The following 10 countries (out of the 28 who competed tonight) have qualified to go through to the finals on Saturday 12th May in Helsinki:
1. Bulgaria - will perform in 21st position
4. Belarus - will perform in 3rd position
6. Georgia - will perform in 11th position
9. Moldova - will perform in 24th position
15. Serbia - will perform in 17th position
18. FYR Macedonia - will perform in 6th position
22. Hungary - will perform in 8th position
25. Slovenia - will perform in 7th position
26. Turkey - will perform in 22nd position
28. Latvia - will perform in 14th position
Apart from Turkey, the rest are all Eastern European countries who have probably voted in a couple of blocs for each other. Not all are 'rubbish' songs, by any means - although in my humble opinion the songs from Bulgaria, Belarus, Moldova, FYR Macedonia and Latvia were amongst the worst of the evening. I thought the Serbian, Hungarian and Turkish entries were pretty good, specially the Hungarian one.
However what I thought were the best songs of the evening (The Netherlands, Portugal, Norway, Estonia and Austria) didn't get through. The song I thought by far the best of tonight's entries, Austria, was so much better than any of the others (with the runner-up for me being Estonia) that it seems to me that all notion of what is a decent song has been buried for the sake of tactical voting. How else to explain the success of Bulgaria in getting through, a complete 'dog' of a song?! Absolutely amazing.
I will of course watch Saturday evening's event in a light-hearted spirit and try to enjoy it. But I have to admit that this evening's sorry results have somewhat soured my view of the whole thing; in earlier years there was at least a pretence of favouring half-way decent songs, even if there has always been a tendency for particular countries to vote for some other countries and to give low or no votes to certain others. However it seems that the whole partisan nature of the voting in recent years has completely spoiled what should be a bit of fun and made it into a pretty nakedly partisan stitch-up.