Alika Milova represented Estonia with the song “Bridges”, written by her and Dutch songwriter Wouter Hardy, at the 67th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, hosted in Liverpool, the UK, from 9-13 May; she won eighth place in the contest’s final.
Milova (20), born into a Russian-speaking family in the Estonian border town Narva, won the Eesti Laul, Estonia’s song competition to determine the country’s representative at the Eurovision Song Contest, convincingly. She received 42% of the public vote (the public voted by phone) with her song, “Bridges” that was also voted the best song by the international jury of the contest.
The song was written by Milova and the Dutch musician, songwriter and producer, Wouter Hardy, who cowrote the Netherlands’ Eurovision-winning song “Arcade”, performed by Duncan Laurence in Tel Aviv in the 2019 contest.
Previously, Milova had won the eighth season (2021) of the “Estonia is Looking for a Superstar” series. She has also participated in other regional singing competitions, including The Baltic Voice and Kaunas Talent in Lithuania, New Wave Junior in Latvia and Berlin Perle in Germany.
“I don’t think I have the vocabulary in Estonian to put this sentence together nicely. I want to say a big, big thank you for believing in me. Thank you so much for being there for me,” Milova said in her speech after winning the Eesti Laul in February.
Estonia has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest since 1994. The country won the contest once in 2001 when Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL scored a total of 198 points with the song “Everybody”, written by Ivar Must and Maian-Anna Kärmas. This made Estonia the first formerly Soviet-occupied country to win the contest.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 took place in Liverpool, United Kingdom, after Ukraine, the winner of the 2022 contest with the song “Stefania” by Kalush Orchestra, was unable to meet the demands of hosting the event due to security concerns caused by the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.
* This article was originally published on 12 February 2023 and updated on 15 May 2023.