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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. ^_^
 
 
 
 
 
 
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? =:)