5% of the Finn population speak Swedish. They are the Finland Swedish. Pernilla is one of these, and for only the second time Finland is singing in Swedish. A lover of handball, Pernilla has a feather light folksy tune on her hands, an ultimately forgettable number that marks the most weak Scandi nation of the year.
A song such as this has been performed a lot better even in the recent past (good old Kuunkuiskaajat springs to mind), and so sadly I fear the understated dancer, leafy feel, and good old long vowels will ultimately end in disappointment.
Pernilla (21) is a sparklingly cheerful young lady, who won the Finnish Contest for New Music (UMK) in February 2012.
Pernilla has a strong and emotional voice, which has received acclaim in Finland. “När Jag Blundar (When I Close my Eyes) was written for my mother. I relate to the lyrics deeply and I hope this comes through in a universal way – after all, there is an instinctive bond between a mother and a child, regardless of whether they are present in each other’s lives or not”, Pernilla says.
“Music has been my dear friend and I have been singing and dancing more or less my whole life. When I was 15 I won a contest called The Smallest Schlager Competition in the World.
Whistle-tastic. And 150-1 into the bargain. Throw into the mix Anggun and her lengthy legs, and you may have a sneak peak at some value. It's a souped up Twingo-like song all told, after revving up after 10 seconds it gets stuck in third gear, and has to rely on a sultry Asian sat-nav voice to drown out the underpowered engine.
The video ticks all the homo-erotic boxes, and so it is perhaps unsurprising the damp fans have a soft spot. That not-withstanding I think this will trouble the top ten, which is just the tonic the right wing Gallics need at this difficult time.
Anggun is representing France at the 2012 ESC with Echo (You And I). You’ll recognise her name because Anggun is an international star who has sold over 2 million album copies around Europe.
Anggun was already a star in South East Asia when she decided to leave everything behind to launch her international career. Having taken French nationality 15 years ago, Anggun is currently the world’s most-played French-language singer, making her one of France’s finest musical exports of the decade. An artist through and through as well as a citizen of the world, Anggun is a Goodwill Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in its fight against world hunger.
Right up there with Turkey & Georgia, The FYROM have a natural advantage of generous neighbours and diaspora. With this in mind it takes a particular brand of musical carnage to kick them out before Saturday. And my internal jury is still out on how much GBH Kaliopi inflicts on her nations chances. "Black and White", a conventional rock ballard builds up to the inevitable geetar/screaming session which could leave a nasty taste in the mouth for anyone west of Prague. The power of the "biggest pop star in FYROM" though will likely get the votes rolling in from most people in the East. A final spot is likely.
Kaliopi is the biggest pop star in FYR Macedonia, an exceptionally famous singer, composer, poet and is also renowned for her humanitarian work. Kaliopi has recorded nine albums in total, six of them with herself as writer. Each of them won Album Of The Year recognition. She has become one of the leading music artists in the region. She also works on other creative projects such as composing for Theatre and Ballet.She has had many collaborations with big artists such as Sting, Renee Fleming, Andreas Scholl and world famous lute player Edin Karamazov.Kaliopi has been given the title of Honorary UNHCR Ambassador, Honorary Ambassador of the Macedonian Economy in the World.
Visually likened to Myra Hindley, audibly likened to Borat's/Alan Carr's lovechild, Mr Jokhadze is a truly terrible creation. Musically "I'm a joker" holds absolutely no merit whatsoever, a frenetic bi-polar Marc Almond tuneless acid trip, a camp descent into the pits of misguided conceit. Horrible. Abject. Depressing.
Having said that it'll probably qualify, as Georgia have always come up trumps in the semis, and Europeans are a funny bunch. So I strongly recommend that you block out song 12 on Thursday the 24th as much as possible, and hold onto the memory of the previous song instead.
Anri Jokhadze is the first male Georgian singer ever to represent Georgia in the Eurovision Song Contest. In Baku, the artist will perform his pop song I’m A Joker.
