Every Eurovision leaves a legacy for the future; that so much is undeniable. In 2009, Russia's "bigger means better" attitude to the contest meant that Norway, Germany and Azerbaijan all felt the need to match it - only now have Sweden said they're scaling back the massive production effort. In 2010, Lena's victory seems to have had the effect of rejuvenating the Big Five - the most obvious example of this being Italy's return to the contest, but France have been much more serious and even the BBC have put more effort in, even if it has been somewhat misguided so far. Finally, 2011's legacy for 2012 was "German efficiency works" and that a lick of paint and a different logo means you can re-use the same graphics as last year!

So that brings us to the question of what will 2012's legacy be for 2013 and the future? As previously mentioned, the Swedes are determined to make sure that Malmö will be a much smaller affair than the past few years and their tampering with the draw system is inevitably going to be the legacy that they leave for contests to follow.

2012 could be seen as the year that Eurovision - after years of trying (and nearly succeeding with Alexander Rybak and Lena) - finally crossed over in to the mainstream, as "Euphoria" stormed the charts across the continent and made a real name out of Loreen. Indeed, outside of the Eurovision circle, that will probably be the thing that 2012 is remembered for (ignoring the members of the British press, who will solely remember it for "oh, we did awful again").

But 2012's legacy inside Eurovision seems painfully superficial, if the national finals so far have been anything to go by. It didn't start well in Belarus when superfluous dancers were spotted in the background of too many a song, doing something a bit arty that made no sense (credit then to Nuteki, who just went insane and sent on a stilt walker in Serduchka-esque Bacofoil). Still, no harm really done, was there?

Except the theme continued in Switzerland, where Jesse Ritch tried to liven up his actually quite dreary "happy-go-lucky" song by having a woman stuck inside a white cube, before dancing and contortioning her way out of it. It made absolutely no sense given the context of the song - but hey, if Loreen could win with some handy dance moves, then surely it would work here! Also guilty of trying to cash in on a "winning formula" were many of the Lithuanian entrants, none less than the actual winner, Andrius Pojavis. As it stands, "Something" has two men in white masks dancing by themselves, a woman whose dance routine involves spinning around with a dodgeball and a bubble machine. Clearly, snow just didn't make sense.

Lithuania's entry for 2013 - Andrius Pojavis performing "Something"

The issue is that Loreen's dancing was just part of her performance. It didn't distract from the song, but added to it by setting the tone. The lighting, the snow outbreak - everything was done at the right time and for the right reasons. So far, nobody who has attempted to emulate Loreen has clocked that all elements are necessary to succeed.

Then again, it would be remiss to notice that there's another theme developing in the build up to Malmö. Thanks to the huge build-up and attention they received, the Babushki have also become an influential model to countries looking for acts for Malmö. They even had exact imitators in the Ukrainian national final. The Heilsarmee - should they continue to be Switzerland's representative - quite clearly went strategic in picking 94 year old Emil Ramsauer to be part of the group, though Herr Ramsauer is apparently very reluctant to perform without his uniform on, so he might have to be booted out if the group do plan to continue. Still, the Daily Mail have already picked up on the story and reported on it, akin to the Babushki's quick fame and notoriety.

Macedonia have clearly clocked on to "elderly person in Eurovision = pre-contest hype" method too, though Esma Redzepova's musical background is to be much more respected than her Russian or Swiss counterparts. Still, the fact that they hyped up her age in the "old meets new" duet and the fact that she's been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize does imply that they're looking to make the headlines and hope that carries through in to public votes as it did for the Babushki. If San Marino do indeed send Lys Assia - and the lady herself seems intent on hyping up the rumour - then there's the same effect.

It's a shame then that so far, 2012 is being remembered for gimmicks rather than the great standard of music and diversity that it offered. If we end up with a Eurovision full of OAPs and people flailing wildly around a stage, then it will be a step backwards for the contest, just as it finally has a foot in the door of respectability.

But never fear. I hear we're sending the Spice Girls.

Follow Chris on Twitter - @katsjonouchi