Well, Eurovision has officially been and gone for another year. The acts have gone home, the radio presenters no longer find Lordi hilarious – the only remnant is the mysterious appearance of Daz Sampson in the UK’s top 5. At least he got something out of it, although I would rather he stayed behind the scenes and made more great pop like the Uniting Nations first 2 singles instead of this rubbish (although I do quite like The Woah Song – is that going to be his next single?). But there is one last annual Eurovision moment to enjoy, the ‘Stylus Does Eurovision’ review of the event, including comments from all the premier pop pickers… and me! The article isn’t up yet but here are my comments, illustrated with some of the best moments of the night:

Eurovision is here again and I am very very EXCITED!!!! It’s a family tradition to sit down with the BBC scorecards and compare marks with each other and the voting public. It’s only me and my dad tonight but considering his distaste for most pop music he takes Eurovision even more seriously than I do, so I know it’s going to be a fun night ahead.

The beginning is “amazing” (Terry Wogan’s word of the night) with some cleverly made dolphin costumes and last year’s fabulous winner Elena singing No.1 (an ambitious title that paid off, but will it be the same for similarly presumptious Lithuania tonight?). The presenters are 2004’s acrobatic Greek entrant Sakis Rouvas and, most bizarrely, Jules from One Tree Hill!

I give them extra points for having a member of Alcazar in their midst, the closest Alexander Bard has got to being there himself, and Andreas was always my favourite as well. The idea is clever, having singers from 6 different European nations singing together, but the song is a little lacklustre and giving them all such different costumes may be aimed to show the variety of European fashion, but surely at least matching the colours would look much better?

My dad immediately gives this 12 points, since he once spent a few months in Moldova organising their public transport. Apparently there weren’t many people in bikinis and certainly no rappers on scooters, but the Moldovans have our support anyway, especially since Arsenie (his real name – I can’t remember why he changed to Arsenium) was not only a member of Dragostea Din Tei boyband O-zone but also released an utterly fantastic single called Love Me, Love Me last year. This is the kind of song I can imagine, if it hadn’t been in Eurovision, being a big summer hit with the youth of Europe and maybe even crossing over to the UK if holiday-makers caught onto it, but it’s not really what the typical Eurovision viewers are looking for.

I’m all for ethnic diversity in Eurovision, but is black gospel-lite sung by a guy called Eddie (he should have called the band that!) really representative of the true state of Israeli culture?

This gets my vote for worst of the night, although it was one of my friends’ (who I now worry about the sanity of) favourite! I covered my ears and my dad walked out in protest, but they did at least provide amusement and amazement at what they seem to consider high-tech – their robot had less technology in it than Pinocchio!

I had previously predicted this as ‘one to watch’ for the top 5 at least, but with its early slot and use of a language few will have a clue about, I think it may lose out. It’s sweet and inoffensive, and I’m sure grannies in Norway adore it but it’s grannies in Albania they have to appeal to now and I don’t think this will.

The Ketchup Song was a craze I never caught onto (the song wasn’t that great and the dance routine was no Macarena) and this is even less exciting. One of the worst in this year’s competition and expected to score accordingly.

Malta have brought us some reasonable entries in the past few years and always make a big effort, my favourite being the sickly sweet duet of Julie and Ludwig in 2004, but their tastes are so cheesy that they just can’t seem to appeal to the rest of Europe. Fabrizio is a popstar already, one of Malta’s best known, and has had some pretty good songs, but this one is only reasonably ace and certainly not sufficiently memorable to win. Sorry Fab, but you’re just not fab enough!

This is one of my favourites, although I only heard it in full for the first time this morning. I’ve been listening to it ever since and it’s definitely by far the best entry by the “big 4” this year and the best by Germany in ages – the last 3 being Gracia, Max and Lou – each that little bit more horrific. It’s about as typically German as Eddie Butler was typically Israeli, but the point is this is perfect for Eurovision: pure catchy pop which should appeal to one and all – but can they overcome their Germanosity and succeed where their previous entries could not?

This is one of the catchier pop songs of the year, but it’s a bit shouty for my liking. It’s a good effort but not something I’d choose to listen to regularly, even as a big Europop fan, so I’m not exactly sure who would (apart from Danes obviously).

Hooray! It’s my favourite! Dima Bilan released a brilliant song called It’s Not That Simple last year but hadn’t done any other songs entirely in English since (as far as I know), so I was very pleased that he had recorded something new and that it would be representing Russia in Eurovision, since they’ve been rather lacking in good tunes the past few years and I’d love a combined trip to Moscow and St Petersburg. This is good quality pop and will surely go on be a big hit across Eastern Europe however well it does tonight, and then he’ll have to do some more English singles! And maybe if he makes lots of money he’ll be able to afford a stylist who can persuade him to get rid of the ridiculous hair-do.

FYR Macedonia
I think FYRM have taken the trend of entering songs inspired by recent winners a bit far – they’ve even got a girl with the same name as last year’s winner! The song is a slightly r’n’b take on the ethnic style and is something I can imagine doing well in many European charts, but in Eurovision itself? I’m not sure – I think that maybe, like Moldova, it’s a bit too trendy to do really well.

