Birgit Õigemeel has beat out nearest rival Grete Paia to take the top spot in the Eesti Laul, the national competition that determines Estonia's Eurovision Song Contest entry.
In the competition's final round, held in Tallinn's Nokia Concert Hall on March 2, the two contenders scored the highest marks in a 50-50 combination of jury and televoting. The two then faced each other in a televoting "Superfinal," which ended with Estonian viewers picking Õigemeel's "Et uus saaks alguse" (The New Would Begin Again) to represent Estonia in Malmö this May.
Speaking to ERR News directly after the win, Õigemeel said that the result came as a shock. "Last year I was in seventh place and two years ago third. This year I just took it really slow and easy and didn't have any expectations," she said.
Though she plans to perform the song in Estonian in Eurovision, the 24-year-old said she might record versions in English and Russian as well.
Videos for all of the entries can be seen here.
The Saturday night event was hosted by Anu Välba and Marko Reikop, presenters of the ETV talk show "Ringvaade." Between performances, video clips by comic actors Mait Malmsten and Jan Uuspõld lampooning foreigners were shown in an apparent attempt to raise a few chuckles.
As many as 157 hopefuls submitted songs to this year's Eesti Laul, an event designed as much to showcase new local talent as it is to fill the nation's Eurovision slot.
The next step for Estonia's entry is presentation at the contest's first semifinal on May 14.
Source: Estonian Public Broadcasting