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 mor
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.
Eastern European Funk
Chanée & N'evergreen
In A Moment Like This
Michael von der Heide
Il Pleut de L'Or
This Is My Life
Ik Ben Verliefd (Sha-la-lie)
Paula Seling & Ovi
Playing With Fire
Ansambel Žlindra & Kalamari
It's For You
Angel Si Ti
Jon Lilygreen & The Islanders
Life Looks Better In Spring
Lako Je Sve
We Could Be The Same
|#||Country||Artist & Song||Points||Rank|
|1||Lithuania||InCulto - East European Funk (English)|
Music/Lyrics: Jurgis Didžiulis and InCulto
When Lithuania staged a performance as zany as this in another contest, it did pretty well, finishing 6th. InCulto were as eccentric as LTUnited had been in 2006 and many feared a similar result. Thankfully, common sense prevailed and they were absent from the final.
|10||Romania||Paul Seling & Ovi - Playing with fire (English)|
Music/Lyrics: Ovidiu Cernăuţeanu (Ovi)
Complete with a dual piano designed by Paula’s husband, she and Ovi brought everyone to their feet - to dance, not to leave the arena. Few though Playing With Fire would do so well, but the live performance brought an extra dynamism o the already memorable pop tune.
|11||Slovenia||Ansambel Roka Žlindre & jalamari - Narodnozabavni rock (Folk rock) (Slovenian)|
Music/Lyrics: Marino Legović and Leon Oblak
Surely the Slovenes could have picked a better song than this? There is nothing in this dull son to make the listener want to hear it again. It is the type of song that may have been found making up the numbers in a 1990’s Slovenia selection contest. Miracles don’t often happen, and this stayed firmly in the semi-final.
|12||Ireland||Niamh Kavanagh - It's for you (English)|
Music/Lyrics: Niall Mooney, Lina Eriksson, Jonas Gladnikoff, Marten Eriksson
Niamh returned to the contest 17 years after winning it with another ballad. This one is not as strong as her winning effort, In Your Eyes, but a former winner with the same type of song is hard to discount and Irish hopes were high. However, while a final berth was likely, outright victory was not!
|13||Bulgaria||Miroslav Kostadinov - Angel si ti (Bulgarian)|
Music/Lyrics: Miroslav Kostadinov
It appears that Angel Si Ti is trying to be both a pop song and a club anthem. Neither ambition is fulfilled, but it was worth the effort and nice to listen to.
|14||Cyprus||Jon Lilygreen & the Islanders - Life looks better in Spring (English)|
Music/Lyrics: Nasos Lambrianides, Melis Konstantinou
The specially formed group consisting mostly of Brits gave Cyprus its best entry for years! The acoustic rock ballad has a raw, emotional edge and mass appeal without being overly commercial.
|15||Croatia||Feminnem - Lako je sve (Croatian)|
Music/Lyrics: Branimir Mihaljević, Pamela Ramljak and Neda Parmać
Returning for a second time, on this occasion for their own country, Feminnem provided something that is a world away from their first effort. While that was throwaway pop, Lako Je Sve is beauty and grace personified. Why didn’t it reach the final?
|16||Georgia||Sofia Nizharadze - Shine (English)|
Music/Lyrics: Hanne Sorvaag, Harry Sommerdahl & Christian Leuzzi
Sofia’s ballad may sound a bit old fashioned, but it is almost an epic in the way it builds for the chorus. Rightly in the final, it was one of the classiest songs of the whole contest.
|17||Turkey||MaNga - We Could Be the Same (English)|
Music/Lyrics: Ferman Akgül
Rock and classical are not two genres that would always gel, but not only do MaNga manage to achieve this, they do it magnificently. The complete sound is a joy to hear and leaves the listener breathless by the end.
|2||Armenia||Eva Rivas - Apricot Stone (English)|
Music/Lyrics: Armen Martirosyan & Karen Kavaleryan
The apricot has great cultural significance to the Romanian people, but there is always a risk that something so specific to one nation will not cross borders. However, even the huge model of an apricot stone on stage didn’t stop Eve’s mid-tempo, soul/funk tune doing better than many expected.
|3||Israel||Harel Skaat - Millim (Hebrew)|
Music/Lyrics: Tomer Hadadi and Noam Horev.
The sweeping piano intro is certainly an attention grabber! The rest of the song keeps the promise of the opening few bars and this led to it being one of the bookies favourites.
|4||Denmark||Chanée & N'evergreen - In A Moment Like This (English)|
Music/Lyrics: Thomas G:son, Henrik Sethsson & Erik Bernholm
The Danes rock anthem was one of the dark horses for victory and scored the first 12 of the final. However enough big scores didn’t materialise as the voting continued. N’evergreen expressed annoyance towards the Russians for giving him only 1 point. He felt he could rely on a higher score as he was already well known there.
|5||Switzerland||Michael von der Heide - Il Pleut de L'Or (French)|
Music/Lyrics: Michael von der Heide, Pele Loriano, Heike Kospach, André Grüter
The nation that where the history of the contest began often goes under the radar. Il Pleut de L'Or is a case in point; it is a wonderful, flowing piece of music with an effective arrangement which deserved so much better from the scoreboard.
|6||Sweden||Anna Bergendahl - This Is My Life (English)|
Music/Lyrics: Kristian Lagerström & Bobby Ljunggren
Famed for its happy-go-lucky schalger songs, Sweden sometimes manages to surprise by sending a ballad like this one. It builds when it needs to and has a lyric that everyone can relate to. It was a worthwhile change of direction from the Swedes.
|7||Azerbaijan||Safura Alizadeh - Drip Drop (English)|
Music/Lyrics: Anders Bagge, Stefan Örn, Sandra Bjurmann
When Drip Drop was revealed as the Azeri entry, it was quickly installed as one of the favourites. It’s a ballad that required a strong vocal performance to make it work and Safura
|8||Ukraine||Alyosha - Sweet People (English)|
Music/Lyrics: Olena Kucher, Borys Kukoba & Vadim Lisitsa
Having finally settled on this song as the one to go with, progressing to the final was necessary to avoid complete ridicule! It looked improbable that the messy and utterly pretentious rock song would achieve that. Somehow, the odds were defied and Alyosha even managed a respectable placing in the final.
|9||The Netherlands||Sieneke - Ik Ben Verliefd (Sha-la-lie) (Dutch)|
Music/Lyrics: Pierre Kartner
Some will call the Dutch song twee and trite. That may be true, but only if you take it too seriously. Take it in the spirit in which it is intended, and it is jolly, fun and provides some much needed escapism.