||Israel - Ping Pong - Sa'me'akh (Hebrew)
Music/Lyrics: Guy Assif, Roy Arad, Ronen Ben Tal/Guy Assif, Roy Arad, Ronen Ben Tal
Getting the contest off to a somewhat quirky start were the four colourful Israelis. Armed with Israeli and Syrian flags, they waved them enthusiastically like drunk students at karaoke night.
| Linda Wagenmakers
||The Netherlands - Linda Wagenmakers - No Goodbyes (English)
Music/Lyrics: Ellert Driessen/John O’Hare
After a thoughtful start, Linda broke free from the large outer section of her dress and her song bursts into life to become a modern disco stomper.
| Nicki French
||United Kingdom - Nicki French - Don't Play That Song Again (English)
Music/Lyrics: John Springate, Gerry Shephard/John Springate, Gerry Shephard
Nicki already had a market for her brand of bright and breezy pop. UK fans were hopeful of a good placing, but unfortunately, the rest of Europe didn’t play ball. Perhaps with the more modern pop songs in the contest to vote for, it sounded slightly dated.
||Estonia - Ines - Once In A Lifetime (English)
Music/Lyrics: Pearu Paulus, Ilmar Laisaar, Alar Kotkas/Jana Hallas
Country music isn’t something usually associated with Estonia, and here is an example of why! Both song and performance are lacking the zip that seems to be lurking underneath, but is too shy to show itself.
| Sofia Mestari
||France - Sofia Mestari - On Aura Le Ciel (French)
Music/Lyrics: Pierre Legay/Benoit Heinrich
Sofia looked very nervous on stage, not that it mattered too much. It would have been hard to sell On Aura Le Ciel, it is too limp and unmemorable. Unusually, France held a final to choose it, something that hasn’t happened since.
||Romania - Taxi - The Moon (French)
Music/Lyrics: Lucian Cioargă, Adrain Bortun, George Pătrănoiu, Dan Teodorescu, Georgiana Pană/ Lucian Cioargă, Adrain Bortun, George Pătrănoiu, Dan Teodorescu, Georgiana Pană
Romania were relative newcomers to the contest and it seemed they were struggling to understand what was required to be successful. Taxi’s song is pleasant and credible, but no more than that, just like Romania’s other entries to date.
| Claudette Pace
||Malta - Claudette Pace - Desire (English)
Music/Lyrics: Philip Vela/ Gerard James Borg
Claudette brought a Calypso party to Stockholm! Most viewers will have enjoyed it while it lasted and then moved on.
||Norway - Charmed - My Heart Goes Boom (English)
Music/Lyrics: Morten Henroksen/Tore Madsen
The three ladies of Charmed were in perfect harmony as they smiled their way through their uplifting and infectious pop tune.
||Russia - Alsou - Solo (English)
Music/Lyrics: Andrew Lane, Brandon Barnes/Andrew Lane, Brandon Barnes
In the first contest of the 21st century, this would have been a great winner! Everything about it is youthful and fresh. Even finishing second, it ensured the contest continued to sound up to date.
| Nathalie Sorce
||Belgium - Nathalie Sorce - Envie De Vivre (French)
Music/Lyrics: Silvio Pezzuto/Silvio Pezzuto
It was the turn of Belgium to get less than they deserved. The bottom of the scoreboard was far from where Nathalie and her bright, memorable and joyous gospel number deserved to be. She probably would have been higher with the old style jury voting.
||Cyprus - Voice - Nomiza (Greek)
Music/Lyrics: Alexandros Panayi/Alexandros Panayi
Nomiza gets off to a sedate start, and then begins to rumble until it finally explodes to reveal its full potential. Presentation was starting to become more elaborate, and the Cypriots could be accused of over egging it.
| Einer Telma
||Iceland - Einer Augúst Víðisson and Telma - Tell Me (English)
Music/Lyrics: Oggi/Oggi, Sigurdur Orn Jonsson
The Icelandic duet can’t decide if it wants to be a rock or pop song. As a result, despite the sing along quality, it is a difficult song to get into.
