A new producer will ring changes in the competition that picks a song to represent Estonia at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.
This time around, there will be two semi-finals - each featuring twelve songs - with six qualifying from each for the grand final that take place on February 16 in Tallinn at the Saku Suurhall.
Musician Tomi Rahula is in charge. His involvement in Eurovision goes back to 1998 when he wrote the song 'Mere Lapsed' for Koit Toome. Speaking on ETV talk show 'Terevision' noted: "The most important thing is that the best Estonian musicians get to the final. Quality, not quantity. There is potential out there, but a lot of it is only half-completed.''
After recent years where entries were only accepted from Estonian residents, next year songs are welcome from anyone no matter where they live. Estonian TV have introduced an entry fee - in theory designed to eliminate time wasters - though set it low at just €25 for songs in Estonian and #50 for entries in any other language. All money raised goes into a 'prize fund'. The winner of Eesti Laul gets this to help pay towards staging their show in Israel next May. ETV/ERR have already made it clear they will no longer contribute towards this. The closing date to enter is 6 November.
To be eligible, a song must not be performed or made available in any format ahead of when the shortlist is announced on 15 November. All songs will be available to hear online from 4 December.
Image Credits: ETV.