No One can stop Maja!

Maja Keuc ©  EuroVisionary

Maja Keuc demonstrated her powerful vocals performing No One at the 2nd rehearsal for Slovenia.  Maja's show was also complemented by her backing vocalists making an all round great show.

Day 4 - Press Conferences

Jedward ©

Today saw the remaining ten delegations on the second semi-final have the opportunity to rehearse, as well as holding the obligatory press conference.

No One to Stand In Maja's Way to the Final

Maja Keuc (c)

Maja Keuc is perhaps the voice of today's rehearsals and anticipation surrounding her performance was huge. Needless to say, she did not disappoint turning in one stellar performance after the other leaving fans and press alike enraptured in the hall.

2010 - 2nd Semi-Final

2010 Logo ©  EBU
Basic information
27 May 2010
Contest type: 
Semi-Final 2
Telenor Arena, Oslo, Norway
Erik Solbakken, Haddy Jatou N'jie & Nadia Hasnaoui
Other shows this year: 
About the contest: 

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.

Video: EuroVisionary talks to Maja Keuc

Maja Keuc talks to EuroVisionary ©  EuroVisionary

At the Eurovision Song Contest next month Maja Keuc will represent Slovenia with the song No One. Who no one actually is you can hear the answer to in this video interview where she also tell us a bit about the plans for her performance in Düsseldorf.  

2009 - 2nd Semi-Final

2009 Logo ©  EBU
Basic information
14 May 2009
Contest type: 
Grand Final
Olimpiysky Arena, Moscow, Russia
Natalya Vodyanova & Andrey Malakhov
Other shows this year: 
About the contest: 

For the first time in 11 years, juries would play a significant part in the voting process. Since 1998, the system of using anonymous juries was replaced by phone and SMS voting from the public in an effort to return to the days when a Eurovision winner had greater credence and topped the charts all over Europe. While this had worked to some extent, concerns were rapidly growing about the apparent surge in neighbourly voting patterns. While these arguments could reasonably be dismissed by a logical look at the facts, the EBU felt they had to do something. Their idea was to reintroduce juries to vote alongside the public phone vote. Instead of the juries being occupied by members of the public, industry professionals were given the job as it was believed they would be more likely to vote on musical merit. This proved to be the case and their votes altered significantly the way the scoreboard would have otherwise looked.

Since the advent of the semi-finals in 2004, the ‘Big 4’ countries of France, Germany, Spain and United Kingdom had automatically been given a place in the final due to the size of their financial contribution to the EBU. This left them open to accusations of not caring too much about the quality of song they selected. However, in 2009, no-one could accuse them of not taking the contest seriously. The French choose the world famous Patricia Kaas to represent them. The BBC persuaded Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber to write the United Kingdom song, while the Spanish went through a lengthy selection process to find their entry. Germany came up with a vibrant swing number and added a touch of glamour to the presentation in the form of burlesque star, Dita von Teese.

Hungary had difficulty selecting its entry. The first song chosen, It's Time to Party sung by Mark Zentai, was later discovered to have been recorded by, of all people, the residents of the Swedish Big Brother house. The second song, Magányos Csónak had no such problems, but the singer, Katya Tompos, had prior engagements and the whole act was withdrawn. It was a case of third time lucky when singer Adok Zoltan was free to go to Moscow with the previously unrecorded and unpublished Dance With Me, which failed to qualify for the final. After all that effort, too!

As usual, a wide range of musical genres was on show in the contest. Viewers were treated to everything from an Elvis impersonator, through to epic ballads, pop/opera, ethnic and rock songs. Norway’s Fairytale is almost beyond pigeon-holing but is probably closest to a folk style. The huge involvement of strings, mostly from Alexander Rybak’s own fiddle, sets it apart. It appealed to public and pros alike, and swept aside the opposition, leaving everyone else in its wake on the way to a record points tally. A third Norwegian victory was never, ever in doubt!

