I can hardly remember what countries I predicted beforehand, but we did predictions also after seeing the entries on telly, and then I had a new bunch of songs.
The ones I thought
Israel, Slovenia, Norway, Poland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Armenia, Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Greece.
Not too inaccurate, I must say. I had two things wrong and eight countries right. I am particularly happy about Ireland and Estonia losing out, proving there are still things such as sensibility, taste and fairness in the world.
I feel genuinely sorry for the Netherlands - this time they really deserved going through. And I wonder if Andorran television is beginning to have second thoughts about entering the ESC.
But the finalists!
Fantastic to have them through, as Boaz sang very sweetly and the song is enchanting. Also good to see that being drawn as #2 doesn't automatically stop you.
They did well live, but I thought the cocktail would prove a bit too much for the average viewer. It seems the average viewer is capable of more than I thought.
I got really nervous about Norway as they were in the last envelope. For a while, I thought they had failed and was prepared to cry bitter tears. Maria was brilliant and sang really well.
There is something about Isis Gee that is a bit scary: especially the teeth and the drop of sweat that came off her during the song. But she sang like a marvel and the song is truly worthy of a place in the final. Most probably the choice of the jury, though.
The stars of the night! Wonderful, brilliant, wacko, hysterical and very, very good. They can still win it!
A video went around Youtube of Friday night's rehearsal, where Sirusho sang quite flatly all the way through. Tonight she sounded a lot better, and danced with more gusto. But it feels like the director of the show is not her best friend - lousy camera work on this one.
What happened here? Finland in the final for the third year running? I don't understand a thing, but it is good for the domestic ratings. I am contented. But I hope Teräsbetoni won't do too well, for the sake of next year's national final.
Classy and good, but I had hoped for something more. Even more drama and prettier clothes. But still, surely a contender for Saturday night.
I don't think the stage show really worked. Frenetic, too many things happening, too much acting. I just get bored and distracted, but it was expected that people would like this.
Just like Armenia, the director seemed not to be too keen on this one and missed the big trick with the book. Wouldn't surprise me if it was tonight's winner, though. Better vocal performance than the Greek final suggested.
Now it is time to head for bed, more analysis to follow tomorrow...