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Macedonia do the anthem thing but Estonia, Romania and Poland don't.

Poland


I have no idea why Betfair had Poland as favourite to win a few days ago but they have dropped to a predicted 6th at the time of writing. The lead singer reminds me a bit of The Darkness guy with his straggly long hair, twig-like legs and the voice is a bit similar too. He sings in English, a sort of ballad and has a habit of trying to appeal to camera. Not for me, though, thanks all the same.

I found the song a bit boring but it had its moments and maybe it will have some appeal. It does have an effectively catchy o-o-o-o bit but nothing like as good as either the UK's or another I can't now remember in that respect.

So it has no chance of winning but may be around there on the left side of the board for no reason I can really give you. Make your own mind up if you really are interested in Poland.

Romania


They have a pretty good record at Eurovision with a couple of 3rd places and they've been just outside the Top 10 in recent years with more consistency than most. This year, though, I doubt they'll even make the left hand side of the big scoreboard. It's one of those big and dramatic type of productions with mist and gloom and three rather ugly blokes dressed up like walk-on characters from Game Of Thrones. There are three blokes and two slightly better looking females but only one bloke seems to sing. Oh, there is a sixth who wiggles around with a sword for what I perceive to be no purpose whatsoever.

I really dislike this sort of entry and hope it fails to qualify as I really don't want to watch it again. You can here. It is called Moment of Silence and if you'd like to see how bad it is, watch the remarkable Disturbed version of Paul Simon's Sound Of Silence first. Now, that's how to perform in that style (if you have to, that is).

Estonia


This nation has a strange record in Eurovision. They have either done really well and made the Top few or finished in the lower regions. They've won and come 3rd in recent history but also failed to qualify more times than most. This is not likely to be a good year as this is an unexceptional number and I can't see how it could garner much by way of votes unless all the voters are in their middle age and live in grey semi detached suburbia, visit IKEA and a garden centre on Sundays and find this sort of thing comparatively interesting.

The singer is a pleasant enough young man and, rarely for this competition this year, clean shaven. He can sing very well but has been given a dull number. Now sometimes dull numbers do well as we find something in them second time that we missed the first time. See if you can see something for yourself.

This may not even qualify if their group has a lot of Nordic competition.

FYR Macedonia



Macedonia would love to improve on their best place so far. 12th ten years ago. They really haven't done terribly well and haven't even participated that much. Kaliopi puts on an emotional performance of quite a good song. She is a talented singer with a rough tone in places which sort of works for a song like this. The backing orchestra seems a bit out of place but maybe the staging will change on the night. One or two violins would work well rather than lots of instruments. The girl is a cross between Texas and Pretenders lead singers in many ways so that has to be in her favour too.

It is unlikely to do a great deal better but she might get lucky and make 11th place if she qualifies. Now that is by no means certain either as I am not sure how popular the country is these days. I say it deserves a second play and to reach the Final for what it's worth. If it's a year for an anthem then Macedonia have a good one.



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