The first thing that strikes me about Leonara’s ‘Love is Forever’ is how overwhelmingly twee the song sounds. She has a bit of a Paloma Faith twang to her voice and you can actually imagine it existing outside of the Eurovision bubble. I appreciate the effort that has gone into the staging concept for this one, as it will be memorable if it remains for Tel Aviv. Though I’m not entirely sure how wise it is to have Leonara singing so far away from the audience. A fair comparison for this song is Switzerland 2011 - ‘In Love For A While’, which scraped a qualification in tenth place and then finished last in the final. If Denmark makes it through then it seems unlikely to finish last, given what is being sent by some of the Big 5 this year.
You’d be forgiven for getting two of the Baltic songs mixed up this year. Lithuania selected ‘Run With The Lions’ by Jurijus and there are definite similarities to the Estonian entry in that they are both safe, modern, middle-of-the-road and radio friendly entries with the potential to do well. I was disappointed to see that the Lithuanian winner didn’t have much of a staging concept apart from a few shaking camera shots and pretty on-screen effects. They probably should go with a lion theme for Tel Aviv, as basic and predictable as that might potentially look. There’s a remake of The Lion King coming out later this year, so why not jump the gun and go all African safari? I think this is likely to qualify and then finish anywhere between 10th and 19th place.