|Elitsa Todorova & Stoyan Yankulov
||Bulgaria - Elitsa Todorova & Stoyan Yankulov - Water (Bulgarian)
Music/Lyrics: Elitsa Todorova, Stoyan Yankulov/Elitsa Todorova
After a disappointing first two years competing in the contest, the Bulgarians came back very strongly to make it third time lucky reaching the final. Elitsa and Stoyans’s chant has a very strong, yet not intrusive production which holds the song together
||Israel - Teapacks - Push The Button (Hebrew/English/French)
Music/Lyrics: Kobi Oz/Kobi Oz
When one of the band members struts around the stage with a mock serious face and a pipe (the type used for smoking, not playing or connecting the plumbing!), you know life isn’t going to be taken too seriously. Teapacks faced criticism for the political nature of their lyrics, but the fun and comedy element of the song helped them get away with it.
||Cyprus - Evridiki - Comme Ci, Comme Ça (French)
Music/Lyrics: Dimitris Korgialas/Posidona Yiannopoulos
Taking advantage of the free language rule, the lyrics are entirely in French. Evridiki’s two previous efforts in the contest had been dramatic ethnic Greek songs. This is a Euro disco stomper!
| Dmitry Koldun
||Belarus - Dmitry Koldun - Work Your Magic (English)
Music/Lyrics: Phillip Kirkorov/Karen Kavaleryan
Images of James Bond abound as the intro starts. The rock ballad carries punch and is memorable, but the magicians set used in the staging was unnecessary.
| Eiríkur Hauksson
||Iceland - Eiríkur Hauksson - Valentine Lost (English)
Music/Lyrics: Eiríkur Hauksson/Peter Fenner
What went wrong? Did the over enthusiastic antics of his band put people off? Valentine Lost is a fantastic and powerful rock ballad. There are some good individual lines in the lyrics, but the phrases don’t fit together to form a coherent theme.
||Georgia - Sopho - My Story (English)
Music/Lyrics: Beqa Japaridzé/Bibi Kvachadze
Georgia’s debut sounds like an offering to the Gods set to a jolly beat. The pace ebbs and flows as the vocal flits between the peaceful and making sure the Gods heard the message.
| Stevan Faddy
||Montenegro - Stevan Faddy - Ajde Kroci (Montenegrin)
Music/Lyrics: Slaven Knezovic/Milan-Minjo Peric
Montenegro’s first solo effort as an independent state is quite lame. It’s rock in style but lacks anything to lift it above the other songs of that type in the contest.
| DJ BoBo
||Switzerland - DJ BoBo - Vampires Are Alive (English)
Music/Lyrics: Rene Baumann/Axel Breitung
This was an opportunity lost for Switzerland! Those in the know and the bookmakers were picking this to win but it didn’t even reach the final. The basics were in place; the music set the scene and the lyrics told the story. All that was needed was the right staging, and this is where it went wrong. The required flamboyance and costumes were missing, leaving a feeling similar to being stood up on a date.
| Natalia Barbu
||Moldova - Natalia Barbu - Fight (English)
Music/Lyrics: Alexandru Brasoveanu/Elena Buga
Natalia squeezed into the final by a very small margin. Her rock song was aggressive in nature and performance.
| Edsilia Rombley
||The Netherlands - Edsilia Rombley - On Top Of The World (English)
Music/Lyrics: Tjeerd Oosterhuis, Martin Gijzemijter/Tjeerd Oosterhuis, Martin Gijzemijter, Maarten Ten Hove
One of the fan favourites to qualify for the final, Edsilia followed up her fourth place in Birmingham in 1998 with another well performed, well written pop tune, which was given a soul feel by Edsilia’s voice. A place in the final should have been hers.
||Albania - Aida & Frederik Ndoci - Hear My Plea (Albanian)
Music/Lyrics: Ardian Hila/Pandi Laco
Frederik’s plea was nothing if not heartfelt. Albanian rhythms mixed with his emotional voice to serve up a passionate, although slightly overblown song.
||Denmark - DQ - Drama Queen (English)
Music/Lyrics: Peter Andersen, Simon Munk/Peter Andersen, Claus Christensen
DQ was a surprise winner of the Danish selection given that he only qualified for the Danish final after a ‘contest of the losers’ second chance round. Drama Queen is uplifting and very foot-tappable, but is of the style that no longer scores stacks of points.
| Dado Topic
||Croatia - Dragonfly feat. Dado Topic - Vjerujem U Ljubav (Croatian)
Music/Lyrics: Dado Topic/Dado Topic
Go into a smoke-filled cabaret club in Zagreb and chances are you will hear this type of jazz/blues song.
