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Norway often do well these days, obviously getting nul points back in the 1980s had an effect and since then they have made quite an effort most years, including winning with the cute boy and a violin. And, it has to be said, a well-written song.

They won't come last with this year's entry but they won't do particularly well either. It's a pretty boring affair from a nice enough blonde lass in the regulation white dress. Agnete has Loreen's backing track at the start but then the beat changes and it's all a bit odd. The staging of the video version is odd too but maybe they'll come up with something better in the live show.

They should just make it through the Semis but don't expect a great deal after that.

Russia, as I said before, mean business and they are throwing one of their leading stars at the competition in an attempt to drag us all to Moscow in 2017. This is a different video to the one published before.


Not my favourite entry but it has to stand a good chance. I predict another 2nd place. They really should have brought Polina back.

Germany have another young girl in the shape of Jamie-Lee. She sort of swallows some of the English words and sounds quite odd at the start. She won their version of The Voice this year and certainly has some talent and a fun personality. She may appeal to some but I don't think she'll get very far with this.



Here are the better entries for the Second Semi Final, again in A -Z order. To be honest, only Malta really stands much chance of making that much of an impression but they're here anyway and, if you really really want to see what the other nine have to offer before they're forgotten completely then they're all available in lovely widescreen on Eurovision.tv. Edit a few days later: listening to Sweden again, that is one good performance and a definite contender to win.


Bosnia & Herzegovina

Always in the running, this is a serious but good track and well sung. It has a nice flute section but isn't really a winning entry - again.



Estonia

Another serious entry - there are a lot this year - by a talented singer. It's a classic Balkan-sounding number which will help get support from a good tranche of nations' voters. Good song. Stands an outside chance. Top 10 maybe.



Malta

This country has tried so hard in the past but never made it to the top. This year they have an Enrique Iglesias sound-a-like with a well-written song and plenty of hooks with its Hey Hey Hey and Yeah Yeah Yeah which I'm sure will go down well. Really quite catchy and a top 10 contender if not that much higher.




Netherlands

A quirky number, quite different from the rest which might get some attention. A girl, hopefully without the feathers that she wears in the video and slightly odd costume, playing a guitar, folky and simple. You'll smile if nothing else and think that it was quite nice. Reminds me a bit of the winning norway entry a while ago. It's not as good as that, though, and not a real winning contender but deserves a mention here.






Norway

Tooji is in the same vein as Malta'a entry this year but not as impressive so the votes will be split to Norway's disadvantage and this won't be bringing them another win. It's energetic, though, and a better looking bloke than Malta. It'll make the left side of the voting board but not a great deal more.



Serbia

Here's another scenic number from the country that is trying to regain a number 1 slot from a few years' ago and which usually gets high scores from all but one or two of its neighbours. It has lots of flavours and my son says it's pretty much a Coldplay number rehashed which I suppose isn't necessarily goingto to do any harm. Well-presented and stands a chance of breaking into the Top 10 too.



Slovenia

Conspicous by their absence, due to some pretty dull entries recently, this passionate and anthemic number might change that this year for them. I'm not that sure what to make of it but, if it's really well sung on the night and it builds well on the stage I can see it being popular.



Sweden

Always in with a chance with great songwriters and production people around, this heavy trance number will meet with young voters' approval. It needs atmosphere to work best and quite how it can be presented at its best on a stage remains to be seen. It's good, though, and could be a Top 5 entry if it goes right for the girl. Edit a few days later: I am now predicting this as a possible winner, after listening again. It is very very good indeed. 





Ukraine

I always feel that I have to mention Ukraine as they always seem to do well. Sometimes they definitely deserve it, other times they don't but they're the one old Soviet State that can be relied on the present us with a good-looking, dark haired girl with an almost perfect figure and lots of appeal for the guys out there. This one is another intense dance affair in true Eurovision style but it does lose its way half-way through and you start wondering just who is actually singing - the blonde or the black girls? I guess we'll find out on the night. Not a winner but they'll be competing and stealing votes from many of the other girls no doubt.



Next post will sweep up the remaining entries that are automatically through to the final - the countries that pay for it, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK, plus the Azerbaijan effort to win twice in a row.



Now here's a performer that should guarantee Norway a few million votes from admiring young females, and no doubt plenty of males too I suppose. This is Eurovision, I must remind myself. Impossible good looks, a lot of gyrating, all the grasping-the-air and clenching-fist moves you can eat and a track that could have been a Wham 'B' side. All good stuff and this should see Norway in the points again this year. Well, it could if they can attend to a couple of things - they need to get rid of the extraordinarily ugly dancers or even the younger viewers will be put off and the name. I mean, Tooji! Good grief. C'mon Norway PR people, get your act together.

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