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.
Algo Pequeñito (Something Tiny)
My Heart Is Yours
Sunstroke Project & Olia Tira
Jon Lilygreen & The Islanders
Life Looks Better In Spring
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Thunder And Lightning
Me And My Guitar
Ovo Je Balkan
It's For You
Giorgos Alkaios & Friends
That Sounds Good To Me
We Could Be The Same
It's All About You
Je Ne Sais Quoi
Allez Olla Olé
Paula Seling & Ovi
Playing With Fire
Peter Nalitch & Friends
Lost And Forgotten
Há Dias Assim
Chanée & N'evergreen
In A Moment Like This
|#||Country||Artist & Song||Points||Rank|
|22||Germany||Lena Meyer-Landrut - Satellite (English)|
Music/Lyrics: Julie Frost & John Gordon
It had been a long time coming for the Germans, but after a wait of 28 years, they won again. They won not with a big ballad or trashy pop, but with a contemporary song with its own unique character. Lena’s American drawl should have been off-putting, but it somehow added to the appeal instead.
|14||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.
|19||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.
|25||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.
|1||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
|7||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.
|21||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.
|11||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.
|13||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||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.
|20||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.
|18||France||Jessy Matador - Allez, Ola, Ole (French)|
Music/Lyrics: Hugues Ducamin and Jacques Ballue
More traditionally associated with ballads, the French like to venture leftfield every now and again. They did so with this up-tempo, calypso effort which doubled as a World Cup theme song for a French television station during the 2010 tournament in South Africa.
|8||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
|24||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.
|2||Spain||Daniel Diges - Algo Pequeñito (Something Tiny) (Spanish)|
Music/Lyrics: Jesús Cañadilla, Luis Miguel de la Varga, Alberto Jodar, Daniel Diges
Daniel carried on gamely despite the intruder! Algo Pequeñito transports to the listener to the circus and the Big Top. The melody flows easily, but is it the right sort of song to be sung in Spanish in an international competition?
|15||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.
|6||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.
|23||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.
|16||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.
|3||Norway||Didrik Solli-Tangen - My Heart Is Yours (English)|
Music/Lyrics: Hanne Sørvaag & Fredrik Kempe
When the Norwegians picked this, no-one could have seen how few points this would score. It looked a certainty to enlarge the bank balance of anyone who had an each-way bet on it. All the ingredients were there for a top 5 finish; a classy ballad, a touching theme, the big finish and a very capable singer. For some reason, the viewers weren’t impressed.
|4||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.
|5||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.
|10||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!
|9||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.
|12||United Kingdom||Josh - That sounds good to me (English)|
Music/Lyrics: Pete Waterman, Mike Stock, Steve Crosby
After the success of 2009, the BBC had renewed trust and respect from the fans, who saw the broadcaster get really serious about finding the right combination of singer and song. They stuck with the same format of commissioning a writer but letting the public choose the singer. It wasn’t their fault that Pete Waterman’s assessment of how a song should conform was well wide of the mark and at least 10 years out of date.