The title of Valentina Monetta’s second consecutive Eurovision appearence for San Marino translates as ‘Chrysalis’, which is fitting as it represents a considerable transformation for the singer whose performance of The Social Network Song topped even the Russian grannies and Donny the blindfold Lithuanian as the most deranged entry of last year. She presented her new song Crisalide (Vola) yesterday, complete with charmingly low-budget a promo video.  Gone are the polyester pyjamas and wide-eyed mugging to camera, in favour of flowing dresses, wind-machine effects and diva vocals. A Eurovision star hasn’t gone through a transformation this profound since Dana International. Who knew she had it in her?

Like The Social Network Song, Crisalide (Vola) is composed by Eurovision veteran Ralph Siegel. His songs (the ones that aren’t outright novelty pieces, anyway) always have a throwback quality to them, and Crisalide could literally have been a forgotten fan favourite in 1982. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. The old-school disco break near the end of the song is most welcome in any context. Unfortunately, the two thirds of the song that precede this dramatic shift are fairly forgettable balladry. They’ve got their measurements all wrong basically – everyone knows that the correct ratio for this kind of thing is 30% ballad, 70% disco, not the other way around.

I like the song, but it definitely suffers from taking such a very long time to get going. The ballad section is decent, but there’s so much of that ilk in this year’s contest that I wonder if the last minute about-face will be enough to make it stand out. It’s always lovely to see Micro-nations in the final and I’d love to see San Marino go the distance, but unless her performance is an absolute knockout I fear this is probably more likely to get stuck in the semis. A solid A- for effort though.