Anri Jokhadze is famous as a pop singer in his country. He was born on November 6th, 1980 in Georgia. Anri Jokhadze currently lives and works in Tbilisi. 31 years old artist is famous and loved by Georgian audience for his powerful voice with great range (4 octaves) and his distinctive artistic talent.
In Baku, Anri Jokhadze will perform the song I'm A Joker composed by Rusudan Chkhaidze.
Roman is Standing Still. A fact he tells us on 20 seaprate occasions in 3 minutes. Apart from this lack of lyrical originality, East-17 clone Roman has a semi-decent ballard on Germay's hands and with a no. 20 starting slot in the final it has a good opportunity to be lost in the middle of the scoreboard. To be sure question marks remain around the strength of his voice, the Yankees cap is a stain on the nation, and those earrings need to go, but 18th seems to a fair reflection on Mr Lob's chances.
And yes, you can see the bulge in the toga.
Roman Lob became famous only months ago, when he won the German talent show Unser Star Für Baku. He was born in Dusseldorf on July 2, 1990. Music has played an important role in Roman’s life from the very beginning, since his grand-father used to play the organ at the local church.
According to him, he’s been making music since the age of eight. Since 2005, Roman has been a member of several bands playing the drums or singing the lead vocals. In Baku, Roman Lob will perform the song Standing Still composed by Jamie Cullum, Steve Robson and Wayne Hector.
One bar in and it is clear that we have Greece. Bouzouki, dance beat, and big drum introduce us to the gamine singer, a lady with more E's than a 1989 Saturday evening at the Hacienda. Ms Eleftheriou doesn't seem keen on winter dress or waxing. She instead relies on depilation by rubbing up her be-stilted legs repeatedly against 4 wallopers. She's not the most natural of movers, but it must be difficult to lift her tiny legs up when they're strapped into foo foo lamarr's stilettos.
As usual, it's Greece so will qualify, however I can't see a staggeringly good finishing place for this very generic of olive-fuelled nonsense.
Eleftheria Eleftheriou will represent Greece with the song Aphrodisiac
Eleftheria Eleftheriou was born in 1989, in Paralimni, Cyprus. At the age of 16, she became soloist in the national folk orchestra of RIK broadcasting corporation, in Cyprus.She became popular from her participation in the talent show X-Factor 2, in 2010, where although she was not the winner, she definitely made a great impression to everyone.
She is totally obsessed with Eurovision Song Contest and she keeps her body, voice and soul…ready to go on stage of the Baku Crystal Hall Arena.
Hungary are revving up for further water polo domination come August, but in the meantime a synth-pop group called Compact Disco will be popping up in Baku without clothes pegs on their noses.
They have a few points in their favour; it's a proper band, the promo video is one of the better of the year, & the studio version is one of the most pleasant of the year. Unfortunately on the other side of the coin the singer has sleeping bats on his shoulders, the presentation risks being 1982 Old Grey Whistle Test, and his voice risks quivering like an adolscents bedsheets. All said though I wish this one all the best.
The four band members of Compact Disco have been performing and recording music together since 2005, but only four years later their first album was launched. Now they are one of the most popular acts in Hungary.
Their first ever big solo gig took place in January 2012 on the sold-out A38 ship - which by the way was voted the world’s best bar by Lonely Planet’s website just in February 2012. They are going to represent Hungary in Baku, Azerbaijan with their song Sound Of Our Hearts.
Another pagan ballard from the Game of Thrones section, Iceland sees the return of damp fans favorite Jonsi, along with Greta Salome, a lady with a full set of teeth and a violin. The writer Ms Salome has crafted a song like fishing on a frozen lake (a small hole in your life, but cold, uncomfortable and ultimately pointless). With a pair of jaws that could chew through a mammoth bone in minutes, the pair are picture postcard for pure Arctic bloodline and will likely excel. My prediction of the right side of scoreboard is driven more from the heart, and using pure science as a guide this is more likely to be stuck on top ten.

