Iceland - Couldn't have chosen a more forgettable start. Your average northern-Europe blonde pop. The hair and the teeth shone much more than the song did.
Austria - Solved all my problems of misery in one fell swoop. By being sung by, effectively, Mr. Bean. And being a song about little rabbits. I kid you not; anyone who was watching with the subtitles on (and if you don't, usually, next year you should. Really.) will have read the chorus out as "Little rabbits have little noses, little cats have soft paws, and Mother Holle likes her wool from the African dromedary." Truly wonderful.
Ireland - Not the most original piece of music ever. Still, the guy who sang it was rather sweet and most twinkly-eyed. His backing singers let him down though, he could have done it better without them.
Turkey - Oh, god, who opened the dog cage and let this one out? I haven't heard anything quite that bad at Eurovision in some time. I'm sure nobody else noticed, being too busy staring at the belly dancers, but the woman was entirely unattractive and couldn't sing. And then tried to rap. In English. I mean, please. Take it away.
Malta - Older viewers may remember a 70s Eurovision entry called Lynsey De Paul. This started just like her, except that it sucked. Then it went on to suck more; the singer also did the one thing that truly drives me insane at Eurovision : she played to the camera. You have a huge fucking audience in front of you! Never mind us, look at the crowd god damn it!
Bosnia-Herzegovina - Mmmm. Mmmm, cute. Cute girl with short black hair and very good clothes and straps and cute girl and, and, mmm, pretty. Um, what? Oh, I liked the song as well. But, mmm, cute.
Portugal - Mneh. Not a bad song as Eurovision goes, sung with a lot of feeling, but not catchy enough to win nor interesting enough to stick in my mind. I've forgotten it already.
Croatia - Terry Wogan introduced them with "A welcome return of the wonderbra here". But, um, no? All I could concentrate on was how hideous the clothes were - for yes, it is in fact 1974, and all of the world's good songwriters are still in school. Sigh.
Cyprus - God. The horror. Imagine if you will - if you didn't see him - a horrendous hybrid of Darius Danesh, George Michael, and David Seaman. Now imagine him singing an incredibly mediocre song about love and smiling winningly at the camera. Yes. That's how I felt about it, too.
Germany - Wow! A group who remembered this is Eurovision! I'm not going to pretend for a moment that this was good by any other standards whatsoever, but it was an excellent Eurovision song, with the backing singers dressed from the school 1970s costume cupboard and a tune and lyrics as cheesy as a big toasted cheese sandwich with extra cheese and cheese on top. I approve.
Russia - TATU. Apparently they'd been somewhat throwing their weight around behind the scenes. And, ouch, *ouch*, the two girls in question were so incredibly badly out of tune with one another. I think the black-haired one was in tune. I'm not entirely sure. It was quite painful to listen to because of the jarring discrepancy in key, but it was really quite a good song. And the only English lyric, "Don't trust the voices", made me giggle. Don't trust *one* of them, anyway.
Spain - Her backing singers appeared to be Right Said Fred. Other than that I saw nothing notable.
Israel - This was a *very* well-put-together song. Even though the backing singers were dressed as schoolgirls, and annoyed me, I was really quite impressed with this. And as a Eurovision song it rocked. And it was mostly in Hebrew. Good.
Netherlands - Badly dressed pap and air guitar from a bloke in a beanie hat. Spare me.
UK - ~wince~ Some idiot must have messed up some balance somewhere. All the singers were perfectly in tune with one another, in a perfectly adequate song, but the backing track was half a tone away from everyone else. I had to turn the sound off it was so painful. Oh well. I never want us to win anyway. :)
Later - Oh, wow. No points? None at all? That's a first. Ah well. We did suck, after all...
Ukraine - No. No. NO. NO. Take it away please please take it away he sounds like Demis Roussos and he has a contortionist ballet dancer behind him for no reason that I can find anywhere please make it stop thank you.
Greece - (Clothes)++ (Song)---- Impressive high note at the end though - at least five notes higher than I can reach.
Norway - Sung by a cute little thing who, somewhat unnervingly, actually looked rather like a blonde Malcolm McDowell. But the song was dire and sounded like Andrew Lloyd Webber at his worst.
France - Bored now.
Poland - What the heck are they wearing AAAAHHH IT'S DENIM AND ALL SPARKLY AAAAAAAHHHHH IT'S GOT DOVES ON SAVE ME SAVE ME SAVE ME Oh, it's over. The song sucked, too.
Latvia - And the evening heads further downhill. Cringe. The voices and the setup and the song makes *no* sense whatsoever. Next please.
Belgium - Apparently this was sung in an imaginary language. Terry Wogan thinks it's silly. And I think it's easily, *easily* the best song of the evening. Mmm, bagpipes. I really really liked this, lots and lots. I want this.
Estonia - Eighties coming back, mostly via the Style Council and the 1950s, I think. Pain. Very, very ugly pain.
Romania - I swear more than half of the night's songs featured some variant of the line "Listen carefully to your heart". I'm sure I've never said that sort of thing in my life. Ah well. This song was - I can't quite find the words. It may have been written by the Bomfunk MCs (look them up) and it was. Really. Terrible. Er.
Sweden - Oh look, it's Eurovision. Oh look, it's Sweden. Oh look, the song's the result of an orgy between ABBA and Roxette. There's a surprise.
Slovenia - A nice proper Eurovision song to finish on - and this orgy was between ABBA and...and Ottawan. Much sparkly disco synth, dreadful clothes, big gay backing singers. Tired now.
I feel so sorry for all the countries that don't get to hear Terry Wogan presenting this.
Latvian presenter : And after this we will have to wait another year for the next Eurovision...
Terry Wogan : No, we take you outside and shoot you.
Damn, damn, Turkey won. Was *anyone* listening to that song at all and not just watching the dancers? Bah.
Oh well. Belgium very nearly won. Rah.