||The Netherlands - Michelle - Out On My Own (English)
Music/Lyrics: André Remkes, Dirk Vermeij/André Remkes, Dirk Vermeij
Mournful strings mark the start of the opening song, although the theme - breaking free and living life as you want to - is a positive one. Mournful becomes determination by the end, although the subdued atmosphere remains.
||Iceland - TwoTricky - Angel (English)
Music/Lyrics: Einar Bardarson, Magnus Thor Sigmundsson/Einar Bardarson
The Icelandic duo changed the atmosphere with a chirpy little pop song. The lead singer was up for the challenge, giving a very enthusiastic performance.
||Bosnia & Herzegovina - Nino - Hano (Bosnian/English)
Music/Lyrics: Nino Prses/Nino Prses
Looking like Ali G in his orange clothes and sunglasses, it would have been easy to dismiss Nino immediately. However, those giving him a chance saw a serious young man deliver his message in a quiet song with a minimal, modern arrangement that never hints at a sudden burst of energy.
| Haldor Lægreid
||Norway - Haldor Lægreid - On My Own (English)
Music/Lyrics: Ole Henrik Antonsen, Tom Steinar Hansen/Ole Henrik Antonsen, Tom Steinar Hansen, Ole Jörgen Olser
Before the song really starts, viewers are treated to a shot of Haldor’s frilly shirt. What a shame! His song is a big musical style epic which should have been competing for victory.
| Tal Sondak
||Israel - Tal Sondak - Ein Davar (Hebrew)
Music/Lyrics: Yair Klinger/Shimrit Orr
After an excursion into the zany the previous year, Israel returned to the more familiar territory of ethnic, up-tempo sing along. However, it lacks the energy usually associated with this type of song.
||Russia - Mumiy Troll - Lady Alpine Blue (English)
Music/Lyrics: Ilia Lagoutenko/Ilia Lagoutenko
Something different can sometimes mean difficult to listen to. Not this time. Lead singer Ilya Lagutenko is strangely hypnotising after the harpsichord intro has drawn in the listener.
|Sweden - Friends - Listen To Your Heartbeat (English)
Music/Lyrics: Henrik Stensson, Thomas G:son/Henrik Stensson, Thomas G:son
Abba returns! The Swedes probably tire of all their Eurovision acts and songs being compared to the contests most famous and successful export. If so, they should stop sending songs like this. Although wonderful in its own right, it is very much in the free flowing Abba style. The band is even fronted by two ladies, one blonde and one, you guessed it, brunette.
||Lithuania - Skamp - You Got Style (English)
Music/Lyrics: Victor Diavara/Erica Jennings, Vilius Alesius, Victor Diavara
There is not much style here, unless you think the 1970’s were the height of fashion. With flares and odd colour combinations to the fore, Skamp confidently performed their funk based tune. There was even room for a little rap to add a modern touch.
||Latvia - Arnis Mednis - Too Much (English)
Music/Lyrics: Arnis Mednis/Gustavs Terzens, Arnis Mednis
With tongue firmly in cheek, Arnis sings about the perils of cheating on the bride-to-be. It’s an enjoyable three minutes of pop with a touch of rock thrown in to add a bit of weight.
||Croatia - Vanna - Strings Of My Heart (English)
Music/Lyrics: Tonci Huljic/Vjekoslava Huljic, Boytronic
Vanna had given birth just weeks earlier and was looking fabulous for it! Classical mixes with a contemporary pop beat very successfully.
||Portugal - MTM - Só Sei Ser Feliz Assim (Portuguese)
Music/Lyrics: Marco Quelhas/Marco Quelhas
Musically, this was another drop in standard for Portugal after their relegation from the 2000 contest, although the plea for racial harmony would have appealed to some. Credit should be given for sticking to their own language, even if the message may have been lost as a result.
||Ireland - Gary O'Shaughnessy - Without Your Love (English)
Music/Lyrics: Pat Sheridan/Pat Sheridan
Another Irish entry and another dreary ballad that passes by unnoticed in the background. Gary looked very smug for someone much more likely to finish last than first.
| David Civera
||Spain - David Civera - Dile Que La Quiero (Spanish)
Music/Lyrics: Alejandro Abad/Alejandro Abad
David’s song seemed destined to be heard in clubs all over the Costas with his commercial, summertime sound. There were ‘we’re all going on a summer holiday’ type smiles all round.
||France - Natasha Saint-Pier - Je N'ai Que Mon Ame (French/English)
Music/Lyrics: Jill Kapler/Jill Kapler
When the French get it right, they get it very right! Not many countries do emotional ballads as well as the French. In a first for a French entry, Natasha sang one of the choruses in English, a move that caused much controversy in France
||Turkey - Sedat Yüce - Sevgiliye Son (Turkish/English)
Music/Lyrics: Semih Guneri/Nurdan Guneri, Figen Cakmak
A very self assured (some might say overly so) looking Sedat even found time for a wink at the camera as he sang one of Turkey’s slower and calmer entries.
||United Kingdom - Lindsay D. - No Dream Impossible (English)
Music/Lyrics: Russ Ballard, Chris Winter/Russ Ballard, Chris Winter
No Dream Impossible wants to be a club anthem and almost succeeds. There is always a danger that songs written for clubs will lose something when performed live, and that happened here. There is some rapping in the middle which lost some of its impact due to a similar interjection during the Lithuanian song.
||Slovenia - Nusa Derenda - Energy (English)
Music/Lyrics: Matjaz Vlasic/Lucienne Lonchina
Another club anthem, but one that loses nothing in the live environment. A symphonic edge adds depth to the song.
||Poland - Piasek - 2 Long (English)
Music/Lyrics: Robert Cjojnacki/Piasek
The intro gives the impression that a swing number is on its way. However, once the vocals begin, there is more of a pop feel, but with bursts of brass to wake anyone tempted to doze off. And there would have been a few!
||Germany - Michelle - Wer Liebe Lebt (German/English)
Music/Lyrics: Gino Trovatello, Matthias Stingl/Eva Richter
This is what the Germans are known and (by some) loved for. It is an anthemic call for unity, certainly not the first time the Germans have sent a song with this theme.
|Tanel Padar, Dave Benton
||Estonia - Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL - Everybody (English)
Music/Lyrics: Ivar Must/Maian-Anna Kärmas
Not even the Estonians saw the win coming! They broke out of the slow ballad habit which had followed them through most of their entries to date. Instead, they sent a sing along with a hard edge sung by two guys with an on-stage chemistry.
||Malta - Fabrizio Faniello - Another Summer Night (English)
Music/Lyrics: Paul Abela/Georgina Abela
If viewers were already looking forward to their holiday after hearing the Spanish song, then Fabrizio would have raised the anticipation to a higher level with his even more summary, light tune.
||Greece - Antique - Die For You (Greek/English)
Music/Lyrics: Nikos Tersis/Antonis Pappas
Success was virtually guaranteed for the Greeks. The writer of the music, Nikos Tersis, managed to maintain a very Greek atmosphere while making Die For You quite cosmopolitan, contemporary, credible up-tempo pop song. The end result is very, very catchy.
|Rollo & King
||Denmark - Rollo & King - Never Ever Let You Go (English)
Music/Lyrics: Soren Poppe/Stefan Nielsen
With the rare use of the harmonica and the toe-tapping, easy to hum melody, it is easy to imagine every busker in Copenhagen singing it. Judging by the result, they would have made plenty of money.