Prior to the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, Estonia had participated in the Eurovision Song Contest twenty-two times since its first entry in 1994, winning the contest on one occasion in 2001 with the song "Everybody" performed by Tanel Padar, Dave Benton and 2XL. Following the introduction of semi-finals for the 2004 contest, Estonia has, to this point, managed to qualify to the final on five occasions. In 2016, Estonia failed to qualify to the final, placing last in the semi-final with the song "Play" performed by Jüri Pootsmann.
The Estonian national broadcaster, Eesti Rahvusringhääling (ERR), broadcasts the event within Estonia and organises the selection process for the nation's entry. ERR confirmed Estonia's participation at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest on 12 April 2016. Since their debut, the Estonian broadcaster has organised national finals that feature a competition among multiple artists and songs in order to select Estonia's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. The Eesti Laul competition has been organised since 2009 in order to select Estonia's entry.
Eesti Laul 2016 pulled some huge numbers this year, both in terms of ratings and audience numbers. ERR have confirmed that despite being the sixth smallest country taking part in Eurovision 2016, Eesti Laul was attended by over five thousand people, making it the third most attended national final for Eurovision selection show after Melodifestivalen in Sweden and Melodi Grand Prix in Norway.
Eesti Laul 2017 will be the ninth edition of the Estonian national selection Eesti Laul, which will select Estonia's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. ERR announced that the final of the competition will take place on 4 March 2017 at the Saku Suurhall in Tallinn.
Eesti Laul, the national selection for Estonia at the Eurovision Song Contest, has grown to be one of the major events on the Eurovision pre-season calendar. It would appear the team at ERR, the national broadcaster for Estonia are very excited about Eurovision 2017. So much so that tickets for their national selection went on sale on May 5. The head producer for Eesti Laul, Mart Normet added that “Eesti Laul has grown more popular than ever and this has raised the interest of the viewing public. I believe we are the first in Europe to start ticket sales so early, which also gives our foreign fans the perfect opportunity to plan to come and pay Estonia a visit.”
Estonia’s singer in 2016 Juri Pootsmann with his song ’’Play’’ only earned 24 point in the first semifinal, placing last. Jüri won both jury voting and televote in the 8th edition of Eesti Laul’s final and earned 11.000 more votes in the super final than the 2nd ranked song, this fact making him one of the most supported entry of the Estonian public. But after this dissapointing result, the Estonians are looking forward to bring back the amazing songs they use to have till 2015 (they finished in top 10 two times since 2011). Also, an improvement could be represented by finding a way of being constant in this contest. The Baltic country failed to qualify to the Grand Final 2 times in the last 3 years.