Tanja’s “Amazing” for Estonia
As anticipated, Estonia’s Eesti Laul was a competitive affair, with ten quality entries spanning the breadth of the country’s musical tastes. From Kõrsikud’s slow, folksy waltz to ballads from Maiken and Lenna to Traffic’s alt-rock and Sandra Nurmsalu’s worldly pop, there was something for everybody. But even though most fans’ eyes were trained on Eurovision alums Sandra and Lenna, the champion and runner-up both flew more or less under the radar.
Coming in second place after the first round of voting, but eventually taking the victory in the Superfinal by a 53/47 split over the Super-Hot Cosmos Blues Band, Tanja‘s “Amazing” will represent Estonia in Copenhagen.
Tanja (full name: Tatjana Mihhailova) was actually born in the Russian city of Kaliningrad, but moved to Estonia at a young age. As a member of Nightlight Duo, she took part in the 2002 and 2003 Eurolauls, coming in second with “Another Country Song” and fourth with “I Can B the 1“, both written by noted Estonian songwriter Sven Lõhmus. Between then and now, Tanja has dabbled in theatre, including leading roles in local productions of “Fame”, “Kiss of the Spider Woman”, and “Cabaret”.
I have to give Tanja some major props. The ability for a singer to maintain breath control and vocal power while fully immersed in dance is incredibly difficult (then again, for a klutz like me, being able to perform modern dance without landing on one’s face is impressive enough). “Amazing” is well-sung and well-sold. Its biggest disadvantage (and this might just be an issue to hyper-vigilant Eurofans) is that it may stand on the shoulders of two giants that blended contemporary dance and powerful vocals: “Shine” from Georgia in 2010 and, of course, “Euphoria“. “Amazing” is good, but it lacks the emotional depth of “Shine” or the instant impact of “Euphoria”. Granted, it could be said that Tanja’s dancing is more intensive, and who knows how her presentation could change between now and the first semifinal on May 6th.
Or maybe I’m just bitter that my far-and-away favorite entry, Traffic’s “Für Elise“, came in third. Harumph.