| The Jet Set
||Poland - The Jet Set - Time To Party (English)
Music/Lyrics: Mateusz Krezan/Kamil Varen, David Junior Serame
Time To Party is an odd mix of r’n’b and soul, slipping between the two styles very suddenly and unexpectedly. The r’n b vocal has the full of attitude delivery which turns off all but the teenagers.
| Marija Šerifović
||Serbia - Marija Šerifović - Molitva (Serbian)
Music/Lyrics: Vladimir Graic, Sasa Milosevic Mare/Vladimir Graic, Sasa Milosevic Mare
Looking like she was on her way to a business meeting, Marija won both the semi-final and the final easily. Molitva is the type of Balkan ballad that has been heard before but is never a chore to hear again and again and again………..
||Czech Republic - Kabát - Malá Dáma (Czech)
The Czech Republic got off to a rather inauspicious start result wise, but results can be deceiving. Malá Dáma is a quality rock song which the lead singer growls through.
||Portugal - Sabrina - Dança Comigo (vem Ser Feliz) (Portuguese)
Music/Lyrics: Emanuel, Tó Maria Vinhas/Emanuel, Tó Maria Vinhas
Relax, lie back in the sun with a cocktail, put on the headphones and listen to the calming Dança Comigo, and all in the world will be all right.
||Macedonia - Karolina - Mojot Svet (Macedonian)
Music/Lyrics: Grigor Koprov/Ognen Nedelkovski
Karolina put her heart and soul into her performance. In doing so, she added more weight to a song already heavy in quality. Her second Eurovision song, it’s full of power and drama.
| Guri Schanke
||Norway - Guri Schanke - Ven A Bailar Conmigo (Norwegian)
Music/Lyrics: Thomas G:Son/Thomas G:Son
Norway went for a cheeky ditty with a carnival atmosphere. It’s light and easy on the ear and did deserve a place in the final. However, it is similar in style to the Portuguese song, which had been heard just a few minutes previously, and this was possibly a factor
| Olivia Lewis
||Malta - Olivia Lewis - Vertigo (English)
Music/Lyrics: Philip Vella, Gerald James Borg/Philip Vella, Gerald James Borg
The lively beginning is maintained to create three minutes of continuous, flowing music which is a joy to listen to. Many expected Olivia to be in the final and she deserved to be, but she ended up a long way from it.
||Andorra - Anonymous - Salvem El Món (Catalan)
If Busted were Andorran, they would have been this band. Salvem El Món is schoolboy rock in that mould, but not as good.
| Magdi Rúzsa
||Hungary - Magdi Rúzsa - Unsubstantial Blues (English)
Music/Lyrics: Magdi Rúzsa/Imre Mozsik
Not many expected Magdi to reach the final, never mind qualify with such ease. It’s definitely Blues and it is good to see traditional styles of music can still mix it with the hip young things!
| Gerli Padar
||Estonia - Gerli Padar - Partners In Crime (English)
Music/Lyrics: Hendrik Sal-Saller, Berit Veiber/Hendrik Sal-Saller, Berit Veiber
The sister of 2001 winner, Tanal Padar, Gerli went for the family double with an, at times, intense pop song with a strong beat. She didn’t come close to achieving the highs of her brother, failing to escape the semi-final.
| The KMG's
||Belgium - The KMG's - Love Power (English)
Music/Lyrics: Paul Curtiz/Paul Curtiz, Wakas Ashiq
While Love Power is a credible effort musically with its soul/funk influences, what counts in a contest is how broad the appeal is. In this case, it would never have been broad enough. That said, it will age better than most.
| Alenka Gotar
||Slovenia - Alenka Gotar - Cvet Z Juga (Slovenia)
Music/Lyrics: Andrej Babic/Andrej Babic
Pop meets opera in a joyous mix that lifts the heart. It is a meeting that, on some levels at least, shouldn’t work, but somehow rarely goes wrong.
| Kenan Dogulu
||Turkey - Kenan Dogulu - Shake It Up Shekerim (English)
Music/Lyrics: Kenan Dogulu/Kenan Dogulu
How did this qualify for the final at all, never mind so easily? It may be contemporary and trendy, but it just sounds silly.
| Eric Papilaya
||Austria - Eric Papilaya - Get A Life - Get Alive (English)
Music/Lyrics: Greg Usek/Austin Howard
Many thought this would be Austria’s last entry, as national broadcaster, ORF, showed no interest to enter again. Something changed within the company, and Austria returned four years later in 2011. It has a positive message to a rock soundtrack.
||Latvia - Bonaparti.lv - Questa Notte (Italian)
Music/Lyrics: Kjells Jenstigs/Kjells Jenstigs
Looking very dapper (at least, their top halves did) the multi-national vocal group brought a bit of class to proceedings. Their semi operatic ballad built to a powerful crescendo to leave a lasting and clear impression.