Georgia had demonstrated some reluctance to participate in the 2009 contest, held as it was in Russia, not exactly the favourite country of your average resident of Tblisi! However, the EBU persuaded the Georgian broadcaster to enter a song. The trouble started when the song was chosen. It was called We Don't Wanna Put In and was due to be performed by Stephanie & 3G. The lyrics were deemed too political and provocative by the EBU. Part of the chorus says, “We don’t wanna put in”, which was considered a sly way of saying “We don’t wanna Putin”, who was Russian Prime Minister at the time. The EBU ordered that either the lyrics be changed or a new song selected. The Georgians went for their own option of withdrawing completely.

The scores were allocated in the famous way of 1-8, then 10 and 12. Naturally, all the countries participating in the semi-finals voted in the semi-final they were involved in. Additionally, Germany and United Kingdom voted in the first semi-final, while France, Spain and hosts Russia voted in the second semi-final.  In an interesting twist, the country ranked highest with the back-up jury that hadn’t already qualified for the final via the phone vote was given a wildcard slot. This meant Finland (12th) taking the place of Macedonia (10th) from the first semi-final, and Croatia (13th) qualifying at the expense of Serbia (10th) from the second semi-final.

Sweden’s Malena Ernman left Moscow briefly to return to Sweden for an engagement that had been arranged prior to her winning the Swedish Melodifestivalen. This is not something that happens often during final preparations for the contest and not everyone was happy that she did it. Her response was “I couldn’t be sure I was going to be in Moscow at this time and I have a family to look after.” Fair enough.
About the songs: 
Igor Cukrov feat. AndreaIgor Cukrov feat. Andrea Croatia - Igor Cukrov feat. Andrea - Lijepa Tena (Croatian)

Music/Lyrics: Tonči Huljič/Vjekoslava Huljič

Although scoring almost half the number of Points Serbia scored in finishing 10th, Croatia made the final courtesy of the jury wildcard vote. It is easy to see why those in the business (who seem to use different criteria to the rest of us) would choose it. Lijepa Tena is a gentle ballad with a Balkan style arrangement. 

 Sinéad MulveySinéad Mulvey Ireland - Sinéad Mulvey & Black Daisy - Et Cetera (English)

Music/Lyrics: Niall Mooney, Jonas Gladniokoff, Daniele Moretti, Christina Schilling/Niall Mooney, Jonas Gladniokoff, Daniele Moretti, Christina Schilling

Al girl rock was a new direction for the Irish and it was a worthy effort. Et Cetera lacks the ability to make a big enough impression immediately, despite its sing-along quality. 

 Intars BusulisIntars Busulis Latvia - Intars Busulis - Probka (Russian)

Karlis Lacis/Janis Elsbergs, Sergej Timofejev

The Latvians also went down the rock route and gave us a song which never a hope of reaching the top 10. Last place was justified for a song that lacks direction at times. This is the only year to date that Russian has been used in a Latvian entry and Moscow was the host city. Definitely not a coincidence! 

 Marko Kon & MilaanMarko Kon & Milaan Serbia - Marko Kon & Milaan - Cipela (Serbian)

Music/Lyrics: Marko Kon, Milaan Nikolic, Aleksander Kobac/Marko Kon, Aleksander Kobac

Although Marko finished 10th, the jury ensured his participation in the contest went no further. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall when he found that out! His novelty song has plenty of humour - apparently. Sung in Serbian meant the rest of us didn’t get the joke and could only be entertained by the show he and his friends put on. 

 Lidia KopaniaLidia Kopania Poland - Lidia Kopania - I Don't Wanna Leave (English)

Music/Lyrics: Alex Geringas, Bernd Klimpel, Rike Boomgaarden, Dee Adam/Alex Geringas, Bernd Klimpel, Rike Boomgaarden, Dee Adam

Lidia’s song is not far removed from Iceland’s entry. That won the first semi-final and finished second in the final and this was outside the top 10 and so didn’t make the final. Strange how life goes! I Don't Wanna Leave is a decent ballad that builds when it is supposed to. 

 Alexander RybakAlexander Rybak Norway - Alexander Rybak - Fairytale (English)

Music/Lyrics: Alexander Rybak/Alexander Rybak

Alexander was the hottest favourite for many years and he never looked as if he would finish outside the top 1! A very lively string introduction paved the way for the optimism that would follow. It appealed to both public and juries, and, in thjne final at least, was in the lead from start to finish.

