Oh, Bulgaria! How fall you have fallen. I really, really liked your video, but your stage performance, with the stupidly-grinning Elvis inspiration, was ridiculous. On that basis, of course you didn't make it through. Nor did I want you to.
Lithuania was another one which was better in video. There, we didn't have the pain of seeing the ridiculous silver spangled shorts the men were wearing underneath their baise plaid trousers.
What Switzerland really needed was some energetic backup dancers. What it had was a trio of elegantly Grecian women with streamer thingies. While I like the style generally, it in no way relates to the song.
Sweden's young singer was even cuter on stage than on video. She couldn't compete against the big belters, however, and anyways, she was still singing a song in praise of mediocrity. Charming as that is, I can see why it wouldn't sell so well.
I looked down my nose at the Netherlands in video form, and I loved it SO much on stage, even if it was written by the guy who wrote the theme song to the Smurfs. The pipe organ with people playing mechanical dolls so cutely! But it really is Old School style when in comes to this contest. Nevertheless, I am sad it is not through.
Slovenia's mix of rock and folk did not improve on second viewing. daisho may have liked it, but I'm not at all surprised it didn't go through: it still feels really dated to me.
Croatia's was dull and unmemorable both in video and on stage. The veil-draped park bench was intriguing at least.
Of course Armenia went through. A solid song and the little plotline involving watering a stone and getting a flowering tree was cute.
Israel's song was mostly dull, but through it went.
Our poor houseguest. She's visiting from Denmark and was long since sick of Denmark's entry as the local radio stations play it every-other-song (or so it feels to her). She then had to sit through it again, having come along to watch it with us. It was one of the strongest duets, however.
According the commentary, Azerbaijian is trying hard to win this year, and paying for appropriately high-profile choreographers to help them. The stage performance was a massive step up from the video. I quite liked her blue-green, flowy/short dress, and the song's been in my head off-and-on today.
Ukraine's end-of-the-world number went through to the final, somewhat to my astonishment. It was somewhat better on stage than in video.
The number with the cool piano from Romania made it through. Someone must have had a chat with the guy about his twitchy head, since he mostly avoided doing it on stage.
Of course, Ireland went through. They took it seriously, they had a song which has a great, commercially-sound shape if you see it from across the room and don't pay too much attention to its cliché'd lyrics, and a singer who can really sing.
I was slightly surprised that Cyprus's low-key number went through, but it was refreshing in contrast to everything else.
Georgia's number has the same title as the half-time show, which is why I keep forgetting it. But it's charming and the stage show had such heart it won me over a bit. Even if I did just have to watch the video again to remember which song it was.
It's a little disconcerting to see a curvaceous robot-dancer wiggling her bottom. That's what Turkey did in lieu of it its hard-hitting barbed-wire-and-violence video. Heavy rock is rare enough that it probably secured genre voters if nothing else. Not bad, but not all that special either.