How hard is it really? Part 6, in which we attend an Estonian Birthday Bash

My hard is yours. That’s the grand message from Norway this year. But how hard is it really? Follow us as we check up on some of the hottest men of Eurovision and give you our hard verdict.

There’s something about those Estonians. They don’t make much ado about themselves, but when they go ahead and put Robin Juhkental on the ESC stage, they are bound to get attention whether they like it or not. We happily accepted the invitation to come and celebrate what turned out to be Robin’s 22nd birthday with the Estonian embassy.
robinjuhkental

“It is really a coincidence that I am standing here now as Estonia’s participant in ESC, I’m not that into the Eurovision stuff at all”, Robin tells us. “5 months ago, no one knew who I was and I was just a road engineering student”, he continues. Our background check up on him reveals that he has participated in various talent shows back in Estonia, so we suspect he is being a bit modest with us, but his big break is definitely connected with forming the duo Malcolm Lincoln with bassist Madis Kubu. The duo hooked up with the vocal group Manpower 4 (the Estonian version of Backstreet Boys according to their publicist), and together they went ahead winning the Eesti Laul 2010 earning them the right to represent Estonia in ESC.

From Eurolaul to Eesti Laul
After doing badly for many years in a row, the public interest for ESC was declining in Estonia. That’s why they decided to change the format of the national selection process and the Eesti Laul was introduced, Robin tells us. They set out finding new talents, but unlike other comparable concepts like Idol and X-Factor it was not about finding a pretty face being good at sounding almost as good as some other pop star. The Estonians went ahead and swam against the stream searching for new and fresh music. A brave choice we think, but so far it has paid off. Last year they succeeded with Urban Symphony and the song “Rändajad”.

“I have no idea how Europe will judge our song. We can end up in the bottom 5 or perhaps even the top 5”, Robin answers when we ask him how he thinks he will do as the Estonian participant this year. “At least I hope I don’t get beaten up in a bar, like Estonia’s contestant in 2003 did”, he mentions casually. Excuse me, come again? Apparently that actually happened with Vaiko Eplik after having entered the ESC as a joke and doing horribly bad. This didn’t go down well with the at the time spoiled Estonians. We can’t imagine this ever happening to Robin, who looks so innocent, honest and lovable that we would trust him with our lives and no questions asked.

We really do have a taste for this birthday boy. His style, his looks and his unpretentious attitude suit each other perfectly. And Estonia should be proud having chosen such a strong and different song for Eurovision this year, regardless of what happens in the semi final next Tuesday. According to Robin, “Siren” is a very simple song. “The lyrics are kind of surreal, anyone who listens to it can give it a new meaning”, he states. As for his stage performance he stresses that he likes to be unpredictable. “I don’t plan my moves on stage, I like to be impulsive. You should see me when I do electronic music. Then I am really crazy”, he adds. So prepare yourselves for movement you have never seen before. During the mini concert we attended at the reception yesterday we saw something similar to an Estonian moonwalk, as well as a variation over the Norwegian ESC King Jahn Teigen’s split jump and Robin trowing the microphone cord around like any other cowboy.

Our hard verdict
When seeing how polite and modest Robin is in person, it’s actually quite surprising to see how outgoing, silly, quirky and funny he is on stage. We love his mod rocker style and the fact he don´t seem to take himself so seriously, has a great sense of humor and just tries to be a regular down to earth guy in the ESC craziness he has gotten himself into. And we are of course suckers for talented men like him who writes his own music and has a voice which gives us goosebumps when he hits the highest notes.

It adds to the hardiness that Robin likes our favorite Lithuanian men in InCulto, and German Lena, which shares the same indie touch as this fellow. Minus for missing his girlfriend, which is kind of sweet, but also a bit on the soft side while being surrounded by all the Eurovision divas in Oslo right now. Just show up on any party, and we’ll take very good care of you, Robin.

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