||Switzerland - Six4One - If We All Give A Little (English)
Music/Lyrics: Ralph Siegel/Bernd Meinunger
Pass the sick bag! Siegel and Meinunger stooped to a new low when they formed a multi-national vocal group to sing this three minutes of utter garbage.
| Arsenium & Natalia Gordienko
||Moldova - Arsenium & Natalia Gordienko - Loca (English)
The danger of a song automatically qualifying for the final is that, sometimes, that song clearly has no place there and only brings down the overall quality of the contest. Moldova’s contemporary but annoying r ‘n’ b effort fits neatly into that category.
| Eddie Butler
||Israel - Eddie Butler - Ze Hazman (Hebrew/English)
Music/Lyrics: Orly Burg, Osnat Zvag/Eddie Butler, Orly Burg, Osnat Zvag
Not Israel’s finest musical hour! Far from the usual offering of vibrant or anthemic, this is just drippy and dull.
||Latvia - Cosmos - I Hear Your Heart (English)
Music/Lyrics: Rienis Sejans, Andris Sejans/Molly-Ann Leikin, Guntars Racs
We could have managed without the construction of the robot during the performance. It was a distraction from the almost acapella song, which only had a beat as a backing. Maybe it was a deliberate and clever tactic, as there is nothing memorable in the song itself.
| Christine Guldbrandsen
||Norway - Christine Guldbrandsen - Alvedansen (Norwegian)
Music/Lyrics: Kjetil Fluge, Atle Halstensen/Kjetil Fluge, Atle Halstensen
Fans of strings would have loved this! The sound sweeps across the whole song while Christine’s pure voice creates the fairytale atmosphere requested by the song.
| Las Ketchup
||Spain - Las Ketchup - Bloody Mary (Spanish)
Music/Lyrics: Manuel Ruiz Gómez/Manuel Ruiz Gómez
Those who were expecting another Ketchup Song (a big international summer hit for them in 2002) were in for something of a surprise. Bloody Mary is cool and sophisticated, but isn’t nearly instant enough to have a chance of winning. The top 10 would not have been an over achievement.
| Fabrizio Faniello
||Malta - Fabrizio Faniello - I Do (English)
Music/Lyrics: Fabrizio Faniello, Aldo Spiteri/Fabrizio Faniello, Aldo Spiteri
Much better was expected of Fabrizio’s up-tempo summer beach party song. However, the 1970’s choreography did him absolutely no favours and would have been a sobering reminder to choreographers of the modern attitudes needed in the contest these days.
| Texas Lightning
||Germany - Texas Lightning - No, No, Never (English)
Music/Lyrics: Jane Comerford/Jane Comerford
A very shrewd entry by the Germans! Country music is familiar to everyone, but had not been heard in the contest before in a genuine form, thus making No, No, Never stand out. It could have been a winner.
| Sidsel Ben Semmane
||Denmark - Sidsel Ben Semmane - Twist Of Love (English)
Music/Lyrics: Niels Drevshold/Niels Drevshold
A twist in all senses of the word. Using the dance style as its base, the Danish song tells the story of the shy but good guy getting the girl instead of the confident rotter winning her heart.
| Dima Bilan
||Russia - Dima Bilan - Never Let You Go (English)
Music/Lyrics: Alexandr Lunyov/Karen Kavaleryan, Irina Antonyan
A classic case of over-the-top presentation! Dima had a strong and contemporary pop song that would not be out of place in the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, so someone decided to insert a dancer emerging from the piano into the staging. The Russian delegation got into trouble when Dima’s position in the running order was clearly visible on his vest, making it easier for viewers to remember which number to vote for. This was seen as unfair, but it didn’t stop the same thing happening in the final.
||Macedonia - Elena Risteska - Ninanajna (Macedonia/English)
Music/Lyrics: Darko Dimitrov/Rade Vrčakovski
If Elena’s modern pop song was going to reach the final, it was probably going to be a close call. So it turned out to be, as she accrued just enough points, even though Ninanajna is a bit of the boring side.
| Mihai Traistariu
||Romania - Mihai Traistariu - Tornero (English/Italian)
Music/Lyrics: Eduard Cârcota/Cristian Hriscu, Mihaela Deac
This is considered by many to be one of the best Eurovision songs in recent years. It is near perfect dance/pop music delivered by one of the best singers in the 2006 contest.
