Eurovision 2013: The Race Is On!
A heads up on some of this year's Eurovision acts...
More from Jack Cullen
So, half the countries have now confirmed who they'll be sending into the Swedish battle arena come May, microphone in hand. Here in the UK a decision won't be made for another month. Sadly for us it won't be settled via a public vote but instead the BBC will just pick someone. Rumours have surfaced (as they have in previous years) that Mika might represent us. Personally I think someone like Rita Ora should just book a few days out of her busy schedule, hop on a cheap coach to Malmo and bring the bloody trophy home.
The favourite to win at this stage is Denmark (by far), represented this time by a singer called Emmelie de Forest. We personally can't stand her song which is called "Only Teardrops" and so it doesn't feature below. However, the bookies are seldom wrong. They collaborate with experts and know all the winner tips to look out for (such as the winning song is always one that you can recreate on the piano quite easily - a condition that unsurprisingly rules out a good chunk of the entries).
So without further ado, here are our Top 5 so far, and not a Jedward in sight...
I Feed You My Love - Margaret Berger
Massive Attack meets Britney album track on this dark electro belter from Miss Berger. Graham Norton just has to make a joke on the night about her name being homophonous with burger and the song having FEED in the title. Chortle chortle. Also "Vanessa Feltz in a Christmas Grotto" is a good look that more popstars should rock, go Burger face. Norway won in 2009 with Alexander definitely-not-gay Rybak so it's unlikely they'll win again so soon.
Rhythm of Love - Alyona Lanskaya
Pete Burns meets mouth organ (not for the first time) in this catchy Belarusian choon. Landlocked Belarus have never won the contest in the nine years that they've been taking part. Could this be their lucky year? Probably not, but at least there's a free holiday to Sweden in it for poor Alyona. The sparkly-eyed singer was banned from the contest in 2012 when it emerged TV producers in her homeland had rigged the selection process. But tough cookies to her critics bitch - she's back!
Straight Into Love - Hannah
T4 editorial gaff meets Lloyd-Webber in this dub-prep floorfiller. She's called herself Hannah, just Hannah, amazing. Hannah isn't meant to be a pop moniker, Hannah's someone you sat next to in physics. Why didn't Hannah from S Club 7 think of this? Hannah! Haha! Although we secretly wish the song was called Gay Into Love instead of Straight Into Love (YouTube male cover version anyone?) this song is my fave so far. We like the idea of a video in which Hannah reverses her Vauxhall Corsa on a Slovenian mountain track straight into a hot guy's Peugeot 308 and then love ensues. We can totally imagine this song bouncing off the cosy walls of Ku Klub too. It's a goodun guys.
Here We Go - PeR
One Direction meets even less direction in this terrible, terrible bag of boy band shit. We had to include it right because they're the only boy in the 2013 contest thus far, and this is Gay Times you're reading while at work, but yeah - jeez - what a headache. It's concerning that the video won't let the camera settle on them either, are they all hideously ugly? At least one of the boys looks potentially a bit sexy and sweaty, so fingers crossed. Could do with a Chemical Brothers sample, some charisma and a melody. Failing that, pants off.
Glorious - Cascada
Cascada meets Cascada in this new Cascada song. That's right, one of eurodance's hardest working women (and that's some title) is representing Germany this year. The cheeky damsel has already racked up a million YouTube views for the video that she whipped up in a flash. We get the impression Cascada is one of the few popstars who actually sees the profits of her YouTube views too, checking her Google Ads account and Paypal at 3 in the morning. I like Cascada, she's a clean, honest dance artist which big teeth who does what she says on the tin, even if the tin says "Pretty Naff". Some sceptics have accused her of plagiarising last year's Eurovision winner Loreen's song Euphoria, but the ESC committee have confirmed that Cascada's fine, it's not copying it's just pop music innit. Still, keep your ears pricked for a mash-up come summer, called Euphorious perhaps.
And keep checking Gay Times for more Eurovision gossip. Follow the mag on @gaytimesmag for some Eurovision tweets come May.
Follow Jack on Twitter @jackcullenuk and maybe tell him who you think will win. He's got nothing better to do but reply to you.