“Always A Bridesmaid”: Rolf Roosalu, Estonia

Rolf Roosalu, or Rolf Junior as he formerly performed as, is an EXCELLENT singer and songwriter who has competed 5 TIMES in the Estonian national finals, EESTI LAUL, without yet being chosen to represent his country in Eurovision. I can’t singlehandedly right this wrong, but if you read this Rolf, know that you have fans in the Euro-world who recognize your untapped genius. I sincerely hope Estonia gets with the program and sends one of Rolf’s entries soon, before he gives up hope!

Rolf Roosalu aka Rolf Junior

Estonia's uncrowned king of pop music, Rolf Roosalu

In 2007, the Estonian finals featured a really good modern pop entry, “One on One”, from a young stage musical performer named Rolf Junior. The only small flaw with his entry turns out to be a recurring theme from Mr. Roosalu: his styling and appearance. Not to be at all unkind, but there musn’t be any good role models for a young goodlooking gay performer in Estonia, since he often misses the mark visually (sometimes looking like he would be better-suited for a Gay Pride celebration in the year 2025).

The next year, Rolf’s Eesti Laul entry was an anthemic singalong that my sorely-missed blogger colleague PopPosterGirl described as possibly being better suited for a Gay Pride theme song than for Eurovision, “Fre:dom”.

In 2010, he teamed up with an all-girl string ensemble named Violina and came up with his very best entry to date. “Maagiline Päev” (Perfect Day) maybe suffered from being a Northern European folkloric song that entered the finals a year AFTER Estonia had done well in Eurovision with a similar entry. Still, it was MILES better than what Estonia chose that year, and certainly would have been a better shot at the ESC finals. (This was also the year, it must be said, when Rolf’s futuristic gay fashion sense went a BIT awry.)

The next year, in 2011, Rolf bet on a ballad with a bit of a dance club edge, “All or Now”, competently performed, with a more serious image befitting his return to his real name, Rolf Roosalu.

But he saved the best for 2012 (hopefully NOT saving the best for last). In this year’s Estonian selection Rolf put together a cracking pop band and a modern 21st-century-Abba-goes-electro sound. As much as I admire Estonia’s entry for ESC this year, Ott Lepland’s gentle piano ballad “Kuula”, I can’t help but think how much fun and excitement they would have brought to the contest had they chosen POP Maniacs’ “I Don’t Know”! (If you only watch one clip from this post, THIS IS the one–amazingly great!)

Rolf is not only known in Estonia for Eesti Laul, and occasionally pops up in the pop music world under completely different circumstances. During this year’s Melodifestivalen, when all the song entries were still under an embargo and not offered for sale or allowed to be posted on Youtube, an amazing little performance of Loreen’s “Euphoria” popped up online courtesy of our own indefatigable Rolf. (I REALLY wanted to post it here but it has recently disappeared from Youtube!) Let’s hope you soon get the recognition and Eurovision berth you have so richly deserved, Mr. Roosalu!

Rolf Junior 2010

Rolf as a gay pop star from the scifi future...


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