France - Patricia Kaas - Il Fallait Le Faire – International star Patricia is putting her reputation on the line for her country (UK artists, please take note!) and is possibly the most well know singer in the contest this year. Her song is what could be described as a typical French ballad. It is very classy, but possibly lacks enough appeal to win votes from more than her fan base. The introduction of the juries will help France.
Germany - Alex Sings, Oscar Swings - Miss Kiss Kiss Bang – Germany is never afraid to try something different and this year is no exception. The song is a jazz/swing number which will be remembered after the performers have left the stage, never a bad thing. A great stage sow and performance are virtually guaranteed and while it won’t win, a place in the top ten is certainly more than a possibility.
Russia - Anastasia Prihodko – Mamo – Our hosts have entered the most Russian sounding song since Primadonna in 1997. It is a good defence but needs a bit more oomph if it is to make a real impact. The preview video suggests a strong and emotional performance, which will go down a treat with the home crowd.
Spain - Soraya - La Noche Es Para Mi – For a country blessed with great singers and musical traditions, Spain have very much under achieved. They have only won the contest twice and at times, have seemed a bit disinterested in the whole thing. Everyone remembers Rodolfo last year, some with fond memories, some with not so fond memories. Undeterred, TVE used a very similar system this year to select the song and they have definitely got it right this time. Although it’s sung in Spanish, it has international appeal and only a bad performance will stop it scoring well. If the presentation is good and Soraya matches that with her performance, Spain will be heading for their third win and we fans will be in Madrid or Barcelona next year.
United Kingdom - Jade Ewen - It's My Time – Talking of under achieving countries, the BBC have taken a lot of stick over the years over their perceived lack of interest in the event, there have even been rumours of a complete withdrawal from the contest. No-one can accuse them of not having a good go this year. Two internationally renowned writers wrote the song and for once (with the help of Andrew Lloyd Webber), the British public voted sensibly and in Jade, the writers have a singer worthy of one of their songs. A good draw and the juries will help lift the United Kingdom up the scoreboard. A top five place is surely n the cards.