ESTONIA – Eesti Laul 2021 will be the thirteenth edition of the Estonian national selection Eesti Laul, which will select Estonia’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2021. The competition will consist of twenty-four entries competing in two semi-finals on 18 and 20 February 2021 leading to a twelve-song final on 6 March 2021.
The format of the competition will include two semi-finals on 18 and 20 February 2021 and a final on 6 March 2021. Twelve songs will compete in each semi-final and six from each semi-final will qualify to complete the ten song lineup in the final. The results of the semi-finals will be determined by the 50/50 combination of votes from a professional jury and public televoting for the first four qualifiers and a second round of public televoting for the fifth and sixth qualifier. The winning song in the final will be selected over two rounds of voting: the first round results will select the top three songs via the 50/50 combination of jury and public voting, while the second round (superfinal) will determine the winner solely by public televoting.
On 1 September 2020, ERR opened the submission period for artists and composers to submit their entries up until 6 November 2020 through an online upload platform. Artists and composers of any nationality were able to submit entries and each artist and songwriter was only able to submit a maximum of five entries. Foreign collaborations were allowed as long as 50% of the songwriters were Estonian. A fee was imposed on songs being submitted to the contest, with €25 for songs in the Estonian language and €75 for songs in other languages. 156 submissions were received by the deadline.
One of the 24 semi-finalist spots was reserved for Uku Suviste, who was to represent Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 before the contest was cancelled, while a 17-member jury panel selected the remaining 23 semi-finalists from the submissions and the selected songs were announced during the ETV entertainment program Ringvaade on 11 and 12 November 2020. The selection jury consisted of Bert Prikenfeld, Kaupo Karelson, Jüri Pihel, Jaan Pehk, Anu Varusk, Karl-Erik Taukar, Sten Teppan, Mari-Liis Männik, Ahto Kruusmann, Margus Kamlat, Laura Põldvere, Vaido Pannel, Robert Kõrvits, Rauno Märks, Dmitri Mikrjukov, Andres Aljaste and Liis Lemsalu.
Among the competing artists were previous Eurovision Song Contest entrants Ivo Linna, who represented Estonia in 1996 together with Maarja-Liis Ilus, Koit Toome, who represented Estonia in 1998 and 2017 together with Laura, Tanja, who represented Estonia in 2014 and Jüri Pootsmann, who represented Estonia in 2016.
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