(see at end for final votes)
N O R W A Y
When I did live-blogging during the 1st Semi-Final and the 2nd Semi-Final of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest from Moscow, I re-published them after each country's contestant performed. This evening I'm including the earlier comments for the 20 countries who reached the final from the 1st or the 2nd semi-final, and will modify these tonight 'on the fly' only where differences in their performances tonight seem to merit this, whilst I will still be live-blogging the five countries who didn't have to go through the semi-finals hurdle. This evening I'll also again be trying to post regular updates on my Twitter page as well. The official Eurovision website is here and you can download a scorecard for this evening's final through the link here.
Jae is also live-blogging the event.
The Russian TV presenters tonight are A LOT more easy on the eye than the two characters who presented both the semi-finals
Contestants this evening, and my thoughts on their efforts are as follows:
1 - Lithuania
[My reaction during 2nd semi-final - Male singer playiing piano. Also another male and two female backing singers. A romantic ballad, quite lively, though, and quite a nice tune. Will it get thru to final, though? Sung in English and another language, presumably Lithuanian?]
- good performance tonight.
2 - Israel
There must be another way
[My reaction during 1st semi-final - an Israeli-Arab and Jewish joint effort as a female duo sung in English, Hebrew and Arabic. It's quite tuneful and not at all bad. Morally I'd like it to do well, specially given the title of the song, which is pretty much what the song is about in the context of that troubled country. If it gets through to the final (and I think it should) I'd hope it'd do pretty well.]
- voices are both a little shaky tonight in parts; a shame.
3 - France
Et s'il fallait le faire
- Patricia Kaas is a class act and the dramatic ballad she's singing gives her the opportunity to show off her high standards. Cannot imagine it will win though - it's good she's singing in French, but it's not really Eurovision material (in my humble opinion). Go on, prove me wrong Eurovision voters!
4 - Sweden
[My reaction during 1st semi-final - blond Scandinavian beauty (female) with a lovely effortless, ethereal voice singing with a female backing group. It's a really nice ballad. Should do well. A class act.]
- the chorus is fantastic and shows off her voice to something like its full extent, but the actual song is very pedestrian.
5 - Croatia
Ljepa Tena (Beautiful Tena)
[My reaction during 2nd semi-final - not bad ballad. Male singer, good-looking with good voice, female backing. Black-clad and booted. Might do well.]
- a better performance than in semi-final, both lead singers are doing the song proud and he is one sexy-looking man. Woof!
6 - Portugal
Todas as ruas do amor
[My reaction during 1st semi-final - female singer with nice instrumental backing (guitars, flute[?] and accordion). Unfortunately her voice is no good even though it seems quite a nice ditty - sun in Portuguese. Doubt if it will get too many votes.]
- same problems with uneven quality of her voice, I'm afraid, although the song is good.
7 - Iceland - placed 2nd
Is it true?
[My reaction during 1st semi-final - a woman singing in English with a female backing group and male instrumentalists, singing a lovely ballad. She has an excellent voice, she's absolutely in control and confident. A pleasure to watch professionals at work. They're all, male and female, nice looking, too, which certainly can't hurt. Definitely my favourite so far.]
- every bit as good and confident as in semi-final; she has lovely pale blue eyes. I like this song a lot.
8 - Greece
This is our night
[My reaction during 2nd semi-final - Sexy slim white-clad man singing a boppy bit of Europop in English with female backing. He can visit me anytime! Might do well - definitely a sexy song with appropriately sexy dance-routine.]
- decent performance with a great body and gyrating pelis, but the song isn't that great on second hearing.
9 - Armenia
Jan Jan (Nor Par)
[My reaction during 1st semi-final - dramatic female group singing what is I take it traditional style of Armenian music, but jazzed-up a little and sung in English. It's really rather catchy and not at all bad, but I do wonder if it isn't just a little too different to be successful in Eurovision.]
- really not my thing, I'm afraid.
10 - Russia
- what an awful dirge! I'm sure her mother loves her and that she's a good singer given half-way decent material to perform. No! No! No!
11 - Azerbaijan - placed 3rd
[My reaction during 2nd semi-final - Male/female duo singing lively ballad in English. Both are quite nice-looking in a central-Asian way, trendily dressed. Not bad at all. (Twitter seems to have locked up - I can't post or get the site to refresh - maybe overloaded?]
- a good song and they're performing a little better than in semi-final, I think. May do well.
12 - Bosnia & Herzegovina
[My reaction during 1st semi-final - sung in Serbo-Croat(?), by a male lead, male/female all regency-garbed in pale cream - all nice-looking. Quite a nice song, and although his voice is good, it's a little weak at times. Not rubbish by any means, so it will probably do very well amongst neighbouring countries where this style of song probably appeals more than it does to me.]
- a better performance than in semi-final, but not a winner I suspect.
13 - Moldova
Hora din Moldova
[My reaction during 2nd semi-final - lively ballad with female singer and male dancing backers. Sung in Moldovan(?) Not bad!]
- lively, but no, I don't think i see this as a winner, on reflection.
14 - Malta
What if we?