 Christina MetaxaChristina Metaxa Cyprus - Christina Metaxa - Firefly (English)

Music/Lyrics: Nikolas Metaxa/Nikolas Metaxa

Christina’s brother wrote the song and claimed it is about her. The metaphor is a good one, using the behaviour and characteristics of the firefly to describe an individual’s personality. That is the only good thing about this dull balad.

 Kamil Mikulčík & Nela PociskováKamil Mikulčík & Nela Pocisková Slovakia - Kamil Mikulčík & Nela Pocisková - Leť Tmou (Slovak)

Music/Lyrics: Ratislav Dubovsky/Anna Zigová, Petronela Kolevská

At first, this song is just an ordinary love duet. Listen more carefully and a few more times, and you will discover a very interesting and intelligent vocal arrangement to make Leť Tmou more than just a normal love song between man and woman. It sounded much better on the night than previews suggested it would. One of the strongest songs of the night, it deserved better than 18th.

 BrinckBrinck Denmark - Brinck - Believe Again (English)

Music/Lyrics: Lars Halvor Jensen, Martin Michael Larsson, Ronan Keating/Lars Halvor Jensen, Martin Michael Larsson, Ronan Keating

How fitting that Brinck sounded like Ronan Keating as Ronan is one of the writers. Imagine the list of winners; 2008 - Believe, 2009 - Believe Again. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen, although the rock influenced ballad could have been close.

 Quartissimo feat. MartinaQuartissimo feat. Martina Slovenia - Quartissimo feat. Martina - Love Symphony (English)

Music/Lyrics: Andrej Babic/Andre Babic

Being drawn in a different semi-final to Sweden was crucial to the chances of both countries as the songs would have appealed to the same demographic and the vote would therefore have been split between them. In the event, Slovenia’s symphonic, less wordy classical piece failed with ease to make the final anyway. The four chaps of Quartissimo played to the camera as well as their instruments as they swaggered around the stage. Martina added the vocals and a bit of glamour.

 Zoli ÁdokZoli Ádok Hungary - Zoli Ádok - Dance With Me (English)

Music/Lyrics: Szabó Zé/Kasai

This was the third song that Hungarian broadcaster MTV put forward and it is probably the best of those choices. It is an up-tempo pop song whose downfall was maybe due to a very similar style singer and song taking to the stage two songs later. The performance was vibrant and colourful, and, looking back, it’s hard to see why it didn’t qualify for the final.

 AySel & ArashAySel & Arash Azerbaijan - AySel & Arash - Always (English)

Music/Lyrics: Arash Labaf, Robert Uhlmann, Johan Bejerholm, Marcus Englöf, Alex Papaconstantinou/Arash Labaf, Robert Uhlmann, Elin Wrethov, Anderz Wresthov

As soon as this song was selected as the Azeri entry, it was seen as a contender. The presentation was kept relatively simple, allowing the strength of the song and the vocals to be at the forefront. It worked very well indeed.

 Sakis Rouvas 2009Sakis Rouvas 2009 Greece - Sakis Rouvas - This Is Our Night (English)

Music/Lyrics: Dimitris Kontopoulos/Graig Porteils, Cameron Giles-Webb

There is no doubt that Sakis is an extremely talented singer with more than his fair share of charisma. All of this is lost with the grotesque over presentation! The choreographer produced what is the epitome of the worst aspect of modern day Eurovision. Even though the semi-finals proved a small hurdle to overcome, This Is Our Night would have finished much higher than it deserved in the final had it not been for the industry dominated juries seeing through the style over substance.

 Sasha SonSasha Son Lithuania - Sasha Son - Love (English/Russian)

Music/Lyrics: Dimitrij Savrov/Dimitrij Savrov

Just about the only thing wrong with this was the brief use of Russian in an attempt to impress the hosts; it was only heard in the contest and doesn’t feature on the studio version. Other than that, Love is a highly appealing, piano-based ballad that has the force to reach into the heart.