| Hari Mata Hari
||Bosnia and Herzegovina - Hari Mata Hari - Lejla (Bosnian)
Music/Lyrics: Zeljko Joksimovic/Fahrudin Pecikoza, Dejan Ivanovic
The beautiful, almost poetic Lejla glides along effortlessly. The use of ethnic Bosnian sounds gives the song a focus, while the whole package provides one of Bosnia’s best entries to date.
| LT United
||Lithuania - LT United - We Are The Winners (English)
Music/Lyrics: Andrius Mamontovas, Saulius Urbonavicius/Andrius Mamontovas, Saulius Urbonavicius
There is almost a football chant feel to the Lithuanian song. Very much an outsider before the contest, its zany, cocky nature clearly appealed to some.
| Daz Sampson
||United Kingdom - Daz Sampson - Teenage Life (English)
Music/Lyrics: Daz Sampson, John Matthews/Daz Sampson, John Matthews
Rap music had only been entered in the contest a couple of times before without much success. It seemed Europe still wasn’t ready for the genre given Daz’s disappointing placing. His performance was rather over exuberant, which was forgivable considering what he was hiding from the world at that moment.
| Anna Vissi
||Greece - Anna Vissi - Everything (English)
Music/Lyrics: Nikos Karvelas/Anna Vissi
The Greek diva commanded the stage without any help. The Greek public choose the song for her to defend the title with. It is very un-Greek and is a slow burner, but rocks into an abundance of anger and emotion.
||Finland - Lordi - Hard Rock Hallelujah (English)
Complete with monster costumes (which Lordi were never seen without), the audience witnessed something it hadn’t seen before. It wasn’t hard rock by purists’ standards, but was closer to it than had been seen in the contest before. Pyrotechnics abounded, even spraying from the guitars towards the songs climax.
| Tina Karol
||Ukraine - Tina Karol - Show Me Your Love (English)
Music/Lyrics: José Manuel Alfonso, Elvis Weiguinha/José Manuel Alfonso, Elvis Weiguinha
Tina looked completely at home on stage. Her relaxed approach and natural talent did a very good job of selling her pop song with a Balkan flavour.
| Virginie Pouchin
||France - Virginie Pouchin - Il était Temps (French)
Music/Lyrics: Cornielle Nyungura/Cornielle Nyungura
A very nervous looking Virginie had one of her music school buddies accompanying her on the cello. It is pleasant and has a definite charm, but is a little repetitive.
||Croatia - Severina - Moja Stikla (Croatian)
Music/Lyrics: Boris Novkovic, Franjo Valentic/Severina Vuckovic
Severina has what could be described as a good mouth for a singer. The whole package is a bit mad, unpredictable and fun but irritating at the same time.
| Brian Kennedy
||Ireland - Brian Kennedy - Every Song Is A Cry For Love (English)
Music/Lyrics: Brian Kennedy/Brian Kennedy
Determined to reverse declining fortunes, the Irish sent one of their most popular singers with a song he wrote himself. The tactic worked, just, as he finished in the last qualifying place in the semi. It is a ballad in a class above those which had seen Ireland at the wrong end of the scoreboard in recent times.
| Carola 2006
||Sweden - Carola - Invincible (English)
Music/Lyrics: Thomas G:son, Bobby Ljunggren, Henrik Wikström/Thomas G:son, Carola Häggkvist
Old favourite and ex winner Carola came back for a third time with another infectious tune. It’s not the best example of Swedish schlager, but is a credible example of why Sweden is among the favourite Eurovision countries of most fans.
| Sibel Tüzün
||Turkey - Sibel Tüzün - Superstar (Turkish)
Music/Lyrics: Sibel Tüzün/Sibel Tüzün
This song wouldn’t have made Sibel a ‘superstar’. It’s a rather lacklustre Turkish pop song with an over-long instrumental section. In fact, when the vocals start again, it catches the listener by surprise.
||Armenia - André - Without Your Love (English)
Music/Lyrics: Armen Martirosjan/Catherine Bekian
The contest’s newest recruit goes down the commercial pop route with its first song, but maintains (in parts) an element of the ethnic Armenian sound. Over elaborate staging with some ill designed furniture took away some of the potential the song had for success.