For the first time in nearly thirty years, the contest was won by Germany. Famed for its anthemic ballads (usually with an ‘everyone should love everyone else’ type theme) and blatant europop, the song that finally brought success is a stylish, contemporary pop song that would have slotted neatly into the charts without looking out of place. The victory by one of the ‘Big 4’ also put an end to the theory that one of these countries would never win the contest again. It was thought that they were at a great disadvantage, as all of their competitors would already be familiar to the audience.
The process of selecting a song proved drawn out for Belarus and Ukraine. Five piece vocal group, 3+2, were selected by an internal jury to perform a song called Far Away, an up-tempo, rock based number. However, and not for the first time in the history of the former USSR member, the song that as originally selected would not be the one to go to the contest. National broadcaster, BTRC, allowed 3+2 to change the song. The more peaceful and anthemic Butterflies was chosen instead.
The situation in Ukraine was even more complicated. The first singer to be selected was Vasyl Lazarovich with the song, I Love You. However, broadcaster NTU decided that the internal selection process had been unfair and so organised a new final, this time open to a public vote. To say it was organised in a hurry would be an understatement. Writers had only 24 hours to enter a song and the chosen songs were shown on television over the following two nights. This final was won by Alyosha, with a song called Be Free. All was not over yet, as it transpired that Be Free had been on an album that had been released two years previously. Alyosha was allowed to remain as the Ukrainian representative, but with Sweet People. A credible and unlikely 10th place in the final must have made all the effort worthwhile.
Two moments to forget both involved the Russian song. Not many people saw Lost and Forgotten as having the remotest chance of reaching the final. As a result, there was enormous surprise when Russia was revealed as a finalist. What darkened the moment was the booing that emanated from parts of the audience where fans were sitting. Like sulky schoolgirls, they couldn’t let Peter Nalitch enjoy his moment as they indulged in some behaviour more suited to a pantomime. Not content with this, there was more booing, possibly by the same people, when Peter performed in the final itself.
There must have been red faces among the security staff after the Spanish performance. Somehow, a man who seemed to be trying to make a name for himself by interrupting major events, managed to evade security staff and join Daniel Diges and his team on the stage. Fortunately, he wasn’t there to cause harm, only to join in. To Daniels enormous credit, be continued as if nothing had happened, and most viewers probably didn’t realise anything was wrong. In the interests of fairness, Daniel was allowed to perform again after the last song had finished.
In 2009, the EBU had re-introduced the juries to the voting, to work alongside the public televote on a 50/50 basis. This had only been in the final, although a special jury had nominated a wildcard from each semi-final. In 2010, the national juries were present for the semi-finals as well as the final; their votes were combined with the public to produce the 1-8, 10 and 12 points scoring system.
Hungary, Andorra, Czech Republic and Montenegro all withdrew from the contest, while Georgia returned after choosing to sit out in 2009.
Niamh Kavanagh and Feminnem both made their second song contest appearance. Germany’s Lena enjoyed the experience so much (well, she did win, after all) that she asked to sing again in the 2011 contest.
Sunstroke Project & Olia Tira
Peter Nalitch & Friends
Lost And Forgotten
Ovo Je Balkan
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Thunder And Lightning
Me And My Guitar
It's All About You
Giorgos Alkaios & Friends
Há Dias Assim
Jas Ja Imam Silata
Je Ne Sais Quoi
|Country||Artist & Song||Points||Rank|
|1||Moldova||Sunstroke Project & Olia Tira - Runaway (English)|
Music/Lyrics: Anton Ragoza, Sergey Stepanov and Alina Galetskaya
The Moldovans kicked off the party with an energetic pop song. The style of the group harked back to the 1980’s, while the use of the saxophone added a quirky touch and succeeded in making Run Away more memorable.
|10||Belgium||Tom Dice - Me and my guitar (English)|
Music/Lyrics: Tom Dice (Tom Eeckhout), Ashley Hickin, Jeroen Swinnen
Things had been a bit hectic thus far, but Tom calmed everyone down with his semi-autobiographical ballad. Indeed, it was just Tom and his aforementioned guitar on the stage, and they were one of the favourites for victory.
|11||Malta||Thea Garrett - My Dream (English)|
Music/Lyrics: Jason Cassar & Sunny Aquilina
Thea’s at times sweeping ballad was a good enough song to qualify for the final. Unfortunately, someone somewhere had decided that a grey version of Sesame Street’s Big Bird should prance around the stage. It added absolutely nothing and looked daft.
|12||Albania||Juliana Pasha - It's All About You (English)|
Music/Lyrics: Ardit Gjebrea & Pirro Çako
It was good, honest, catch pop from Albania. Mercifully, the presentation was kept simple, focusing mainly on Juliana with an absence of an over elaborate dance routine.