 Nelly CiobanuNelly Ciobanu Moldova - Nelly Ciobanu - Hora Din Moldova (Moldovan)

Music/Lyrics: Veaceslav Danuliuc/Nelly Ciobanu

Of all the songs which qualified from the second semi-final, this was probably the most unpredictable. It’s a joyful journey into the Moldovan national sound, but seemed to introspective for mass appeal. 

 Kejsi TolaKejsi Tola Albania - Kejsi Tola - Carry Me In Your Dreams (English)

Music/Lyrics: Edmond Zhulali/Agim Doci

Albania is usually one of the first countries to choose its song, selecting it through a long established festival about six months before the contest. This year, the time was used wisely to transform an ordinary pop song into an infectious piece of power pop which isn’t easily forgotten. Unfortunately, the dancer in the green all-in-one body suit isn’t easily forgotten either. 

 Svetlana LobodaSvetlana Loboda Ukraine - Svetlana Loboda - Be my Valentine! (Anti-Crisis Girl) (English)

Music/Lyrics: Svetlana Loboda/Yevgeny Matyushenko

Svetlana risked her financial stability to pay for the set she brought with her to Moscow, so perhaps she deserved a place in the final. On purely musical merit, she can count herself fortunate to have made the final with her rock song tinged with Ukrainian influences. The lyrics leave little to the imagination, even if any level of quality is sacrificed in favour of quantity of rhymes.  

 Urban SymphonyUrban Symphony Estonia - Urban Symphony - Rändajad (Estonian)

Music/Lyrics: Sven Löhmus/Sven Löhmu

The Estonians made it through to the final for the first time since the semi-finals were introduced, and deservingly so. Rändajad is a folk inspired song with a clear vocal which floats with ease throughout the song. 

 The ToppersThe Toppers The Netherlands - The Toppers - Shine (English)

Music/Lyrics: Gordon Heuckeroth/Gordon Heuckeroth

The Toppers had a change of personnel after broadcaster NOS had chosen them to represent their country. Gerard Joling, who represented his homeland in the 1988 contest, left and was replaced so they could remain a trio. It is the kind of high-tempo, high camp that only appeals to a certain section of the contest’s fan base, who were surprised when they didn’t qualify for the final. The rest saw it coming a mile away. 

2011sl Maja Keuc - Noone

See video

Maja Keuc represented Slovenia at the Eurovision Song Contest with her song Noone. Maja qualified to the final where she finished 13th.

Maja Keuc Gets the Slovenian Ticket to Düsseldorf

Maja Keuc © RTVSLO

Tonight, Slovenia decided its representative in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest through the highly anticipated selection show EMA. Ten contestants, internally selected by the Slovenian national broadcaster RTVSLO, were battling for that honour. The winner was Maja Keuc with the song, Vanilija, chosen by televoting.

2008 - 1st Semi-Final

2008 Logo ©  EBU
Basic information
20 May 2008
Belgrade Arena, Belgrade, Serbia
Jovana Janković & Željko Joksimović
Other shows this year: 
About the contest: 

Had the results of the semi-final voting been released before the final, then few would have predicted Dima Bilan’s victory. Finishing third was not a positive sign, but Dima managed to defy the odds to win the contest at his second attempt. How much the presentation of the song help is a matter for debate. In his first appearance in the contest, a dancer emerged from the piano on stage. This time, he used the talents of international ice-skater, Evgeni Plushenko, in his performance. Those interested in statistics would have noted with interest that Russia’s victory was the eighth time in a row that a country had won for the first time.

Due to the number of countries now taking part in the contest, holding one semi-final was no longer viable. To avoid the all nighter that would have been one semi-final, the EBU decided that there should be two. Press and delegates attending the contest now faced a marathon. In the days before there were semi-finals, rehearsals and preparations lasted one week. Now, with three shows to prepare for, a full two weeks was required to be ready.

The 2008 contest was the year of the novelty song. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, , Ireland, Latvia and Spain all entered songs that were meant for entertainment rather than musical integrity, while some would argue that the Azeri and French songs were in that direction. Bosnia singer, Laka, had a performance that included his sister hanging out the washing and backing singers knitting. The Estonians had three dirty old men dancing in a manner worse than your uncle at a wedding, singing lyrics that made no sense, even to those who spoke any of the three languages used in the song. Ireland was represented by a turkey that was a big star in Irish TV begging Europe to vote for him. Latvia sent a gang of pirates and the Spanish elected a specially created character with his own dance to represent them.

