Here we go, five songs at the time, with my analysis and doom. We start with the first semi and go through the songs in the established running order.
Magdalena Tul - Jestem (Poland 2011)
A very good opening number. Trouble is that few people will understand how good until way later in the evening. Easy, contemporary radio pop has proved to be a difficult genre for most - many are attempting it, most fail miserably. Magdalena's song is slick and elegant, and if delivered with gusto and vocal perfection it could prove more successful in the final than in the semi. Such a shame it will need more luck than most to qualify.
Possibly. On a good day, with a bit of luck.
My grade: 3/5
Stella Mwangi - Haba Haba (Norway 2011)
A happy little chorus in Swahili that oozes positivity, hope and happiness - who could ask for more? That would be me, then. Knowing this is a favourite for many people, I just hear a very standard schlager entry given a bit of an African flavour that goes on circa thirty seconds longer than it should. Surprisingly square given how original it wants to be. But Stella is a real asset and makes the whole thing a bit better than it really is.
Yes, I think so. But I am not so sure about how well it will fare on a Saturday night.
My grade: 2/5
Aurela Gaçe - Feel The Passion (Albania 2011)
I must admit to quite liking this song when it won the national final back in December, and Aurela knocked me out with her presence and vocal abilities. So I am pretty disappointed that the polished version in English fails in bringing out the raw power she clearly possesses.
The chorus won't take off until she makes a brief change of language by the end and throws in a few lines in Albanian, giving me the idea this entry would have fared better in its original version.
I'm pretty confident that Aurela's presence will be there again once we go live on air from Düsseldorf, but this version is a bit of a let-down.
Possibly. In the end, Aurela will convince us that she knows what she is doing and we will believe her.
My grade: 2/5
Emmy - Boom Boom (Armenia 2011)
Armenia usually sends in catchy and captivating entries, but this year I have to be harsh. Seriously, did all songwriters go on a collective coffee break instead of writing songs? Emmy, who seems like a sweet lass, would have deserved decent material to work with but these three minutes are painfully pointless.
Then again, we have the Armenian diaspora and the big question is how they will react to this entry. Will they give a patriotic vote, blind to the fact that this is a pretty lousy representative of their proud nation, or will they vote for somebody better?
Yes. But it really doesn't deserve to be one. This could be the song kicking Poland out, for instance. Which would be deeply unfair.
My grade: 1/5
Yüksek Sadakat - Live It Up (Turkey 2011)
I'm not really sure how Turkey does it, but they have managed again. At first, I didn't think much of this song. Found it inspired and without anything particular going for it. Then I saw the clip, and the whole thing opened up like a colourful flower.
Contemporary rock that is easily accessible without sounding like Toto and oriental without sounding like Sertab could be bound for a very respectable placing in the end. And not only because there are Turks voting for it in all the countries.
You bet. One of the most obvious qualifyers in the entire semi.
My grade: 3/5
I also review these songs in Swedish for Svenska Yle together with my colleagues Eva Frantz and Johan Lindroos. If you read Swedish and want to see their opinions as well, check us out here .