Iceland are represented in Baku by Greta Salóme, a multi talented singer/songwriter and Jónsi, who returns to the ESC stage 8 years after representing his country in 2004 in Istanbul.
Greta Salóme Stefánsdóttir was born in 1986. Currently she‘s working on her master‘s degree at the Iceland Academy of Arts and is studying advanced vocal technique called Complete Vocal.
She is a professional musician and has a position as a violinist in the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra. .
Jónsi, or to quote his full name, Jón Jósep Snaebjörnsson was born in 1977 in Akureyri the biggest town in northern Iceland. Jónsi is married with two children and lives with his family in Reykjavík

It's amazing how undeserved success can alter the self perception of two jokers whose only worth is the kilo of vo5 extreme style on their peanut of a head. 8th place last year and relative commercial success for last year's "Lipstick" meant that a landslide of hair goo ensued, taking "Waterline" to Azerbaijan. There's not a lot to say that hasn't been sighed before really, the Mr Miyagi stance annoys, the Flash Gordon costumes grates, the cheap Busted-like refrain appals, and the attractive final slot in the semi is a waste. As ridiculous as it sounds, this is worse than their last effort, and it isn't guaranteed a final slot.

Jedward make Irish Eurovision Song Contest history as for the first time Ireland sends the same act two years in a row.
The past 12 months have been the busiest for the twins yet – they came 3rd in the UK's Celebrity Big Brother; they released their second album, Bad Behaviour and completed a sell-out tour across Ireland, UK, Germany, Sweden, Estonia, Finland, and Austria.
Jedward were selected to represent Ireland again this year after winning the Irish Eurosong selection competition, topping both the public and jury vote in February. They are performing Waterline.The twins are being mentored this year by Irish Eurovision winner, Linda Martin, who won the contest in 1992 with Why Me.

I think I've been a bit too generous with this piece of cheesy weirdy beardy circus related fluff. " The Izabo Show" is a Laka type of entry: a strange, catchy but ultimately forgettable number with an slightly off-centre approach.
Though the common consent suggests this could expect a semi-final exit, and although it does have wet trump of an ending, am I still of the opinion that it has enough jolly originality and a good draw to get it into the final where it may well surprise, even if a top 5 may be a stretch. Coulrophobics may not like it though
Israeli broadcaster IBA selected the group Izabo to represent them in the 2012 edition of Europe's Favourite TV Show. The alternative band will perform the Ran Shem-Tov and Shiri Hadar song Time in Baku.
Izabo are best described as a brilliant, action packed combination of Psychadelic Rock, Disco, Punk flavoured with Arabic spices.
In October 2011 Izabo signed with the English Label 100% Records, who signed artists among Gossip, Moby and Placebo. Izabo’s first three Track EP has been released in the United Kingdom this July, with their brand new album due to be released by the end of the year, in the UK, Europe & Israel

Boom boom boom! And boom again. Nina Zilli is the all too-vixen second Italian entrant in over 20 years. After last year's mildly surprising 2nd place, logic would dictate that a superior song would do better. And this is the best Eurosong of the year.
It's a 60's soul tinged Winehouse type effort, which would normally be a recipe for mediocrity. But for a nation not scarred by adverse publicity and undeserved disappointment, they have sent quality and will get a quality finish. I have it as 3rd but it may just finish higher and I wouldn't be unhappy.

“Today I write what I sing. And my name is Nina Zilli”. Nina Zilli is a real tornado, a volcano. She is so besotted with music that her passion wins you over before you have even had the chance to listen to one of her songs. Nina comes from a small town in Val Trebbia which she left early on for Ireland, the US, anywhere her dreams would take her.
This latter award was assigned to Nina by "Assomusica" for her distinctive act, her excellent stage presence, her remarkable flair for performing live and a brilliant talent for interacting with the audience; all features that are crucial to transform live music into pure emotion.

You may expect a song that namedrops 3 of the greats of rock namely Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, and Johnny Logan to a classic of the rock genre. Bear in mind that it's a Latvian Eurosong effort however and you'll be unsurprised to learn the song is truly abject on every level. Anmary is a typically blonde eastern lowlander, with a turn in vacuous twirls and posing, and loose hair. She is representative of the majoirty of Latvian entries of the last 10 years, namely off-puttingly alien, low quality, one note out trash that should by rights fail, and invariably does. I strongly feel this will.

She was born in a distant 1980, in the year that Johnny Logan won.... We are of course talking about Anmary, quoting the first line of the her entry Beautiful Song. The song tells the story of a girl who dreams about walking on to the world stage, but allowing herself some humble pride while imagining life as a superstar. She has been the lead vocalist for the groups Sunny Sense and Mash Mash. Her greatest fan is her two-year-old son Marts Gabriels.
"Music is my oxygen. Singing is a delight, and I get that indescribable feeling of goosebumps before any stage performance. And then this overwhelming sense of satisfaction and pleasure that somebody may be enjoying those same goosebumps while listening to my songs.”