So, the semi is over, and at least some of my favourites got through this year
Armenia - thought this was a fairly typical ethno-pop song, sung not very well, and a surprise qualifier
Bulgaria - this was never going to qualify, just too moody and left-field for Eurovision. Think Bulgaria may have to try something a bit more mainstream in future - but I still loved it!
Slovenia - pretty boy, good performance but very ordinary, dated disco song
Andorra - poorly presented, could have been sung better too, but by no means the catastrophe promised in the blogs of the rehearsals. With the right singer this could have qualified
Belarus - dire in every way. Chris and Holger, go and open that language school and teach them how to sing...sad thing is there were two excellent songs in the belarussian final, but the Mafia chose this one
Albania - This was a charming performance of quite a sweet song, but not one of the most obvious ethnic songs and just got lost in the rush
Belgium - this was tacky in the extreme, a poor song poorly song, which richly deserved not to qualify. The choreography was particularly awful
Ireland - Oh, croon for me Brian! Great to see Ireland back in the Final with a memorable song, and I think a good chance of doing well. Delightful
Cyprus - The travesty of the night was the failure of this very accomplished performance to qualify. It seems that the American-influenced divas never do so well, thinking of Glennis last year, Still, my three other favourites made it
Monaco - Memories of Sophie Carle singing Harry belafonte. It didn't work
FYROM - This didn't do much for me, but it was well performed. But I still can't remember it. At all.
Poland - This didn't work. Too messy, too many languages, the rap didn't sound right. I don't dislike it but I wasn't surprised that it didn't qualify
Russia - very decorative - wouldn't mind a Russian plumber who looked like him. Great song. And I love his incisive voice - the way he sings 'glass' - this is classy stuff.
Turkey - This sounded excellent and really deserved its success.Not the sort of music i would listen to all that often, but sounds so contemporary and cool - I like it
Ukraine - Again, a good performance, but not to my taste
Finland - An unsurprising qualifier as the only rock entry and i think it will do respectably enough. I'm not convinced it comes over as quite the extravaganza on the TV though
Netherlands - Worst song of the night, competently performed, but I didn't like it
Lithuania - I don't really get it. But they were very competent and i suppose one novelty song had to get through
Portugal - They tried! All very retro, but again this was never likely to qualify. Some of the other stuff the girls have done was far better. Fado next year - about time Portugal tried something ethnic
Sweden - Dull as ditchwater, oversung 90's pop which simply wouldn't exist outside Eurovision
Estonia - Abba soundalike, well performed but nothing special
Bosnia & Herzegovina - well, ios it Sarajevo 2007? Don't rule it out. This is professional, relaxed and with drifting, ethereal instrumentation - I think its a strong contender if its at last, time for a ballad winner
Iceland - The joke's on them. Tasteless drivel - now if they had decided to put a proper song in this year and selected Regina Osk, they would be in the Final. Never were boos more deserved.
So, three from the semi I really like got through, and one I like, and there are plenty of good songs in the Final.