Romanian singers, Nico and Vlad, won their national final, but not the hearts and good wishes of a lot of the public and press. Accusations of plagiarism abounded and there were also claims that Pe-o Margine De Lume had a public performance before the date permitted by the rules laid down by the EBU. Neither accusation could be proved and so no change was necessary or was made by national broadcaster, TVR. 

Austria kept its promise of withdrawing from the contest, but debuts by Azerbaijan and San Marino boosted the number of countries to a new record 43.

In addition to Dima Bilan, Sweden’s Charlotte Perrilli, a former winner herself, was singing her second Eurovision entry.

In each semi-final, only the countries participating in that semi-final were allowed to vote. The five countries already in the final (the Big 4 plus hosts Serbia) were each allowed to vote in one of the semi-finals. The points system remained as it had been for over 30 years, 1-8, then 10 and 12 to the ten most popular songs in each country.

About the songs: 
Stefan FilipovićStefan Filipović Montenegro - Stefan Filipović - Zauvijek Volim Te (Montenegrin)

Music/Lyrics: Grigor Koprov/Ognen Nedelkovski

Zauvijek Volim Te has all the characteristics of Montenegro’s entry from 2007. That didn’t escape the semi-final either.

 BoazBoaz Israel - Boaz - The Fire In Your Eyes (Hebrew/English)

Music/Lyrics: Dana International/Dana International, Shai Kerem

The distinctive sound of Hebrew may lead to feelings of déjà-vu, but that should not take anything away from Boaz’s very strong vocal and strong, anthemic ballad.

 KreisiraadioKreisiraadio Estonia - Kreisiraadio - Leto Svet (Serbian, Estonian, German)

Music/Lyrics: Priit Pajusaar, Glen Pilvre, Peeter Oja, Hannes Võrno, Tarmo Leinatamm/ Priit Pajusaar, Glen Pilvre, Peeter Oja, Hannes Võrno, Tarmo Leinatamm

The multi language song included lyrics in the language of the host nation. Three dodgy looking characters (including one straight out of a Harry Enfield ‘Scousers’ sketch) tried and failed to produce comedy. They just looked ridiculous as they marched around the stage. Even the introduction of ladies bearing little more than the flags they were holding couldn’t improve the appeal of this sub reggae number.

 Geta BurlacuGeta Burlacu Moldova - Geta Burlacu - A Century Of Love (English)

Music/Lyrics: Oleg Baraliuc/Viorica Demici

Laid back jazz was the order of the day for Moldova. Perhaps for moral support, perhaps to add a bit extra to the romantic style, Geta was joined on stage by her boyfriend. 

 MiodioMiodio San Marino - Miodio - Complice (Italian)

Music/Lyrics: Francesco Sancisi/Nicola della Valle

It must have been tempting for the San Marinese to play safe and opt for an Italian style big ballad. Perhaps wanting to have their own identity, they sent a fine rock ballad.

 IshtarIshtar Belgium - Ishtar - O Julissi

Music/Lyrics: Michel Vangheluwe/Michel Vangheluwe

For the second time, Belgium’s was in a made up language. It’s a cheerful little ditty which could have been sung by a medieval minstrel in the court of a king.

 Elnur & SamirElnur & Samir Azerbaijan - Elnur & Samir - Day After Day (English)

Music/Lyrics: Govher Hasanzadeh/Zahra Badalbeyli

Azerbaijan debuted with something out of the Rocky Horror Show. There is more drama and over the top acting than a Christmas episode of Eastenders, and more shouting too. 

 Rebeka DremeljRebeka Dremelj Slovenia - Rebeka Dremelj - Vrag Naj Vzame (Slovenian)

Music/Lyrics: Josip Miani-Pipi/Amon

If ever presentation could be blamed for a song failing, this is it! Rebeka’s hugely enjoyable, up-tempo pop song was ruined by the bondage style stage show. A run-of-the-mill presentation would have seen Slovenia in the final. Finishing only one place out of the qualifying places, the phrase ‘if only’ comes to mind.

