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Triinu Kivilaan

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Triinu Kivilaan (born January 13, 1989 in Viljandi, Estonia) is an Estonian vocalist and former , best-known as a former member of the popular girl group Vanilla Ninja. She had been modelling for several years when she replaced Maarja Kivi in the group in 2004, having met the other members of the group a year earlier. A key factor, allegedly, in her being selected to join the group was the similarities between her and Kivi’s appearance. Kivilaan was (by several years) the youngest member of the group, and continued with her education despite Vanilla Ninja’s busy schedule.

Kivilaan’s joining the group jeopardised their representing Switzerland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2005. When Kivilaan joined the group she was only 15 years old, and due to participants such as 1986’s Sandra Kim, the Eurovision had set an age requirement that all participants must be at least 16. For a while it looked like the group would have to withdraw, but the fact that Kivilaan would turn 16 four months before the event meant that the European Broadcasting Union allowed the girls to compete.

Despite Maarja Kivi completing her pregnancy successfully in September 22, 2004, Kivilaan remained in the group, with Kivi not showing any in particular interest in returning to the group. Kivilaan would eventually leave Vanilla Ninja in December 2005, with the other three members (Lenna Kuurmaa, Katrin Siska and Piret Järvis) deciding to continue as a trio. The reasons given by the group when announcing the decision was that Kivilaan had left by “mutual consent”, and that creative differences were the main reason for her leaving.

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