It’s that time of year again! The first semi-final of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest is almost upon us and speculation is rife as to which ten songs will reach the final on Saturday. Never one to miss the opportunity to give my opinion, here are my thoughts.
Montenegro – Rambo Amadeus – Euro Neuro – Every year, a song that is a bit leftfield and crazy makes it. Will Rambo Amadeus please take a bow.
Iceland – Greta Salóme & Jónsi – Never Forget – By general consensus, this is the best song in the first semi-final. It would be a shock of historical proportions if the duo were sent home early, but they won’t be.
Greece – Eleftheria Eleftheriou – Aphrodisiac – This is a bit ‘Greece by numbers’ but there is enough there to appeal to the audience. A good thing though, that Germany isn’t voting in this semi-final as the Germans have probably had enough of Greeks for the moment. Anyway, we will all be having an aphrodisiac on Saturday night.
Latvia – Anmary – Beautiful Song – A strong performance could see it squeeze into the final and there is an easy sing-along quality to it. It will be just in or just out of the top 10, probably out.
Albania – Rona Nishliu – Suus – A very classy entry but possibly a bit too niche market to win enough votes from the public. The juries will love it, although their points will not be enough.
Romania – Mandinga – Zaleilah – A contrast in atmosphere from the Albania song. Very happy and light and more than likely in the final.
Switzerland – Sinplus – Unbreakable – Sinplus have been waiting a long time to get o to the stage but it will end in disappointment. However, of those that don’t qualify, Switzerland will be one of the unluckiest.
Belgium – Iris – Would You? – It’s pleasant enough, if a little dreary. For fans of a quiet, simple ballad, a better one is up next and Belgium’s hopes end here.
Finland – Pernilla – När Jag Blundar – The Finnish song provides a nice counter-balance to the songs which will be over-presented. Less is more and as long as it’s kept simple, Pernilla should be in the final.
Israel – Izabo – Time – Something for everyone here; rock, retro, memorable and a little bit out of the box. It’s different but crucially, still good. The final awaits.
San Marino – Valentina Monetta – The Social Network Song (Oh Oh – Uh – Oh Oh) – Surely there is more chance of me winning the 100 metres at the Olympics than Valentina appearing again on Saturday.
Cyprus – Ivi Adamou – La La Love – A lot of people think Ivi will qualify, but it is important to remember that industry professionals vote as well as members of the public, and they don’t tend to like this sort of thing. This will prove to be Ivi’s downfall.
Denmark – Soluna Samay – Should’ve Known Better – Although the Danish song is rather bland, the Danes seem to specialise recently in making a success of bland. On that basis, expect Soluna and her guitar to be needed on Saturday.
Russia: Buranovskiye Babushki – Party For Everybody – The grannies are (apparently) irresistible. I’ll accept them in the final but please God, they can’t win!
Hungary: Compact Disco – Sound Of Our Hearts – One of the strongest songs in terms of construction, the Hungarians will score well with the juries. It might be enough but probably not quite.
Austria: Trackshittaz – Woki Mit Deim Popo – Rap doesn’t have a great track record of success in Eurovision. The boys from Austria could well change that. Humour and sex, what more does a viewer need?
Moldova: Pasha Parfeny – Lăutar – A bright start descends into something irritating. Head for the airport now, Pasha.
Ireland: Jedward – Waterline – Europe inexplicably seemed to like what Jedward had to offer last year and this year’s effort is a better song. Logic dictates a berth in the final. Eurovision is always logical, isn’t it?
So, the ten qualifiers will be:
Montenegro – Rambo Amadeus – Euro Neuro
Iceland – Greta Salóme & Jónsi – Never Forget
Greece – Eleftheria Eleftheriou – Aphrodisiac
Romania – Mandinga – Zaleilah
Finland – Pernilla – När Jag Blundar
Israel – Izabo – Time
Denmark – Soluna Samay – Should’ve Known Better
Russia: Buranovskiye Babushki – Party For Everybody
Austria: Trackshittaz – Woki Mit Deim Popo
Ireland: Jedward – Waterline