||Cyprus - One - Gimme (English)
Music/Lyrics: Georgios Theophanous/Georgios Theophanous
One were a specially formed boy band fronted by 1996 singer, Constantinos. The song is high energy and typical boy band fare and the highly choreographed performance contains no surprises.
| Jessica Garlick
||United Kingdom - Jessica Garlick - Come Back (English)
Music/Lyrics: Martin Baylay/Martin Baylay
Proving that some reality show contestants are actually talented, Jessica (who came fourth in the first series of Pop Idol) gave a very polished and professional performance of a very tidy ballad. The finish in the top 5 (something which was becoming rare for the United Kingdom) was well merited.
||Austria - Manuel Ortega - Say the Word (English)
Music/Lyrics: Alexander Kahr/Robert Pfluger
With a chorus featuring only seven words repeated over and over again, it would be easy to become bored. Manuel’s engaging performance and the up-tempo, easy nature of the song do enough to maintain interest. Say the Word is one of Austria’s most likeable entries of the time.
| Michalis Rakintzis
||Greece - Michalis Rakintzis - S.A.G.A.P.O. (English)
Music/Lyrics: Michalis Rakintzis/Michalis Rakintzis
Think of a song which might have been left to one side by Gary Numan and you have S.A.G.A.P.O. Michalis’ electro tune is quite repetitive by the end. That said, its uniqueness stands out and there is enough to enjoy.
||Spain - Rosa - Europe's Living A Celebration (Spanish)
Music/Lyrics: T Ten, X Ten/T Ten, X Ten
Rosa was backed by her competitors form broadcaster TVE’s Operacion Trionfo selection series, and everyone was determined to party. Given a much needed spark from the original version, the party was very much started by this infectious, uplifting song.
| Vesna Pisarovic
||Croatia - Vesna Pisarovic - Everything I Want (English)
Music/Lyrics: Milana Vlaovic/Milana Vlaovic
Diminutive Vesna had plenty of vocal power and she belted out a very modern pop tune. It was a clear move away from the traditional Croatian sound which had been the hallmark of Croatian songs in the years before.
| Prime Minister
||Russia - Prime Minister - Northern Girl (English)
Music/Lyrics: Kim Breitburg/Karen Kavaleryan, Evgene Fridlyand, Irina Antonyan
Some referred to Prime Minister as a boy band. This was unfair. They were a cut above the usual standard of all male vocal groups. Northern Girl is also superior to the usual boy band pop fodder. It is crisp, melodic and catchy without being childish.
||Estonia - Sahléne - Runaway (English)
Music/Lyrics: P. Paulus, I. Laisaar, A. Kotkas/J. Hallas
With a dress that made any red-blooded male in the front row smile broadly, Swedish born Sahléne defended Estonia’s title as if she were a native. Runaway is an acoustic guitar led, up-tempo, jolly pop song worthy of a defending champion.
||Macedonia - Karolina - Od Nas Zavisi (Macedonian)
Music/Lyrics: N Pereviski-Pere/V. Kisteveski-FrancTzvika
The stage presentation was very striking, befitting of the dramatic elements of the song. These aspects, combined with the short, sharp nature of the melody, added up to a strong package.
| Sarit Hadad
||Israel - Sarit Hadad - Light A Candle (Hebrew/English)
Music/Lyrics: Tzvika Pik/Yoav Ginai
Having tried various alternatives for the previous few years, Israel returned to the more familiar territory of the anthemic peace ballad. This formula always seems to work, even if the scoreboard doesn’t always reflect this.
| Francine Jordi
||Switzerland - Francine Jordi - Dans Le Jardin De Mon Âme (French)
Music/Lyrics: Francine Lehmann/Francine Lehmann
While Francine’s ballad is gracious enough to pass three minutes with, it wouldn’t be unfair to say that it is predictable to the point where those hearing it for the first time could probably hum along.
||Sweden - Afro-dite - Never Let It Go (English)
Music/Lyrics: Marcos Ubeda/Marcos Ubeda
Swedish up-tempo entries are usually lots of fun. Afro-dite break that particular mould by quickly becoming irritating.