 MariaMaria Norway - Maria - Hold On Be Strong (English)

Music/Lyrics: Mira Craig/Mira Craig

Maria was one of the favourites, but after nine of the qualifiers had been announced ‘at random’ at the end of the semi-final, there was no sign of Norway. Cheers all round then, when the last computerised envelope said Norway, and Maria’s ballad about waiting for ‘the one’ rightly made it to the final.

 Isis GeeIsis Gee Poland - Isis Gee - For Life (English)

Music/Lyrics: Isis Gee/Isis Gee

Isis was striking to look at, although not necessarily for the right reasons! Her performance of a gentle ballad was competent, although a little automatic. Poland making it into the final was, strangely, both surprising and not unexpected. 

 Dustin the TurkeyDustin the Turkey Ireland - Dustin the Turkey - Irelande Douze Pointes (English)

Music/Lyrics: Darren Smith, Simon Fine, Dustin The Turkey/Darren Smith, Simon Fine, Dustin The Turkey

Could the nation that gave us Johnny Logan, Linda Martin and Niamh Kavanagh really have sunk this low? Dustin was a very popular character on Irish TV, but the joke was never going to translate well as he gave reasons why everyone should vote for Ireland (“We’re sorry for Riverdance”). Funny if you are a native speaker, but childish to a foreigner. 

 GiselaGisela Andorra - Gisela - Casanova (English)

Music/Lyrics: Jordi Cubino/Jordi Cubino

A first appearance in the final for Andorra seemed unlikely, especially given the daft wasp antennae type headwear Gisela was sporting. As a song in its own right, it’s likeable; however, it has nothing about it to make it the favourite of enough people to give it sufficient points. 


Bosnia and Herzigovina - Laka - Pokušaj (Bosnian)

Music/Lyrics: Elvir Lakovic Laka/Elvir Lakovic Laka

Oh to be a fly on the wall in the Laka household while he was growing up! He was joined on stage by his equally mad sister, who hung out the washing while he sang. The song goes where it wants to and is an acquired taste.   

 SirushoSirusho Armenia - Sirusho - Qele, Qele (Armenian)

Music/Lyrics: H A der -Hovagimian/Sirusho

Despite a ropey performance in the semi-final, Sirusho, one of the big favourites going into the contest, made it into the final easily. The vocals in the final were much better and her very strong, up-tempo pop song deserved to do well.

 HindHind The Netherlands - Hind - Your Heart Belongs To Me (English)

Music/Lyrics: Hind Laroussi Tahiri, Tjeerd van Zanen & Bas van den Heuvel/Hind Laroussi Tahiri, Tjeerd van Zanen

Finally, it looked as if one of the contests longest serving participants might reach the final. It was one of the strongest songs in what was considered to be the weaker of the semi-finals. It didn’t quite happen for Hind and her African tinged, lively effort.

 TeräsbetoniTeräsbetoni Finland - Teräsbetoni - Missä Miehet Ratsastaa (Finnish)

Music/Lyrics: J. Ahola/J. Ahola

Perhaps not wanting to fix something that wasn’t broken, the Finns stuck to the rock formula that had proved successful for them two years previously. It was good, but maybe a bit laboured to have mass appeal.  

 Nico & VladNico & Vlad Romania - Nico & Vlad - Pe-o Margine De Lume (Romanian)

Music/Lyrics: Andrei Tudor/Andreea Andrei, Adina Şuteu

Having survived the plagiarism controversy when they won the Romanian final, Nico and Vlad took to the Belgrade stage with a rather dreary, lifeless and, at times, untidy ballad.

 Dima Bilan 2008Dima Bilan Russia - Dima Bilan - Believe (English)

Music/Lyrics: Dima Bilan, Jim Beanz/Dima Bilan, Jim Beanz

Dima’s second entry was favourite with the bookies almost from the start. Like his first effort, Believe is very contemporary pop’ like his first effort, the presentation was much too gimmicky!  

 KalomiraKalomira Greece - Kalomira - Secret Combination (English)

Music/Lyrics: Konstantinos Pantzis/Poseidon Yannopoulos

The modern Greek pop sound was starting to become predictable as it was very much the style of most Greek entries at that time. Kalomira’s version is no more than acceptable. 

