You are currently viewing 🇪🇪 All About Stefan: Estonia 2022 Artist Preview

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Eesti Laul was the first national final of the 2022 season, kicking off all the way back in November of 2021. 40 songs, 5 Quarter Finals, and 2 Semi-Finals later, the winner was eventually announced during the live final on February 12th 2022.

Despite strong competition from former Eurovision contestants, newcomers and returnees, it was Stefan who took the title on his fourth attempt, with ‘Hope’ going on to become Estonia’s song for ESC 2022.

Keep reading to find out more about Stefan, and what we think Estonia’s chances are this year in the contest…

Who Is Stefan?

Stefan Airapetjan is a singer born in Viljandi, in the south of Estonia, to Armenian parents. He’s been interested in music from a young age, becoming a finalist on the show Laulukarussell back in 2010.

Stefan started releasing music as part of the duo Vajé back in 2017, with Hans Noormets. He first came onto the Eurovision radar when they entered their song ‘Laura (Walk With Me)’ into Eesti Laul 2018, finishing third overall.

He returned solo in 2019 with ‘Without You’, becoming one of the main favourites of the contest heading into the final. He once again finished third in the super final, behind winner Victor Crone & ‘Storm’, and 2nd placer Uku Suviste’s ‘Pretty Little Liar’. Uku went on to win Eesti Laul 2020 with ‘What Love Is’ (which didn’t make it to Eurovision due to the cancellation of the 2020 contest), and again in 2021 with ‘The Lucky One’, which failed to qualify for the ESC final that year in Rotterdam.

‘By My Side’ was Stefan’s entry into Eesti Laul 2020, which also reached the final, this time placing 7th.

After Eesti Laul 2020, he took part in Maskis Laulja (The Estonian version of The Masked Singer) as ‘Aries’, going on to win the show.

After a 2 year break, his song for the 2022 contest ‘Hope’ became his fourth attempt at the win. He won each qualifying round (Quarter Final 3 & Semi-Final 2), and was declared the winner of the contest on February 12th 2022, beating former Estonian Eurovision representatives Elina Nechayeva (‘La Forza’, 2018), Anna Sahlene (‘Runaway’, 2002), Ott Lepland (‘Kuula’, 2012) and Stig Rästa (‘Goodbye To Yesterday’ with Elina Born, 2015, writer of 2016 winner ‘Play’ by Jüri Pootsman & aforementioned ‘Storm’ by Victor Crone).

How well will ‘Hope’ do in Turin?

The stars seem to be aligning for Stefan to take Estonia back to the Eurovision final for the first time since 2019. At the time of writing, it’s 3rd in the semi-final 2 odds to qualify, and 17th to win the contest overall.

Whilst it’s safely expected to qualify right now, the staging could be make or break. It’s likely to be different to what was presented at Eesti Laul, with Jaagup Tuisk (Eesti Laul 2020 & 2022) planning the staging for Italy. There have also been some comments surrounding Stefan’s diction in the verses, but something that can’t be too heavily criticised when someone’s first language isn’t English.

The song is extremely accessible & wouldn’t sound out of place on the radio, which may spark interest with causal viewers on the night. It’s set to perform 12th in the semi-final, after ‘Circles’ from North Macedonia, and before ‘Llámame’ from Romania – both of which aren’t predicted to qualify in the odds, though Romania is occasionally being classed as a borderline qualifier with fans. Impactful pop tracks can often make an impression in the contest, and with a good performance, Estonia could be on course to get their first top 10 in 4 years.

Listen to the Estonian entry for ESC 2022 below!

What do you think of Estonia’s song for Eurovision 2022? How well do you think it’ll do in the contest? Let us know in the comments below!

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