||Finland - Laura - Addicted To You (English)
Music/Lyrics: Maki Kolehmainen/Janina Frostell, Tracy Lipp
Maki Kolehmainen, the composer, was a member of one of Finland’s most popular bands, Aikakone. While Addicted To You is not in the style that made Aikakone so successful, it is still accessible, chirpy pop. Laura put a lot of gusto into her performance, but the costume designer let the side down.
||Denmark - Malene - Tell Me Who You Are (English)
Music/Lyrics: Michael Ronson/Michael Ronson
Malene is another graduate from the X-Factor style reality show. Her nervous face revealed her inexperience and affected her performance. That is a real shame; Tell Me Who You Are is a far above average pop song that begs for the volume to be increased.
||Bosnia & Herzegovina - Maja - Na Jastuku Za Dvoje (Bosnian)
Music/Lyrics: Dragan Mijatovic/Ruzica Cavic
Ably assisted by a couple of podium dancers, Maja was clearly ready for her big moment. She was as brassy as her backing track and the I Will Survive nature of the lyrics would have appealed to female listeners everywhere.
||Belgium - Sergio & the Ladies - Sister (English)
Music/Lyrics: Marc Paelinck/Dirk Paelinck
Every so often, a song has those that love it and those that hate it with very little in-between. Sister is one of those and could have been from the Blues Brothers. One thing everyone can agree on is Sergio’s performance. It was full on and certainly not lacking energy.
| Sandrine François
||France - Sandrine François - Il Faut Du Temps (French)
Music/Lyrics: Patrick Bruel, Rick Allison, Marie-Lorence Gros/Patrick Bruel, Rick Allison, Marie-Lorence Gros
The classiest of classy ballads just missed out in Copenhagen the year before, so the French tried the same formula again. In doing so, they raised the bar even higher in terms of quality, but sadly, the result wasn’t what it should have been, a trip to Paris in 2003.
| Corinna May
||Germany - Corinna May - I Can't Live Without Music (English)
Music/Lyrics: Ralph Seigel/Bernd Meinunger
With not a hint of embarrassment, there is more cheese here than a Swiss dairy! One for the fans only, it is more than a little dated.
| Buket Bengisu & Saphire
||Turkey - Buket Bengisu & Saphire - Leylaklar Soldu Kalbinde (Turkish)
Music/Lyrics: Fani Hodara/Ami Hodara, Figen Cakmak
Leylaklar Soldu Kalbinde is a return to Turkish entries of the 80’s and early 90’s. There is a folk atmosphere but also a lack of punch which comes with their more up-tempo entries.
| Ira Losco
||Malta - Ira Losco - 7th Wonder (English)
Music/Lyrics: Philip Vela/Gerard James Borg
With much better ballads to vote for, the 8th wonder is the amount of people who must have voted for Ira. There is too much twee and no grit or substance.
| Monica Anghel & Marcel Pavel
||Romania - Monica Anghel & Marcel Pavel - Tell Me Why (English)
Music/Lyrics: Ionel Tudor/Mirela Fugaru
Possibly the two best singers and the most powerful voices in the contest! Feelings of despair abound and Tell Me Why has what every good power ballad has, passion.
||Slovenia - Sestre - Samo Ljubezen (Slovenia)
Music/Lyrics: Robert Pesut, Barbara Pesut/Robert Pesut, Barbara Pesut
What were the Slovenians thinking when they choose this? Quite simply, one of the worst songs in the history of the contest!
| Marie N
||Latvia - Marie N - I Wanna (English)
Music/Lyrics: Marija Naumova/Marija Naumova, Marats Samauskis
Marie started a trend with her family friendly strip style choreography. It spawned imitations for years after. There is no doubt it helped her win. Her song had the necessary catchiness, but needed the boost Marie’s routine gave it to do so well.
||Lithuania - Aivaras - Happy You (English)
Music/Lyrics: Aivaras Stepukonis/ Aivaras Stepukonis
Maybe it was just his natural voice, but Aivaras sounded off-key the whole time. For a song called Happy You, there is an absence of joy, but it is quirky and has enough about it to be entertained by.