Well, what a contest...here's my verdict
Switzerland - still love this though it didn't do very well. Well sung, charming anthemic ballad, very typical easy-listening harmony stuff, but then I like that!
Moldova - The stage presentation was a bit messy but its not a bad song, catchy and quite appealing.
Israel - What happened? At last a soul ballad in the contest, and Eddie just didn't cut the mustard - the backing singersd did their best to add some gospelly 'whooping up' but this needed a clear and strong lead vocal - for some reason he sounded strained and missed some of the high notes.
Latvia - This was never goping to win, too specialist, but it was a fine example of accapella singing with a jazz feel. Remains a favourite of mine
Norway - Very ethereal, all in white, perfectly sung and performed. Thought it would do better but perhaps the success of Bosnia meant it lost out as the two songs were quite similar in 'feel' and presentation
Spain - This got nowhere. There is so much good Spanish pop music around, particularly the ballads, and they put this in? Just drifts along getting nowhere and the sub-Bananarama unison singing didn't impress
Malta - Fabrizio was obviously having an off day. Painfully out of tune and it all sounded very 'end of the party karaoke' all told. I don't hate it by any means but wasn't surprised that it came last.
Germany - Now, this was something of a surprise. One of the best singers in the contest and a jaunty country song - maybe its back to the failure of strongly American styles to do well in the contest?
Denmark - A song about the twist with a breakdancer, one of my least favourite songs of the night. Couldn't wait for it to end.
Russia - Loved this. Pretty boy-band-handsome singer with a gorgeous incisive voice, just loved the way he sang 'broken glass' - and an energetic performance. One of the best of the night
FYROM - Dull and she didn't sound particularly in tune
Romania - What a voice! My favourite of the uptempo entries and it deserved to do as well as it did - good song, excellent singing, just good dance pop music
Bosnia - A beautiful piece of music, drifts along, instrumentation which sends a shiver up the spine. Again, deserved to do so well - would have loved to see them win but think their time will yet come
Lithuania - I just didn't find this funny and whilst they were clearly proficient, a novelty entry doesn't really work unless you find it funny.
UK - Coming straight after another novelty entry didn't really work, and a lot of people have said that the whole thing did come over as rather dodgy/pervy. Maybe it fell between two stools - not really serious rap (so no votes from France) , not novelty enough? Given how few female ballads, we should have sent Kym Marsh!
Greece - This was certainly the power ballad of the night - well opver the top, but it worked. She is a fine singer, no doubt about that.
Finland - What can I say? I'm very pleased for the Finns - to win after 44 years - and I think it won;t do the contest any harm. But I will never be a rock fan and this just isn't my kind of music.
Ukraine - This sounded like last years winner speeded up. Good singer, but didn't do a thing for me.
France - Beautiful song, but she was so painfully nervous every note sounded thin and strangulated, not a bit like the mellow, creamy voice on the CD. A shame - this was never going to win, but I couldn't help but think how Natasha St.Pierre or Lara Fabian could have made this something really special
Croatia - Gypsy-ethnic stuff, thought it was dire
Ireland - Pure professionalism from start to finish. Its a memorable little song but its no You Raise Me Up - still, Ireland are straight through to the final next year - wonder if Ronan will have a go?
Sweden - If there was one thing that cheered me up this year, it was that this derivative, safe, over-sung, boring schlager didn't win. 19 places too high in my book....
Turkey - This was so cool. I'm not usually a great fan of this sort of stuff but how Ukraine could have qualified whilst this didn't....a really good performance , unusual song, the most contemporary thing in the contest along with russia. Oh, and the dancers. Phew!
Armenia - He seemed to have gained in confidence and although I don't rate the song, it was a very impressive performance - and good to see a new country get through on their first try.