|13||Greece||Giorgos Alkaios & Friends - OPA (ΟΠΑ) (Greek)|
Music/Lyrics: Giorgos Alkaios, Giannis Antoniou & Friends
The verse sounds like Giorgos is trying to creep up on someone and then surprise them with the load and often repeated ‘OPA’ refrain. The performance was as much, if not more about the backing dancers as Giorgos’ vocals. In the spirit of the song, their routine featured a lot of stamping.
|14||Portugal||Filipa Azevedo - Há dias assim (Portuguese)|
Music/Lyrics: Agusto Madureira
Portugal has entered many beautiful ballads, and this is certainly one of them. What it lacks in punch, it makes up for in simple grace.
|15||FYR Macedonia||Gjoko Taneski - Jas ja imam silata (Macedonian)|
Music/Lyrics: Kristijan Gabrovski & Darko Tasev
The Macedonians have always played it a bit safe with their choice of song. This has given them credible and likeable entries with no chance of winning (with the exception of 2004) or even being a favourite to reach the final. Jas Ja Imam Silata is very much of that ilk. Even the scantily clad dancers were not going to make a difference.
|16||Belarus||3+2 - Butterflies (English)|
Music/Lyrics: Maxim Fadeev & Malka Chaplin
An altogether more relaxed song than the one they originally won the Belarusian national final with. Equipping the ladies with butterfly wings, which were spread as the song started to climax, was a dreadful gimmick! But the song had done enough by then to win viewers over and so no damage was caused.
|17||Iceland||Hera Björk - Je ne sais quoi (English)|
Music/Lyrics: Örlygur Smári and Hera Björk Þórhallsdóttir
Hera’s euro anthem was a huge hit with the fans, and with very good reason. There are no concessions; it is an infectious, undemanding, fun and uplifting three minutes.
|2||Russia||Peter Nalitch & Friends - Lost And Forgotten (English)|
Music/Lyrics: Peter Nalitch
It would be fair to say that not many expected the Russian song to qualify. Judging by the rude reaction of certain members of the audience, both in the semi-final and the final, not many wanted it to. The unusual style of the song coupled with Peter’s unique voice make it an acquired taste, however, it has a substance often lacking when trying to make an instant impression.
|3||Estonia||Malcolm Lincoln and Manpower 4 - Siren (English)|
Music/Lyrics: Robin Juhkental
Malcolm Lincoln is a group, not just one person. Siren is another song that doesn’t instantly grip, the first impression being one of “uuh?” The zany dancing added to the wacky factor. All in all, it needed too many listens to become comfortable with for it to have had a chance of qualifying.
|4||Slovakia||Kristína Pelaková - Horehronie (Slovakian)|
Music/Lyrics: Martin Kavulič, Kamil Peteraj
This was the surprise non-qualifier of the first semi-final. The melody flows, the arrangement is beautiful and it stands out from the crowd in a very positive fashion. On reflection, the Slovaks may consider they overplayed the mother earth theme, but the song (which should count more than anything) is very strong.
|5||Finland||Kuunkuiskaajat - Työlki Ellää (Finnish)|
Music/Lyrics: Timo Kiiskinen
The colourful beginning to the contest continued with another song which could be seen as mould-breaking. It is a jolly, fiddle led affair that will get the toes tapping. The two Scandinavian blondes gave their all, but they never sounded a likely contender for the final.
|6||Latvia||Aija Andrejeva - What for? (Only Mr. God Knows Why) (English)|
Music/Lyrics: Jānis Lūsēns and Guntars Račs
After reading the title, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to hear Gospel influences in the song, although these are only present in the chorus. The verses are much slower, plodding affair. Better songs were left behind in the semi-final.
|7||Serbia||Milan Stankovic - Ovo je Balkan (Serbian)|
Music/Lyrics: Goran Bregovic & Marina Tucakovic
There was no lacking in enthusiasm on the part of Milan! The whole package sounded and looked fresh, but kept the Serbian spirit at the same time. It wasn’t an obvious candidate to reach the final, but Saturday night was better for Serbia’s presence
|8||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Vukašin Brajić - Thunder and Lightning (English)|
Music/Lyrics: Edin-Dino Šaran, Ulvija Tanović and Vukašin Brajić
While other nations gave us something that sounded or looked different in order to stand out (regardless of quality), Bosnia provided a standard rock song with a straightforward presentation.
|9||Poland||Marcin Mroziński - Legenda (Polish/English)|
Music/Lyrics: Marcin Nierubiec and Marcin Mroziński
The story of this Romany song was contained in the choreography. It was three minutes of high drama - including a death - which would have pleased some, but probably considered OTT by many others.