Assuming the new organisation team get their act together rather better than the bunch who just resigned then it's not much more than a couple of months before the Competition is upon us.
There have already been a good number of releases of tracks by artists who have been selected, although how many are official releases and to what extent there might yet be changes is not clear. What I've seen so far, though, has not been particularly exceptional but then, to be fair, it has not been particularly bad either. So far.
Ones to watch are:
A nice young chap who has bags of personality and a pretty tune. This is an easy-going number but, like their entry last year, could do well for them. The singer is Nathan Trent so I'm wondering if he's actually British?
The girl group with the strange name OG3NE are like three quarters of Little Mix and sound professional and modern. I expect them to do well too, just because people will like them and the number, whilst a bit uninspiring, is different to most of the rest of the entries I've seen.
Even though we have yet to hear the song, I have a feeling that Greece are heading for a Top 10 spot at least with Demy, a fabulous singer popular in the charts over there and with a song to be written by a couple of brilliant writers who have penned a string of Eurovision successes to date for other countries' singers. Trust me. Demy will do well.
We have yet to hear the final version of the song but I am sure Lucie will put on a great performance and in a battle of the ballads she stands a good chance of winning against many. Maybe not a winner but quite a few people are supporting her on forums where the UK haven't featured as predicted successes for many years. Having Emilie deForrest writing the track helps too!
I have only heard a snippet of this but it looks like an attractive couple with a good song.
A moody entry which I can see now with black shadows and all sorts of monochrome effects on the night ensuring that we remember what will undoubtedly be a passionate and accurate, if maybe not winning, performance of Blackbird.
I have already published the early release of this girl's song. She's great, talented and her personality may keep France again near the top of the list.
The Danes have chosen an Australian to represent them this year and Anja Nissen looks and sounds good. Sh'ell get the Australian douze points at least!
Italy are this year's favourites at the moment. They had had some excellent entries recently and seem capable of attracting votes across the region. Maybe Sicily is controlling the voting data stream but they may not need to do so this year. An oldish bloke has a sparkle about his performance that is irresistible even if you don't really like him that much. He could have had a part in a 1940s movie without changing his suit and the song is not something I can imagine hitting the UK charts in a hurry. However, I reckon it will be one of those performances that will go down really well on the night and he'll get bucket loads of votes.
Some weird people are back with an instrument that can only be Moldovan. They'll make us smile and, who knows, may get enough points to make the authorities in the tiny country panic a little. they couldn't afford to hots it but I'd love to see them win.
There are a few countries who are going to struggle this year, either to get to the Final or, if they do get that far, to get the to left hand side of the score sheet. These are Spain, Slovenia, Malta, Georgia, Switzerland and Poland. They may have great singers but the tracks are almost instantly forgettable. Ukraine, too, seem to have decided that they don't want another win with an entry of a rock band who I can't see doing very well. They'll get some good points. Ukraine always do for some reason and they're the hosts and it may even be the only rock band so that'll be useful. But they're not going to win. Albania, Hungary, Germany and Latvia I have heard bits of but can't make my mind up yet about these. That must mean they're not likely to go anywhere but I will have another listen in a while. Maybe the final versions will be more impressive.
These really are early days. Italy seem too short at 3-1 to me at this stage. Likely strong entries from Russia and Sweden, in particular, have yet to be declared so there is a good chance of at least one other getting more fancied and that will change those odds considerably.