The opening version of last year's winning song was interesting. I enjoyed the comedic beginning and the pyrotechnic danceable ending, but the middle was a little bit strange in my opinion. 'Germany's Simon Cowell' showed off his musical skill to great aplomb, but I wasn't too sure about his singing.
What follows is a list of the 25 participating finalist countries with my comment on their songs. If you want to watch them then I suggest you check YouTube, as I've posted this as soon as possible after the performances were finished, so they weren't yet available to embed.
FinlandI loved the last winning entry. This one was totally different, featuring a very tuneful singer. The background of the earth made a great prop for his song abot saving the earth- twee but something close to my heart.
Bosnia & HerzegovinaIs it just me ordid the guitarist look like Spike Milligan? A good rhythm to this song, but the dancer/trumpeeter didn't seem to match the rest of the band. I was also put off by the fact that I couldn't understand all the words despite the fact that they were singing in English.
DenmarkCatchy start with clear words and going into a good rhythm. Enough repetition of words to have me singing along, but not overdone. It felt very much like watching a proper live concert. You may have gathered that liked this one!
LithuaniaInteresting harmonies in places. As commented on the UK commentary, a song that could have come straight out of an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical (had it not been sung only partly in English). To be honest, I got bored with this one quite quickly, not helped by the camera-work which made me dizzy.
HungaryNot really my cup of tea- too poppy for my taste. The women's oufits didn't do anything fr me either. Managed to give me a headache.
IrelandI'm afraid that I automatically approached this song with dread. And, whilst it seemed quite well performed, it certainly didn't redeem myself in my view. My Mum comented that Jedward appeared like overgrown imps and I tend to agree. Plus, it was hard to hear them as the backing singers were at the same volume almost all the way through.
SwedenThe drumming certainly made an impact from the start. The words to this song seemed to make the singer seem rather desperate ("I will be popular"). The backing dancers actually made more of an impression on me than the lead singer. The breaking out of the box stunt was pretty good though.
EstoniaInteresting scenery and backing dance. And what was with her dress? Quite catchy, but I'm not sure I really want it stuck in my head.
GreeceCertainly made an impact right from the beginning. An interesting mix of contrasting styles using hip-hop and opera together- not sure it really worked though. I did enjoy the bits where the opera singer was doing his bit, but I was put of by the other bits. And what was with the section where they danced together?
RussiaA talented performer, good at both singing and dancing (and pretty good loking as well). There was to much happening on stage though and in my opinion it detracted from the performance.
FranceThis made a relaxing break from all the pop so far, especially set against the scenes of sunsets and clouds. A very talented tenor, whose music I could appreciate despite not understanding the words.
ItalyA good start going into a toe-tappin rhythm. Very smooth! The piano solo was particularly good in my opinion. An impressively long and high note at the end. I enjoyed this one.
SwitzerlandA catchy opening melody, as were the smiles onstage. A real feel-good song, encouraged by the 60s style animations on the screen behind.
United KingdomAm I allowed to comment on this one? Why not, its not like I can vote for them!
Unforunatly the pictures at the beginning of this piece made them look like criminals. This is one of Blue's best songs in my opinion, although I have heard it sounding better than in tonights performance.
MaldovaWhat were they wearing on their heads? In fact, what was this full-stop? I can only guess that they were setting out to make an impact- well they certainly did that. There's always at least one like this in Eurovision, but think this might be the most perculiar I've seen yet. Where else would you see a woman ddresed as a fairy with a pointy at riding a unicycle in a pop/rock song?
GermanyThis is only the third time that a Eurovision singer had defended their title. I quite ehoyed the bizarre white-clad dancers. Pity I couldn't say as much about the song, which really just failed to make an impact on me. The 'cathedral' of lights at the end was pretty cool though.
RomaniaA very swarmy, but good singer who reminded me of John Barrowman. A twee message set against a rhythm which only just failed to make me want to dance. I liked his attempt to try to get the audience to join in, which wouldn't have been to hard to do given the repetative nature of the song.
AustriaA brave start siging acapella, which paid off because of the singer's lovely voice. A simpe, but engaging song peformed with true feeling.
AzerbajanI enjoyed parts of this song, but I didn't feel that the performance was of a consitently good quality. At times I thought the lead vocals were excellent, but at other times they seemed almost out of tune. Overall, I didn't think much of it really
SloveniaI enjoyed this piece until the singer came in, but the beginning of her bit didn't seem to fit somehow. The swaggering walk forwards didn't impress me.
IcelandSome talented singers amongst this group who performed a good, but not particulary striking song. Quite jolly, but I'm not sure if I liked it or not.
SpainI would havee liked to have understood the words to this song, as its catchy tune and rhythm weren't quite enough to make it for me. I would have liked it if they'd extended the drum solo, as the short snippet sounded quite promising.
UkraineThe singing was almost a backing track to the beautiful sandart going on behind it. A nice song as well.
SerbiaA very 60s feel to this song, the background of which unfortunately made me dizzy in places. I got the feeling that this would have been very good had I understood the words, but it lost something without them. Having said that, it had a feel-good feeling to it.
GeorgiaA very striking dress in this one- swirly green on a black background. A lot heavier than the other entries this year, with a little bit of rap thrown in. It felt almost like they wanted to ram their song into a high position with sheer volume.
What was your favourite song? Do you agree with my evaluations, or do you have different views?