2007 Final

2007 Logo ©  EBU
Basic information
12 May 2007
Contest type: 
Grand Final
Hartwall Arena - Helsinki, Finland
Jaana Pelkonen & Mikko Leppilampi
Other shows this year: 
About the contest: 

Serbia had only been an independent country for less than a year when it won the contest. Opinion is divided as to whether it is the first Serbian entry or not. One side of the argument says that as it had previously been known as Serbia and Montenegro, it wasn’t Serbia’s first entry. The other side of the debate is that as Montenegro was part of the deal, Serbia was, in effect, a new country and so it did win the contest at the first attempt.

This was to be the last contest to have just one semi-final. Under this format, the top 10 countries from the previous year’s contest and the ‘Big 4’ automatically qualified for the final. From 2008, only the ‘Big 4’ and the host country would automatically qualify for the final.

As usual, controversy played a part in the build up to the contest. The lyrics of the Israeli song were considered by many to be political and an attack on the leaders of Iran. However, the lyrics were allowed to go unchanged. Iceland’s Silvia Night got on everyone’s nerves in the days leading up to the contest at her rehearsals, press conferences and generally when she was going around the facilities. It may have just been an act (or it may not) as part of the Silvia Night persona, but her reward was to be booed at the end of her performance.  

As always, there was a variety of songs and performance styles on show. While formal attire was the choice of some, viewers could also enjoy a drag act in the shape of Denmark’s DQ. 

It seemed Austria was gone for good. National broadcaster, ORF, cited recent bad results linked to neighbourly voting as the reason for its absence. Various sources within ORF were quoted as saying "The Song Contest is clearly a sign of the complicated nature of a united Europe.  We've already seen in 2007 that it's not the quality of the song, but the country of origin that determines the decision," and “As long as the  the Song Contest is a political parade ground and not an international entertainment programme, ORF has no desire to send more talent out of Austria to a competition where they have no chances. Should the situation change, we'll be happy to take part again."

While Austria left the scene, it seems with regret, others were keen to join the crowd. The 2007 contest saw debuts from Georgia and the Czech Republic, who participated with differing results.

One of the ‘advances’ in technology in recent years has been High Definition. The BBC and Sweden’s SVT became the first broadcaster to give viewers to watch the contest in that format. Did anyone notice?
About the songs: 
Marija SesticMarija Sestic Bosnia and Herzigovina - Marija Sestic - Rijeka Bez Imena (Bosnian)

Music/Lyrics: Aleksandra Milutinovic, Goran Kovačic/Aleksandra Milutinovic, Goran Kovačic

The Bosnian song is a gentle ballad of the type that the former Yugoslav republics seem to pull off with ease. Sensibly, the presentation was kept simple.

 NASHNASH Spain - NASH - I Love You Mi Vida (Spanish)

Music/Lyrics: Antonio Sanchez-Ohlsson, Rebeca Pous del Toro, Thomas G:Son/Antonio Sanchez-Ohlsson, Rebeca Pous del Toro, Thomas G:Son

This is typical boy-band throwaway pop lifted only slightly by small touches of Flamenco guitar and the decision to sing in Spanish. 

 Dmitry KoldunDmitry 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. 


Ireland - Dervish - They Can't Stop The Spring (English)

Music/Lyrics: John Waters, Tommy Moran/John Waters, Tommy Moran

Popular and experienced folk band, Dervish, was chosen by RTE in an attempt to reverse  the recent bad luck of the Irish. The title was borrowed from the Hungarian Revolution. The lilting flute gives the song its atmosphere, but a bit more tempo was needed to make the song appeal more widely.  

 Hanna PakarinenHanna Pakarinen Finland - Hanna Pakarinen - Leave Me Alone (English)

Music/Lyrics: Martii Vuorinen, Miika Pakarinen/Martii Vuorinen, Hanna Pakarinen

Sticking with the genre which brought them success the previous year, Finland entered another rock song. That said, this is a more tuned down version of the style, and Hanna didn’t need to wear a mask.

 KarolinaKarolina 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.

 Alenka GotarAlenka 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. 

