I will admit that it was with a slight amount of panic that I noticed my blog had been read by someone from Belarus following my last article. I fully expected to see President Lukashenko appear at my front door and take me away a couple of days later, but nothing came of it. I assumed he'd make the visit himself, since he seems to like to get involved with everything personally. If anything, I was probably more disappointed that he didn't show up.

Just means I'm going to have to try even harder this time.

Belarus' decision to beat everyone else by having the first national final - starting the season even more ridiculously early than the Swiss and Albanians usually do - means that on Friday night, a gaggle of Eurovision fans (is there a collective noun I'm unaware of?) will be settling in to watch ten Belarussian acts try to finish second to the winner, who will inevitably be cast aside a few weeks down the line. But who and what can we be expecting to see? Thankfully, TVR have put up the running order and the songs in full on their website. How very kind of them. Critiquing time!

Vitaly Voronko's "I Wonder How You" sounds like Mandinga if Elena Ionescu was replaced by a drunk man. Not to be too mean to Vitaly, but this is probably going to be an early contender for "trainwreck national final entry" of the year. He doesn't even sound good with the pre-recorded vocals, let alone what it'll be like live. "I Love Your Charming Eyes" by Max Lorens has a title that Musiqq rejected, and remember, they included the line "love me with luscious thighs". Yeah. There's nothing particularly offensive about Max's song but it's nothing too special. 2nd in the running order will probably kill this one off, though Max is quite a big name in the Belarussian music scene, which might give him some extra pull.

Now this is one that confuses me. I was convinced that Alyona Lanskaya was going to win when she was announced (as I mentioned previously), but hiding her in third in the running order makes me wonder. "Rhythm of Love" isn't a particularly stunning song, but it's a much more fitting entry for Eurovision than her last attempt. It does get quite catchy though and Alyona can sing - she proved that in the national final last year - so this one could still make it. If it gets through, I could imagine this going down as well as "La La Love" did, to be honest.

Admittedly, the Belarussians have probably helped Alyona by sending Yankey and Beaver Band on immediately after. Yankey's song, "Letter to Mother" is a horribly overwrought ballad (much like Alyona's winning entry last year, mind) that sounds like a Zeljko number gone wrong. Beaver Band, apart from having a ridiculous name, have a novelty entry called "Incredible Girl". It's different, but Belarus are far too serious about Eurovision to send this. Daria is up next with her song "Catch Me Again", which is truth be told, quite charming. It's actually quite a Western sounding song to my ear and I wouldn't be too surprised to see this doing well. I doubt it's going to be heading to Malmö though.

After this we have a run of male singers to run out the show, starting with Uzari. Uzari entered Eurofest 2012 and managed to make it to the final, though finished last in the televote despite getting the final slot on the show. This probably means that "Secret" won't be making it very far either, which is probably for the best; it sounds like a rejected Adam Lambert song, which probably says a lot. Alexey Gross' "One Way Love" is another fairly unspectacular entry, this time sounding like a rejected MIKA song. The issue with both entries is that their voices don't particularly sound suited to their songs -if anything, the songs would be better if the vocalists swapped round.

Finally, we wrap things up with the band Nuteki and "Save Me", then Satsura with "Get Out Of My Way". Nuteki failed to make it to the final of Eurofest 2012 and their entry this time is very messy. It sounds like two different songs smashed together in to one and it's just...not good. "Get Out Of My Way" is easily the best male entry to the final and presuming Satsura's vocals hold out, could do very well with the late draw. It's certainly reminiscent of other Eastern European male singers at the moment (here's looking at you, Max Barskih!) which might work well the televoters.

Overall, it's about what you'd expect from a Belarussian national final. The average is nothing outrageously bad (bar entries like Beaver Band and Vitaly Voronko) and there's some that you could see on a Eurovision stage. For me, it's a straight fight between Alyona Lanskaya and Satsura, but Daria may spring a surprise. I'm also half-expecting that the eventual song in Malmö will be none of the above.

Personally, I'm hoping we'll see Alexander Lukashenko performing his self-penned megahit "I Am The Greatest Man Alive".

Follow Chris on Twitter - @katsjonouchi