We may be bidding farewell to the European Union, but thankfully Britain remains a fully committed to the one supranational body that matters: the European Broadcasting Union. And so, with two weeks to go, it's time for our annual trudge through the highlights of this year's Eurovision Song Contest. Remember, I don't do predictions any more. Especially as Theresa May has gone and done one all over my there-won't-be-a-general-election-in-2017 forecast. Arrgh.
Enough ado, bring on the musics.
To get it out of the way and fly the flag, here's what we're sending to the contest:
"Together we'll dance through this storm" sings Lucie Jones. A message voicing our Brexiting malaise? Penned by previous Eurovision winner, Emmelie de Forest, it's alright. Forgettable but alright. Still, I don't think it's likely to trouble the other competitors and the UK will emerge as an also-ran, again. Something our country is going to have to get used to after 2019.
Patriotic service performed, who's next?
Israel had a very good Eurovision last year. Hovi Star's Made of Stars was easily their best entry in the contest since Dana International cleaned up back in the dim and distant. 2017's doesn't match the heights of either, but it's passable:
IMRI's ditty should give full credit to the Israeli tourist board. It's a nice, summery number with a tropical vibe. Definitely not a show beater but I Feel Alive should get through the heats and perform creditably in the competition. It will do better than our entry.
Next up is Macedonia's entry. Dance Alone by Jana Burčeska is a clubby number haunted by melancholy, which is just how I like it. Definitely one of the few standout tracks from this year's field:
What's next? Let's have us a bit of Iceland:
Going by the number of YouTube views, Svala's Paper is an interesting piece. Combining light EBM sensibilities with pop-friendly melodies, it's probably going to get overlooked and not make it through the heats. Interesting doesn't necessarily mean successful.
Okay, here's the moment you've been waiting for. Who's my pick? Again, perhaps an obscure choice but it definitely does not deserve to be. My favourite is ...
The Montenegran team know the Eurovision audience! What can you say? If Slavko Kalezić takes to the stage in black pants and nothing else, he's going to run away with it. And the braid. The braid. Fantastic. As readers know, it's all about the music in the end and Space is simply brilliant. A bit house, a bit 90s boy band, nonsense lyrics, once the wider Eurovision public get a taste surely love - and points - will come Montenegro's way.
Those are my picks for 2017. Have any caught your eye?