killandi said that further updates to the selection process will be revealed in due course. She also urged that artists continue preparing entries ahead of the submissions window being opened.
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 “Rändajad” in 2009 and Ott Lepland with “Kuula” in 2012, both of which finished in 6th place.
In 2023, Estonia elected to send Alika through Eesti Laul to the Contest with “Bridges”. She successfully qualified for the final and finshed in 8th place with 168 points. Alika finished with 146 points from the juries, and an additional 22 points from the televote.
What do you think will happen with Eesti Laul after Tomi Rahula stepped down? Do you think Estonia’s fortunes will change? As always, let us know what you think by commenting below. Also, be sure to follow “That Eurovision Site” on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok as we start gearing up for Eurovision 2024!
News Source: ERR
Photo Credit: Martin Ahven