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I'll update this with later thoughts, for better or worse. ^_^; These are just very quick notes - don't expect creative writing. Or coherency. =:) Ones I'll consider voting for, I've listed in italics.

1. Lithuania
Gentle piano opening, reminiscent of Freddy Mercury, but segued into a fairly routine ballad. Inoffensive.

2. Israel
Quite upbeat duet - mostly poppy, little bit of an edge. Not inspiring, but enjoyable.

3. France
Broody, moody, flat. Cute dress.

4. Sweden
Promising opening, not bad song - disco opera affair. Pretty fun, and whilst the song could be better, a lovely voice.

5. Croatia
Nicely soulful, somewhat melancholic, but didn't catch me.

6. Portugal
Traditionally inspired, lively - good stuff!

7. Iceland
Quite routine chart stuff.

8. Greece
Neat dancefloor number. Cute guy.

9. Armenia
Another with ethnic roots, beautiful costumes. Pretty good.

10. Russia
Good upbeat stuff, neat background video of the singer aging.

11. Azerbaijan
Tedious Top 40 stuff with a club beat.

12. Bosnia & Herzegovina
Downtempo sequel to Azerbaijan. Fair enough.

13. Moldova
Traditional, modernised. Fun, but not really a winner.

14. Malta
Power ballad of tedium. Pleasant enough, but oddly unexciting.

15. Estonia
Sextet akin to Bond, with a nicely moody, engaging piece of faux classical-club. Maybe not my favorite, but I'd be happy to see them win. +1 shiny.

16. Denmark
Ronan Keating ballad. Decent enough, but about as homogenised as it comes.

17. Germany
Sassy, with a burlesque edge. Definitely fun; maybe not revolutionary, but I'd consider buying it. +1 shiny.

18. Turkey
Another with an ethnic edge, but completely failed to grab me. Pleasant enough.

19. Albania
Decent bit of mainstream pop for a club market. Enjoyable. But teal was never meant to be the color of zentai.

20. Norway
This is what to play if you really despise your neighbors.

21. Ukraine
Interestingly Barbarella-like stage show. Enjoyable clubstuff - fairly OTT, but I'd happily listen to it again. Nice bassline, bit Saintly.

22. Romania
Distilled unoriginality. Perfectly competently performed, and devoid of any soul.

23. United Kingdom
Exceptionally professional, soporific ballad. Nauseatingly tired composition. Only one I've had to mute.

24. Finland
Power hair of the 80s, represent! Generic club reject song.

25. Spain
Yet another attempt at a club track, this time string-backed. Good enough background music.

Well, there we go - vote early and often. In my case, Portugal, Germany, and Ukraine. ^_^
Sadly, my momma refused to watch it due to a dislike of Graham Norton. I could have watched it on the other tv but had to be in the lounge to do my work on the computer. Maybe next year!
Ah, that's where the headphones and iPlayer come in. ^_^ I started off using the Eurovision raw feed, but it wasn't really working for me this year - it wasn't performing any framedropping, so the video soon lagged badly behind the audio. Still, I'll give GN credit for his commentary - actually quite enjoyable. Much as I adore Terry, he seemed to be getting quite curmudgeonly in the last couple years, openly mocking acts he didn't like, rather than perhaps giving a playful nudge.

Still, as one might expect, my votes ensured doom for all concerned, and it looks like both of the worst in recent Eurovision history - Norway and the UK - are going to do well, with Norway looking unassailable at this point. Ah well - at least a Norwegian-hosted Eurovision should be fun, even if anyone will have to try extraordinarily hard to surpass the sheer spectacle of Moscow's show, which included aerial swimming pools with dancers gradually descending from the stadium ceiling. ^_^;
Interesting... I didn't think either the UK or Norway were too bad, although neither was on my shortlist of three. (Greece, Armenia, Moldova, for what it's worth.) I voted for Armenia in the end, since it was both an attractive show and a good song, which is a fairly unusual combination. Lowest marks? Romania (for cheating over the "live singing" clause), Lithuania (utterly boring) and Turkey (can't remember anything about it now!).
Oh, Lithuania! I had to check my notes to remember. ^_^; So often, intros show nothing meaningful of what's to come, and that was sadly the case there - felt like there could've been a fantastic performance there, if there'd been a song worth singing. But talent doesn't necessarily garner good compositions, as Rick Astley showed - a very good voice, but stuck with generic SAW songs, until he faded from public view, until YouTube showed up.

