Eurovision 2016 Entry: Estonia — Jüri Pootsmann — Play

If the jury rewards Estonia's powerful songwriting for "Play", will that be enough to get Jüri Pootsmann to the Eurovision final?

Jüri Pootsmann will represent Estonia at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest (Photo: Krõõt Tarkmeel) Jüri Pootsmann will represent Estonia at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest (Photo: Krõõt Tarkmeel)

Country: Estonia
Song Title: “Play”
Artist: Jüri Pootsmann
First Semi-Final: Position #13
Last year’s entry: “Goodbye to Yesterday” – Elina Born & Stig Rasta (7th Place)

The Marcel Bezencon awards are a part of the Eurovision Song Contest that gets relegated to the behind the scenes coverage of the competition. The three awards highlight artistry, song composition, and the favorite of the press. Estonia’s “Play”, co-written by last year’s rep Stig Rasta and performed by Jüri Pootsmann, should be in the running for the composition award:

Unfortunately, the Marcel Bezencon awards do not have much bearing on how a particular entry does at the Contest. Romania’s 2008 entry won the composition award but finished in 20th. Last year’s winner, Norway’s “A Monster Like Me”, finished in 8th. In fact, “Euphoria” is the only Contest winner to receive the honor of best composition.

I mention all of this because I am concerned there is not enough love for this song in the Eurovision fandom. The bookies have Estonia as 12th in the first semi-final while the video on Eurovision’s YouTube channel is only at about 400,000 views.

Adding to the difficulty is Estonia’s position in the running order. Jüri Pootsmann will follow the pleasant but sleepy entry from Austria, which may be a point where viewers get a beverage refill or use the restroom. Following in the lineup is Azerbaijan’s power pop ballad, which sounds almost like a rebuttal to the thesis of “Play”. Also, most of Estonia’s best friends are not voting in this semi-final, with Sweden and Finland being the only (mostly) guaranteed points in a field dominated by the southern parts of Europe.

I still think this song is amazing and expect the juries to be equally enamored. But I fear the public vote might be an obstacle to Estonia getting a chance to “Play” in the Grand Final.

Eurovision Song Contest First Semi-Final
May 10, 2016

ArmeniaAustriaAzerbaijanBosnia & HerzegovinaCroatiaCyprusCzech RepublicEstoniaFinlandGreeceHungaryIcelandMaltaMoldovaMontenegroNetherlandsRussia
San Marino

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