 Magdi RúzsaMagdi 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!

 4Fun4Fun Lithuania - 4Fun - Love Or Leave (English)

Music/Lyrics: Julija Ritcik/Julija Ritcik

The staging was absolutely right. Lead singer, Julija, sat in front of a screen, behind which the rest of the band were seen in large silhouette. The song needs a few listens to be fully appreciated, but stay with it and you will be handsomely rewarded. Love Or Leave is a gentle, sensitive and atmospheric ballad given its feel by the acoustic guitar. Sublime! 

 SarbelSarbel Greece - Sarbel - Yassou Maria (Greek)

Music/Lyrics: Marcus Englöf, Alex Papakonstantinou/Mack

There was much pouting and posing from Sarbel. His song is a straightforward twist, but as always, there is a Greek element to it. All in all, it is a bit within the ordinary. 

 SophoSopho 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.

 The ArkThe Ark Sweden - The Ark - The Worrying Kind (English)

Music/Lyrics: The Ark/The Ark

Glam rock comes to Eurovision! The Worrying Kind could very easily have been a hit for Mark Bolan and was highly enjoyable. 

 Les Fatals PicardsLes Fatals Picards France - Les Fatals Picards - L'amour à La Française (French/English)

Music/Lyrics: Ivan Callot, Laurent Honel, Jean-Marc Sauvagnargues, Yves Giraud, Paul Léger/Ivan Callot, Laurent Honel, Jean-Marc Sauvagnargues

It is hard to decide whether this is a serious or novelty song. The verse is quiet and reflective, but the chorus is manic. Latvia - - 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. 

 SerebroSerebro Russia - Serebro - Song #1 (English)

Music/Lyrics: Maxim Fadeev/Daniil Babitchev

The lyrics are rather risqué in places but the tone is defintaely pop in attitude. It takes girl power to a different level. 

 Roger CiceroRoger Cicero Germany - Roger Cicero - Frauen Regieren Die Welt (German)

Music/Lyrics: Matthias Hass/Frank Ramond

When they aren’t big-ballading or inane Euro-popping, the Germans are capable of providing something unusual. It happened here with Roger’s swing number of 1950’s America. 

 Marija ŠerifovićMarija 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………..

 Verka SerduchkaVerka Serduchka Ukraine - Verka Serduchka - Dancing Lasha Tumbai (Russian/German/English)

Music/Lyrics: Andrei Danilko/Andrei Danilko

Verka looked like the 1970’s incarnation of Elton John, but on a bad day. It is a song that divides opinion, being seen as a harmless bit of fun and nonsense, or simply nonsense and nothing more than irritating. Just listened to, it’s probably the latter, but if heard while also watching the performance too, it edges towards the former. 

 ScoochScooch United Kingdom - Scooch - Flying The Flag (For You) (English)

Music/Lyrics: Russ Spencer, Morten Schjolin, Andrew Hill, Paul Tarry/Russ Spencer, Morten Schjolin, Andrew Hill, Paul Tarry

What were the British public thinking when they choose this? It would be good for nothing more than a children’s party, the problem is that there is more innuendo than The Benny Hill Show, with none of the subtlety or amusement. 

 TodomondoTodomondo Romania - Todomondo - Liubi, Liubi, I Love You (French/English/Italian/Romania/Russian/Spanish)

Music/Lyrics: Marian Bogdan Tascău/Marian Bogdan Tascău, Vlad Cretu, Ghedi Kamara

The Romanian song is odd but memorable, for all the wrong reasons. It is quite Romanian, having more than a bit of Romany about the music and melodic style. These traditions were evident in the presentation. 

 Elitsa Todorova & Stoyan YankulovElitsa 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.

 Kenan DoguluKenan 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. 

 HaykpoHaykpo Armenia - Hayko - Anytime You Need (English)

Music/Lyrics: Hayko, Karen Kavaleryan/Hayko, Karen Kavaleryan

For their second entry, the Armenians went down the ballad route. It’s a very good one that Hayko did full justice to. The ‘tree’ prop could have been left out, but fortunately, it didn’t serve as a distraction. 

 Natalia BarbuNatalia 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.



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