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Estonia's 2018 Eurovision entry is Elina Nechayeva with La Forza, our only operatic song in this year's competition.
Well, it's more like mass-market opera, most recognise the quality of opera and the immense skill it takes to sing it, but it's a rather inaccessible genre to the layman, Estonia have taken the best bits of opera and added a pop element, particularly when the beat kicks in. Some people think this 'popera' element will damage Estonia's chances, I see it as an improvement.
The melody of La Forza progresses in a predictable way, the chorus is easy to latch onto and some of the high notes are incredible, 10 out of 10 for Elina's singing ability. The question is: Can it win Eurovision? I believe it stands a very good chance indeed
Opera has had mixed results in recent years but there have been some results which mean this can't be ruled out. Il Volo tend to be referred to the most as an operatic song that prove Estonia's entry can't win. I disagree, Il Volo was 3 men singing what I regard as a rather mediocre song and still won the televote, this is a solo woman singing an entirely different song in a different style, yes they're both opera but aside from that they're hardly comparable. I regard 2018 as a rather weak year with plenty of very beatable songs, Estonia's entry is one to watch for the win.
The main criticism some will level at the song is that it leaves them cold, but I think that will be offset by the number of people who recognise the skill of the singer, the USP and memorability of the song and those that are moved by the tone of the melody.
Furthermore, after some doubts whether or not they could afford it, Estonia have managed to scrape the money together for an eye-catching staging setup. Opera like this generally demands a stationary singer so they're using a projected light effect on Elina's oversized dress spread around her. I think it really adds to the performance and makes it more impactful.
Estonia probably spent the most time as 2nd favourite in the betting markets, occasionally switching with Bulgaria and the Czech Republic but currently superceded by France and incredibly, Norway. La Forza for me is a Top 5 finisher. Despite singing in the strong first semi-final, Eleni's progression from the semi-finals is all but guaranteed and the market knows it. At 11/1 in the market, I'd sooner put my money on this than Israel at 2/1.