Romania deserve a knuckle-rapping for that. It may have fit within the letter of the rules, but hardly the spirit. Not as if they're short of local talent, either. (But then, I suppose, if this was the Eurovision version of the Beijing Olympics, that was their lead child singer)

Mmm, I'd have been quite happy with Armenia winning. Ah well - is this where the loss (or rather, diminishment) of the infamous bloc voting leaves us, back with the Least Inoffensive To Everyone winning? Still, it was refreshing, seeing Russian neighbors actually award less than full points.. =:)

I wonder if the complete results, phone and professional juries alike, will be made available - I'd be curious to see what sort of margin winners had within each nation, whether all crammed in at the top, or an easy lead. (And, yes, where my three votes landed - was I the only person to vote for them? =:)
Is this for Eurovision? I just heard about it for the first time 2 minutes ago while reading about how a gay pride event in Moscow was violently broken up. I live in the US which explains it... we're all excited about American Idol over here.
Actually, the European Parliament holds its sessions in musical form on alternate Saturdays. Didn't you get the memo?

Mm, the mayor of Moscow is, unfortunately, quite a piece of work. Reportedly, the event was more the work of Putin than him.
I can't watch because it's raining!

Well, actually I can't watch because I can't seem to get the eurovision.tv player to work, but, even if I could, and even if the stream's performance over a cellular modem were acceptable under ideal conditions (EDGE speed, at least, thank heavens — GPRS is a snail on heavy sedatives — but video is still a little iffy), it happens that my network's unusually terrible tonight anyway. O me miserum!

Well, there's always YouTube.

Anyway, whatever Norway might lack musically, they get my vote for Most Wonderfully Twisted English. From http://www.eurovision.tv/event/artistdetail?song=24699&event=1481
FRIKAR dance company aims to refine the roughness of the Norwegian dance called "halling". The company from the mountain valleys of Norway has performed with the Norwegian National Ballet as well as Oslo Philhamonic Orchestra, and has on three years become Norways most sold out vitamin injection (!) through TV successes as So You Think You Can Dance Scandinavia.

Edited at 2009-05-17 01:19 am (UTC)
Oh, that's absolutely wonderful. I think I may have to use that as my next journal subtitle.

I started off using the Eurovision feed, but switched to iPlayer when I found Octoshape wasn't dropping ay video frames, whatever the actual framerate. =:P Seems unlikely to've been the LAN, as the other machine (usually quite busy on the network) was off the air for updating to 10.5.7 - pity, as I actually found the lack of commentary quite a refreshing change in a couple of the last few contests.

It wasn't quite as much fun, overall, as some of the last few, but I suppose my disappointment with the prevailing popular opinion on Norway was held in balance by the utter niftiness of the phone voting being opened from the ISS, and the astonishing post-show descending pool dancers.

I wonder how practical a picocell might be.. assuming you had somewhere with good radio visibility to position it, of course.

Apropos of nothing, other than awkward use of terminology, are you familiar with Sapphire & Steel?
the astonishing post-show descending pool dancers
I am anxious to see the descending pool dancers. And Armenia. Teal notwithstanding. :>

Apropos of nothing, other than awkward use of terminology, are you familiar with Sapphire & Steel?
I am not, but I wikipedia'ed and am now intrigued. It seems like the sort of show I'd adore—somehow I have a special affection for scifi or supernatural worlds where major elements are just left unexplained. Doctor Who is somewhat like this too but I'm never sure how much of that is deliberate and how much is ... well, just not ever quite getting around to saying. :>
And by "Armenia" I of course mean Albania. And now I owe an apology to an entire nationality, I'm sure, only I'm not sure which one.

Finding a way to get reasonable 'net access here is going to be interesting. Visibility at the top of the road is rather good, but then the house is some 600ft back, in a little valley thick with tall trees...
Eurovision, I take it? :P