“Better audio mix” could have won Eurovision for Estonia in 2002 – Sahlene

Swedish singer and Estonia’s participant in Eurovision in 2002 Anna Sahlene has revealed that with a better audio mix her song Runaway could have won the contest. 

Anna – who used the mononym Sahlene until 2005 – secured third place at Eurovision when the contest was held in Tallinn, Estonia in 2002 following Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL’s victory the previous year. 

Speaking to The Euro Trip presenter James Rowe, Sahlene said: “This is the first time I say it, I’m not giving myself credit here but actually the song, I think Runaway could’ve been a winner with a better audio mix. 

“If I could change one thing it would be the mix of the song. And that was something I couldn’t do anything about. The high harmonies in the verses are almost louder than the melody.” 

Sahlene did go on to say that she is happy with her experience at Eurovision in 2002. 

“I think so much great came out of that whole year anyway,” Sahlene said. 

“And also I don’t want to take anything away from the winning song, but it might’ve been a little bit better off. I’m still happy about the result and there’s no shade on anybody else here.” 

On the podcast episode Sahlene also revealed the bizarre story of how she came to participate in Estonia’s national selection process for Eurovision; that year called Eurolaul. 

She said that a Swedish publisher called her at 9pm urgently needing a singer to participate in the selection show “tomorrow night”. 

“It took three hours for half of Runaway to come on my shitty laptop [because of poor internet connection],” Sahlene said.

“I didn’t even hear the bridge. I called the publisher after midnight and I said ‘I’ll do it’. 

“So the day after I went to Arlanda, got to Estonia and I went straight to dress rehearsal and then I heard the song for the first time.” 

Having completed the dress rehearsals she went on to win the show by 20 points ahead of Nightlight Duo & Cowboys and secure her place at Eurovision. 

Since then Sahlene has been back to Eurovision on two occasions providing backing vocals for Australia’s Dami Im in 2016 and the UK’s Michael Rice in 2019. 

Anna Sahlene is making her Eesti Laul return this year, participating in the Estonian selection show with the song Champion.

Image Credit – ERR

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