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Zlata Ognevich - Gravity

Ukraine's entry for Eurovision 2013

Ukraine is almost always good for an interesting entry. This one, it's not quite a ballad, and it's heavily rhythmic, and it's loaded with cool harmonies. I like it.

The video. OMG the video. It's pretty. OMG is it pretty. The design and production is a bit uneven, a mix of the amateurish and the sublime. It's still the only video that's in the same league as Malta.

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Takasa - You And Me

Switzerland's entry for Eurovision 2013

Switzerland. Land of Salvation Army bands singing at Christmas, collecting donations. Someone thought it would be a good idea to find 6 musicians from Salvation Army bands to put together a Eurovision entry. Only they can't call themselves "Heilsarmee" (the German name for the Salvation Army) because that's a bit too religious and political for ESC rules, so now they're Takasa. They're quite good, though.

The video is a real video, and it's a fun road trip with the band, attempting to get to Malmö. It also shows up that they can't wear their Salvation Army Band uniforms because that's a bit too religious and political.

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Robin Stjernberg - You

Sweden's candidate for 18th place

The last time Sweden hosted ESC, they placed 18th. This is a good entry for that. It's an earnest attempt, but isn't a winner. It is an earworm, though. It's kind of a rip-off of last year's Amazing.

It's a performance video. He looks awfully angry for someone singing a love song.

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Spain's entry for Eurovision 2013

Spain's ballad is a folky number. Or is it a ballad? There's a funky uptempo electronic shift just a bit in. I would like this in any case, but it's such a refreshing surprise this year.

The video is a bit scattered. I'm on a horse. Now I'm in a crypt. But it's a real video.

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Hannah - Straight Into Love

Slovenia's entry for Eurovision 2013

Slovenia? Another dance diva. In the forest of ballads, this is nice. And she can really belt it out.

The video, though, is a smidge creepy. It's a performance video with fancy lighting and such, but it appears to be shot on a soundstage with no audience.

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Moje 3 - Ljubav je svuda

Serbia's entry for Eurovision 2013

Serbia's sweethearts go for dance pop, and they're pretty good. It's a prefab group built from good contestants on Serbia's equivalent to "The Voice" and they can definitely sing.

It's a performance video, but it's a fun performance, and Sara Jovanović in the red is feisty.

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Valentina Monetta - Crisalide

San Marino's entry for Eurovision 2013

San Marino sends the same girl who sang the cute Facebook song, with a huge, dramatic rock ballad. It's interesting hearing her perform when she's not all autotune-fakey and noveltized. Noveltized is a word, isn't it?

There's a real video for this one, and it's kind of clever.

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Dina Garipova - What If

Russia's entry for Eurovision 2013

Russia sends a big, dramatic ballad with a message of peace and harmony. Go fig. Dina is a pretty good singer, but this doesn't really stand out in the forest of big, dramatic ballads.

It's a fake performance video. It's a clever conceit, but not that clever.

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Cezar - It's My Life

Romania's entry for Eurovision 2013

Romania brings the crazy, but it's good crazy, and it doesn't immediately stand out as crazy. That's what happens when you hand a pop tune to a countertenor. It's not a winner, but it's fantastic.

The video is a performance video.

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Margaret Berger - I Feed You My Love

Norway's entry for Eurovision 2013

Norway had a pretty bad year with Melodi Grand Prix, and most of their entrants couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. Thankfully, that's not true of Margaret Berger. Her dirty, mechanical dance ballad is pretty cool.

Performance video. White dress. I really can't say any more.

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