The Estonian broadcaster ETV has received a total of 76 songs for the Estonian selection, Eurolaul 2006, which is an even lower number than last year. Four of the songs are submitted by invited composers; Mikk Targo, Priit Pajusaar, Alar Kotkas and Ivar Must. The 10 finalists will be announced on Thursday in a special programme.
The interest for participating in the Estonian has fallen dramatically this year. Compared to the peak in 2004 when 153 songs were sent in, 76 songs is over two times lower. Last year 92 songs were submitted to ETV. This might be the first reaction for the new selection system introduced about a month ago by the Estonian broadcaster which consists of bringing back the international jury and also gives 4 chosen composers direct access to the final 10 songs.
The 6 finalists chosen by a professional jury and the 4 directly qualified songs will be announced in a special TV-programme at 20:35 CET on ETV. The final of this year's Estonian selection will be held on 4th February at 20:35 CET. The winner will represent Estonia in the semifinal of the 51st Eurovision Song Contest in Athens, Greece.