Semi-finalists: from San Marino to Ukraine

Credit: Eurovision 2012 Baku

San Marino

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This is by far the most confusing song in this year’s contest. But actually makes more sense than most – even if the singer is making social networking far more dirty than it need be. (Part of the sentiment also got lost in translation: “do you wanna play cyber-sex again?”) By the looks of things Valentina Monetta will be whipping out an actual laptop on stage. That’s a Eurovision first, I expect. But listen to her, she does have a point: there’s quite a lot of perverts out in cyber space, “wanna find out what this books about? Then how bout press log out?” She’s got a point there. An infuriatingly catchy point.

Contagious rating: 3/5
I hated this track at first but now I’m finding myself gunning for it to get to the finals.

Serbia

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There’s nothing like a full orchestral introduction to any song…for some reason I feel like that’s against the rules, and Serbia are obviously pulling out all the stops this year. The instrumentals are definitely the high points of this track – even though I don’t know what Željko Joksimović is singing about (the song’s title is Love is not a Thing), I feel like Simon Cowell would tell him that there doesn’t seem to be any real emotion in it. Which for someone who appears to be overly fond of full-arm gestures, is surprising.

Contagious rating: 1/5
Hopefully won’t make it to the finals, although I feel bad wishing that upon the orchestra.

Slovakia

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Slovakia seem to be stuck in a mid-2000s rock era still, which is a bit unfortunate, especially as those kind of songs generally aren’t Eurovision hits. I’m hoping that the bleeding, faceless/bandana-ed mannequins don’t make it to the stage, as I think they would probably be the icing on an already creepy cake.
Contagious rating: 0/5
Not one for the finals.

Slovenia

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In the boredom of enjoying the vocals of this track, I found time to really applaud the fairytale-esque fashion going on in this winter wonderland themed track. Really felt like I was at the Ice Queen’s wedding, stuck in a snowflake. Just got to get me one of those bridesmaids hats now.

Contagious rating: 0/5
There is such a thing as too much concentrated-squinty-eye. And it looks painful.

Sweden

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A track when the singer opens with a microphone headset – you know something energetic is about to happen. Thirty seconds of interpretative dance later, the beat dropped on Loreen. As did the fake snow. Not sure that Eurovision is ready for such a synthesised sounding voice yet – but I can’t wait for the day when a non-GB track breaks into the UK Top 40.

Contagious rating: 2/5
If she had a stronger voice to match those dance skills, I’d have more faith in Loreen getting to the finals.

Switzerland

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Hello there, Swiss Bloc Party/Green Day! As much as I appreciate the rare rock Eurovision entry, the rest of Europe is less enthusiastic. Unless they’re in the form of Finnish pyrotechnic monsters, obviously.

Contagious rating: 0/5
Will make it to the finals.

Turkey

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I have far too much anticipation for seeing how the trumpets and ancient naval theme of this video will translate to the Eurovision stage. The fact that Can Bonomo looks bored of his own lyrics around 2:10 in the video is a bit worrying, as his fashion sense. His dance moves, however, are stellar. Very redeeming.

Contagious rating: 1/5
Would prefer if this song didn’t make it past the semis.

Ukraine

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This is the absolute opposite of what I expected from Eurovision. It’s no less than a club banger, Mardi Gras come early -I love it. I’m not sure whether I think she’s more Jennifer Hudson, Aailyah or Jennifer Rowland – but there’s some definite Kelly Rowland action going on in this track. And maybe a bit of Donna Summer as well?

Contagious rating: 3/5
Hope this track does well, if not only to push the boundaries of Eurovision for the future

Credit: Eurovision 2012 Baku