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Dina Garipova loves the Eurovision Song Contest and believes it should be an important step in any artist’s career. I’m warming to her already! It’s a view that neatly encapsulates the different approach to the Contest across the crude east-west divide in Europe, and one that should the BBC subscribe to you imagine would open the door to a long list of potential cool and credible representatives. But I digress. Young Dina is of Tartar stock, born the year the Soviet Union collapsed and emblematic of the new spirit of possibility in modern Russia. In fact her song embraces this optimism and ponders how different the world might be if we laid down our arms and embraced one another more. It’s an age-old message, and one that’s frequently fared quite well in this Contest, and could do again at Dina’s hands. Musically it’s a belter of a ballad showing why Dina won the local version of The Voice as she can really knock this out. It builds to a crescendo rousing the self-consciously diverse audience to their feet as they let their fantasies of a better world run amok for the closing half-minute or so where we’ll see a veritable avalanche of plunging pyrotechnics to assist her to her big finish. It’s exhausting just listening. This is undeniably a contender to have us all pushing the limits of the St Petersburg anti-gay laws in May 2014. And yet behind the impressive delivery it’s yet another female ballad, so how will Dina stand out? Quite well, I think, although this wouldn’t be my choice to win, and would make little impact beyond the Contest history books, which would be a shame after the global success of last year’s winning song. It’s good, it’s very good, it has an enormous chance, but it’s just not really me.
My score: 7 points