On we go to some of the songs featuring in semi-final no.2...
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: "Love In Rewind" - Dino Merlin.
Yes that Dino Merlin, the "nous sommes vous etes" guy. He's apparently massive in the Balkans and I've got a sneaking feeling that this will do very well this year. I wouldn't go as far as to say that it will win, but for some reason I get a similar vibe to "Fairytale" (only slowed down) and a similar 'feelgood factor' to this year's Icelandic entry too. Final place absolutely guaranteed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPyVQCmGsYo
AUSTRIA: "The Secret Is Love" - Nadine Beiler.
Ooh, I'm getting an 'X Factor winners' song' coming through here. All they need is for the massed choirs to appear towards the end of the song - oh wait, they have. You all know that these big shouty ballads are not my preferred genre so you won't be surprised to hear that I'll probably be putting the potato wedges in the oven at this point. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afCsy69vWIA
NETHERLANDS: "Never Alone" - 3JS.
I watched the Dutch final and felt they made the right decision sending this anthemic rock-ballad to ESC this year. My view hasn't changed and I'm not ashamed to say I quite like this one, it's certainly one of my favourites in this second semi-final. This is one of the best Dutch entries in recent years and deserves a place in the final. Is that too much to ask? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PP3ViOSOXg
BELGIUM: "With Love Baby" - Witloof Bay.
Oh no, this is so wrong on so many levels. It's acapella, which I have an aversion to, and ....oh, it's just so wrong. The most positive thing I can say about it is that it's different, but that's all. I've always had this view that the entries chosen by RTBF are so much more inferior to Flemish-speaking Belgium's representatives, and that theory continues into 2011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=507fn9o0QvE
SLOVAKIA: "I'm Still Alive" - TWiiNS.
This is a bit girl-band-album-track-ballad-by-numbers, which could have its fans although it's pretty unremarkable. We're seeing double here, and not for the first time in this semi-final either! Could be a surprise qualifier. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uT_8il_fkAs
UKRAINE: "Angels" - Mika Newton.
Another pretty girl singing a forgettable ballad. We have come to expect great things from Ukraine but for me they haven't given us anything good since the magnificent "Shady Lady" and this year the disappointing trend continues. Coupled with a voting controversy too. Nevertheless we can expect qualification to the final. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IR16x6zN_14
MOLDOVA: "So Lucky" - Zdob zi Zdub.
Maybe not as distinctive as their drumming-granny entry from a few years back but I really want this one to live up to its title, as it stands out in what (so far) has been a 'meh' semi-final. Energetic and different, and a long way from what you'd expect from a 'Eurovision' song. Studio version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02r-oOJrNqE&feature=watch_response
SWEDEN: "Popular" - Eric Saade.
People of Sweden: I love you, I love your country, I love the music which comes out of your country.....but please stop choosing the wrong songs to send to Eurovision! I like Eric and wouldn't wish him any harm, but this is a stupid song which has plummeted in my popularity-chart since it won Melodifestivalen. And don't even start me on the stupid glass-breaking routine...health and safety, chappies, health and safety!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nfx0OMM2u0A
CYPRUS: "San Aggelos S'Agapisa" - Christos Mylordos.
I suppose on the plus side, Sweden's entry was energetic....this is just pretty dull and forgettable and boring. Lots of dramatic drums can't save it. I know that last year's Cyprus entry had its critics, but I liked young Jon and his Islanders - they were better than this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqPEsx1Disk
BULGARIA: "Na Inat" - Poli Genova.
Oh look, it's the Bulgarian version of Pink :) Rock chick with lots of attitude, although I don't really know how this one will do as the rock-vote may go to Moldova: anyway I like bits of this and other bits of it are less impressive - more melody would have been nice, rather than pressing all the formulaic buttons. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShmY4TrFLwQ&feature=related
FYROM: "Rusinka" - Vlatko Ilievski.
Should this not have been their entry when the contest was held in Moscow? Or is that just too cheesy a thought? This could actually qualify as it has that distinctive 'Balkan' sound which is notably lacking in some of the other entries from the former Yugoslavia. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJB-s-cMSgg