[My reaction during 1st semi-final - lovely voice from a female (rather plump) singer. She started off a little shakily, but soon got into her stride. It's rather a nice ballad, very traditional and quite catchy - probably not right for modern Eurovision I suspect. No doubt will get many votes from the UK as usual and deservedly so.]
- I'm liking this even more on a secoond hearing. I can imagine listening to this again. Is it a winner? I think it might be. She's on form tonight.
15 - Estonia
[My reaction during 2nd semi-final - Lovely, pretty black-haired woman with a great voice singing a dramatic ballad with a definite beat to it. I like it, even if I don't understand it. I think this is a quality song and is being very well-performed. Should certainly get to final.]
- she's on form tonight and this is a great song; a pretty flawless performance. it has a very memorable few passages. Might just do it!
16 - Denmark
[My reaction during 2nd semi-final - Ronan Keating lookalike singing (if I heard Paddy O'Connell correctly) singing a song by him. it's really a very nice ballad and as the singer is very attractive could do well with yoounger females (and gays of course!). Should get to final, I think, if there is any justice.]
- yes, he's a looker and it's a good song. I'm uppin this a little from the semi-final rating I gave it. He's doing it justice.
17 - Germany
Miss Kiss Kiss Bang
- It's a stylish song and I like it, swing in tight shiny pants. Yes! Yes, it should do very well, if there is any fairness in this world. It's a confident song that is what it is.
Düm Tek Tek
[My reaction during 1st semi-final - Turkish version of Europop by a dramatic red-clad mainly female group, with one man. Slight middle-eastern elements, but jazzed-up to appeal to a wider European audience. I rather like it, it's catchy and being well-performed; now there's a sexy dance going on with the lead-signer and another male sort of acrobat-dancer. pretty good I'd say.]
- a good song, but I rate it as for semi-. Not the winner in my opinion.
19 - Albania
Carry me in your dreams
[My reaction during 2nd semi-final - Nice boppy tune, she's a pretty girl, but dressed in something like a little girl would wear for a party frock. Rather a weird green-masked/clad spiderman type of backing dancer and two other almost vampire-like fellows. Not a bad tune though, sung in English and very competently performed. Will probably get thru to final.]
- same frock as in semi-. She has a good voice though and is very confident and the backing-singers and dancers are good. Could do well, even if to me it's not a winner, but what do I know?
20 - Norway - placed 1st
[My reaction during 2nd semi-final - Young male violinist who also is the singer. Nice-looking young man and his voice is rather good. Singing in English. A sort of ballad with violin interludes and a dance/acrobatic troupe. Words a bit strange from someone so young, but could do well because it is a simple tune with easy words. Likely to get to final, I think.]
- he seems to be a good violinist, but he's no great singer. Sorry, I don't share the euphoria about this.
21 - Ukraine
Be my Valentine! (Anti-Crisis Girl)
[My reaction during 2nd semi-final - She's a looker, good voice, singing a sort of rock ballad in English. Quite erotic, with the gladiator-like bare-chested male dancers accompanying her. A good routine. Should do well, I suspect. There are some good songs tonight, but not as good as the 1st semi-final on Tuesday, in my view.]
- I still like this, it's quite sensual. Could it go down well with Eurovision voters?
22 - Romania
The Balkan Girls
[My reaction during 1st semi-final - think a singing troupe of 'Varoomshkas' or 'Amazons' - all very pretty and the song is quite fun and lively (sung in English). It should do well - there are quite a few good songs, so it's going to be difficult to choose; although as I don't know if it's being broadcast in Spain (or on which channel) I've no idea how I can vote in any case.]
- this is definitely one of the ones I'd tip to take this thing tonight. They're all pretty and the song is good and they're performing it well.
23 - United Kingdom
It's my time
- It's good and she's doing it well tonight. Hope her voice remains true. I can vote for this tonight, as I'm in Spain, but I've not yet decided. Altogether very creditable, tho'.
24 - Finland
[My reaction during 1st semi-final - funky rock song in English, with a female and male lead singer (both very trendy and nice-looking) and assorted male/female backing. The song doesn't appeal to me, but it is well-performed and may well appeal across Europe; it's quite a sophisticated performance I think.
- I like this more than in the semi-final and they're doing it very well.
25 - Spain
La noche es para mí
- a good song, but there are some flat notes I'm afraid. I like the melding of Europop with middle-eastern influences, but it's not a top-rate performance. I can't vote for it anyway, as I'm in Spain just now.
OK - I just voted and I have cast my vote for Iceland. My other top pick was Estonia - I gave both 8 1/4 points tonight, but I like the idea of Iceland having something to celebrate, although they would probably be devastated if they won, given their present financial situation. other top-scorers for me tonight were Azerbaijan, Malta, Germany and Finland.
Norway (387 points)
Iceland - placed 2nd (218 points)
Azerbaijan - placed 3rd (207 points)
- you can see details of the final points total of every participant in the final by visiting the official Eurovision website here.
Congatulations to the winner, Norway! I'm not surprised Norway won, even though quite why this happened escapes me. I'm very happy that Iceland did so well, without quite winning - it would have been a real burden for a country with such a small population to have won, even without its present financial woes. Azerbaijan did very well, too, to reach third place and it was well-merited.