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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. ^_^
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...