| Serafín Zubiri 2000
||Spain - Serafín Zubiri - Colgado De Un Sueño (Spanish)
Music/Lyrics: Jose Maria Puron/Jose Maria Puron
Serafin’s second Eurovision effort is similar in the construction to his first. It is tuneful, nice to listen to and breezes along from start to finish.
| Olsen Brothers
||Denmark - Olsen Brothers - Fly On The Wings Of Love (English)
Music/Lyrics: Jorgen Olsen/Jorgen Olsen
There weren’t many people predicting a Danish win! However, the strength of the melody and effective staging - including the sudden burst of light when the song springs back into life after a brief pause - proved a winning formula, and a worthy one at that.
| Stefan Raab
||Germany - Stefan Raab - Wadde Hadde Dudde Da (German)
Music/Lyrics: Stefan Raab/Stefan Raab
Stefan wrote the song which gave Guildo Horn the freedom to give his memorable performance in 1998. This time, he stepped up to the mic himself to perform a more restrained, but still fun and frisky song. He mostly raps over a jazzy background. Interesting!
| Jane Bogaert
||Switzerland - Jane Bogaert - La Vita Cos'è? (Italian)
Music/Lyrics: Bernie Staub/Tomas Marin
With Italy out of the contest, this would have kept Italian music fans happy while they prayed for a return. It’s not quite got the additional’ something’ that real Italian songs have, but it’s still good enough to shine through.
| Goran Karan
||Croatia - Goran Karan - Kada Zaspu Andeli (Croatian)
Music/Lyrics: Zdenco Runjic/Nenad Nincevic
This is what Croatian writers do best. Kada Zaspu Andeli has charm, sincerity and sensitivity.
| Roger Pontare
||Sweden - Roger Pontare - When Spirits Are Calling My Name (English)
Music/Lyrics: Peter Dahl, Linda Jansson, Thomas Holmstrand/Peter Dahl, Linda Jansson, Thomas Holmstrand
Looking a fine figure in his traditional Native American costume, Roger stays true to his roots with his powerful and ethnically influenced song about a man’s attachment to his homeland.
||Macedonia - XXL - 100% Te Ljubam (Macedonian)
Music/Lyrics: Dragan Karanfilovski-Bojs/Orce Zafirovski, Davor Jordanovski
XXL were four young girls, and their slightly immature song seemed aimed at a similar age group.
| Nina Åström
||Finland - Nina Åström - A Little Bit (English)
Music/Lyrics: Luca Gente/Gerrit Aan’t Goor
The Finns have a habit of choosing the wrong song from their national final. In choosing Nina’s lifeless effort, they did it again. Even the old trick of including various European destinations in the lyrics was tried.
||Latvia - BrainStorm - My Star (English)
Music/Lyrics: Reynard Cowper/Reynard Cowper
Latvia almost had a dream debut. Renars Kaupers, Brainstorms lead singer, was an off-beat character on stage and sold the quirky pop song well.
| Pinar Ayhan
||Turkey - Pinar Ayhan & S.O.S. Band - Yorgunum Anla (Turksh)
Music/Lyrics: Suhan Ayhan/Pinar Ayhan, Orkun Yazgan
Showing a softer, more reflective side to Turkish music, Pinar presented a gentle Turkish folk song whose vocals are at their most intense during breaks in the music.
| Eamonn Toal
||Ireland - Eamonn Toal - Millennium Of Love (English)
Music/Lyrics: Raymand Smyth, Gerry Simpson/Raymand Smyth, Gerry Simpson
By the end of the week’s celebrations in Stockholm, everyone was very familiar with the Irish entry. Eamonn sang it everywhere he went. No-one asked him to, he did it anyway! Maybe he hoped that familiarity would breed love for his cliché-ridden dirge.
| The Rounder Girls
||Austria - The Rounder Girls - All To You (English)
Music/Lyrics: Dave Moskin/Dave Moskin
The very aptly named Rounder Girls were well co-ordinated in their choreography. Influences of Motown are to the fore, with more than a hint of soul added to the mix.