Here we go then - make way for the favourites.

Sweden are the nation earmarked as the ones to watch in just about every contest since the mid-90s, and this year is no exception.

SVT excelled themselves in having four televised semis before the Melodifestivalen proper in the Globen arena on March 1, resulting in girly-trio Afro-Dite securing the national nomination with the retro-tastic Never Let it Go.

More interestingly, this song was due to be performed by Alcazar, the group behind the universal hit Crying at the Discotheque, but burgeoning fame filled the early parts of their 2002 diaries before they could say Lotta Engberg and a chance to shine in Tallinn went elsewhere.

The thing is, I have now listened to Never Let it Go a number of times, and it still does absolutely nothing for me. Written by Marcos Ubeda, the man behind Take Me to Your Heaven, the chorus is undeniably strong - but methinks I'm starting to listen to Swedish entries with a cynical ear.

Ireland had better come back soon - in their absence Sweden is starting to suffer from hatred osmosis.

EUROREF SAYS: For some inexplicable reason, I can't see this doing as well
as everyone predicts, but I'll say Top 10 just to cover my back.
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