Having a few technical problems with posting at the moment, sorry no video links or pictures but hoping this is sorted out soon. Anyway it's the evening after the night before, and what was the only song I could remember from last night's line-up? "I love Belarus, tra la la la la..."
On to the final group of songs in my preview, starting with:
LATVIA: "Angel In Disguise" - Musiqq.
This was a pleasant surprise winner of the national final, as everyone expected that "Banjo Laura" nonsense to win - which would really have annoyed me as I hate songs with my name in the title!! This is a very nice, catchy and contemporary pop song (and I'm always looking for them in Eurovision), and it's the kind of thing you'd maybe expect from, say, The Wanted. All good so far, but visually they're just a giant fashion faux pas and will need a serious style makeover in time for Dusseldorf.
DENMARK: "New Tomorrow" - A Friend In London.
Trying to get 12 points from Royaume-Uni are we??? I wouldn't go as far as to say it's a copy, but it is probably to "Sing For Me" and "Shine" as "We've Got The World Tonight" was to "Fly On The Wings of Love"...if you catch my drift. This band really want to be OneRepublic and the singer really wants to be Ryan Tedder. Their great draw position will get them lots of votes but the lyrics, whilst well-meaning, are maybe a bit too cheesy and cliched.
IRELAND: "Lipstick" - Jedward.
Rewind a couple of months to the Irish national final, if you could call it a final as it was buried away on the Late Late Show on a Friday night as a complete irrelevance. "Am I heading for a car crash?" 'sing' the Grimes twins who are wringing every last drip of every last second of their 15 minutes of fame. Never did so little talent go so far. Worryingly though, this "Womanizer"-influenced track is quite memorable, it's a great draw and Jedward-The-Brand has a strong visual identity so this has a very good chance of making the final.
Now it's on to the Big 4, who this year become the Big 5 with the return of Italy to the contest after 14 years.
FRANCE: "Sognu" - Amaury Vassili.
Well, well, well. You really, really don't know what you're going to get next from France at Eurovision. Last year it was a sun-soaked footy song, this year it's a real proper singer doing a great big proper operatic anthem which will give France its best opportunity in years. If they're going to have opera at ESC this is how it should sound. It will get votes if he gives a very simple performance without any faffing about in the background.
ITALY: "Madness of Love" - Raphael Gualazzi.
So I nearly jumped out of my seat with excitement on learning that Italy was back at ESC. Italian is such a brilliant musical language that you could sing the Tesco shopping list in Italian and it would sound awesome. Except that "Madness of Love" isn't awesome at all and the fact that half of it is in English is probably one of the biggest disappointments in this year's ESC. On the plus side though this jazzy piano song is certainly different from many of the other entries but what's with the screaming???
UNITED KINGDOM: "I Can" - Blue.
I'm suffering from some very unusual symptoms of a very unusual illness = for once, I'm cheering on a British entry at Eurovision. Yes, that's right. There is something wrong with me. It's not as good as "All Rise", it could do with a key change, and they need to sort out the choreography, but I'm confident that the reunited Blue will not let us down and "we can" get at least a top 10 place. Oh, and one more thing: Duncan James, Duncan James, Duncan James :)
GERMANY: "Taken By A Stranger" - Lena.
Still not entirely convinced by the wisdom of last year's winner defending her title, as "Satellite" was such a one-off. This is certainly a brave and different choice for Germany this year, a very 'un-Eurovision' song but I can't see it doing so well as it lacks that instant appeal of "Satellite" and maybe needs a few listens. By the way, I played it the other week to faithful travelling companion, who thought it had a little bit of a Diana Vickers vibe to it!
SPAIN: "Que Me Quiten Lo Bailao" - Lucia Perez.
It means 'They Can't Take The Fun Away From Me' and appropriately it's quite cute and fun, although she could potentially have some vocal wobbles. If she pushes her performance and gives it even more of a fun aspect and party vibe, coupled with the late draw it could get more votes than many Spanish entries of recent years. On the minus side though, it may be a little too old-fashioned for the modern day Eurovision Song Contest.