Uku Suviste finally wins Esti Laul and represents Estonia in Eurovision
With four top 10 results since 2009, Estonia has a more than decent track record in Eurovision in the past decade. Sure, they missed a ticket to the final on four occasions too, but they at least cracked the code to Eurovision success recently a couple of times. This year, like every year, they selected their contestant through national final Eesti Laul. After two semi-finals and a final, singer Uku Suviste took the crown, with his mid-tempo pop tune ‘What Love Is’, which he co-wrote with Sharon Vaughn.
It was not Suviste’s first run in Eesti Laul. Last year he finished 2nd behind Victor Crone. This year the bookmakers expected him to finish second once more, but he managed to beat favourite Jaagup Tuisk, who had a more contemporary and stronger composition titled ‘Beautiful Lie’, with a visually more appealing stage performance if you ask me. But what about Uku’s track then? ‘What Love Is’ is in no way a bad song, but the dramatic pop anthem is more dated for sure. The bombastic chorus is memorable on first listen though and could potentially appeal to both juries and televoters. For me, it just misses that bit of an edge that makes it stand out more. The melody, the build up, the lyrics, it is all a bit safe and predictable.
But what about Suviste’s performance? Let me start by saying that he has a strong stage presence and comes across really well on camera. He is a charismatic performer, who appeals to the eye more than to the ear at times. ‘What Love Is’ has quite a challenging chorus to sing and he seems to struggle sometimes and will need strong backings in Rotterdam to help him through his tune. If they manage to make the vocals sound convincing, he is in with a shot at a spot in the final, but I don’t expect to see Estonia anywhere near top 10 this year.
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