As with the German song, I only heard this in full for the first time this morning but it’s become an instant favourite. It’s much more typically Europop than the ethnic songs or the ballads and Mihai and his dancing pals certainly put some welly into it. This has to do well! I don’t know any of the words except “Tornero” but I’m still singing along somehow, so that must be a good sign.

Bosnia & Herzegovina
This song is so boring that in the semi-final it quite literally sent my mum to sleep. I knew it was going to do well though as it reminded me of that awful yet inexplicably popular Macedonian entry from 2004 by a guy called something like Toes, and I think it’s going to continue to do well tonight – a possible winner.

If you’re going to send a rubbish song to Eurovision at least be kind enough to make it amusing, and the Lithuanians have certainly managed that. It seems like a group of businessmen accidentally walked on stage and started singing the first thing that came into their heads, and this was the result. My favourite is the bald one who dances like a total maniac towards the end.

When I found out the finalists for this year’s UK selection show, I was severely annoyed, and when I actually heard the songs that annoyance turned to devastation. Well, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but after 2 years of sending nice pop songs that may not have brought Eurovision home to the UK but at least wouldn’t make us the laughing stock of the entire continent, we had a choice of various pop losers or the man behind some of the worst (“Rhinestone Cowboy”, the Barndance Boys) but also best (well, just “Kung Fu Fighting”) novelty songs of recent years. The latter was chosen and here he is terrorising all of Europe with his sleazy yet annoying catchy entry. I still prefer Javine personally, but if we want a chance of winning we’ll definitely have more if we carry on with individual, unusual songs like this – they just need to be good as well.

There’s nothing wrong with the song, although there’s nothing particularly right with it either, but the melodramatic way Anna performs it, as though it’s her last desperate plea to save the world from aliens or something, just makes the whole thing ridiculous. I don’t think Greece will be ‘doing an Ireland’.

This is certainly better than I expected from looking at them, but is this really what we want to be influencing the next few years of Eurovision? In a way it’s good because it encourages countries to do whatever they do best, whether or not it’s the current trend, which should add some more diversity to the contest. I just don’t want the poptasticness of Eurovision to be lost, because above all the fun and games, that’s what it’s all about for me – one night a year you get 24 performances of Europop music on prime time TV, which for someone of my persuasion is absolute heaven! Don’t steal it Lordi, or I’ll beat you up. Those silly masks don’t scare me!

While everyone else is either doing variations of Elena Paparizou or attempting to find the next theme of Eurovision, the Ukrainians are hanging onto their pride and joy Ruslana, this time providing a mixture of her and Shakira. It’s not entirely lacking in catchiness, but Tina’s voice is a bit grating – she’s nothing on the actual Shakira or Ruslana. Also, I was very disappointed when Terry announced “Dina Caroll” and we got her distant Ukranian cousin instead. I quite liked Don’t Be A Stranger.

It’s a stereotype that France has the most boring music industry in Europe, and having visited Italy I can say that this is untrue, yet they have yet to prove it in Eurovision. Where’s Alizée when you need her? Couldn’t Myléne give them something she didn’t need on her latest album? Even her cast-offs would be better than this.

This is a bit similar to Hungary’s entry from last year, but that had some sense of madness about it making it quite brilliant. You could even sing along if you listened to it enough times, but this just doesn’t do it for me. It was fun to watch but I’d forgotten the tune moments later.

This is the epitome of recent Irish Eurovision entries, but credit where it’s due, they seem to have managed to pick out the best bits of all those songs and created a fairly good song. Personally I preferred their hilariously awful (but oddly enjoyable) entry from last year which didn’t even qualify.

It’s odd that even though I think Carola is an evil robot (she’s just too professional, like the singing equivalent of Bree off Desperate Housewives), I still get really excited every time I hear the word “Sweden”, hear the song and even see the colours yellow and blue, including on the Ukrainian flag, which was rather emabarrassing. It was great to see Swedish pop sung live, even if it wasn’t the rightful owners of the Melodifestivalen and Eurovision trophies, Bodies Without Organs. Still, we did get Andreas from Alcazar as well as two more Swedish-written songs in the semi-final, plus Svelte Stockmarket (or whatever he’s called) is Swedish, so the Swedes do still kind of rule the show whether they’re winning or not.

This woman is as awful to look at as she is to listen to. The bit where they make a star-shape is its only redeeming feature.

One of my best friends is Armenian, so I have promised to support them even though the song left me with a bit of a headache last time I listened to it. But for a first attempt, it’s alright (if you ignore the bizarre bondage dance routine) and hopefully they’ll come up with something really great next year. Maybe one day they’ll even win, and a few more people will actually know where Armenia is.

At last it’s time for the best song of the night, but sadly it’s not one of the entries. However, nothing seems very sad when “Mambo” is being performed on prime time UK TV, and I sing along to every word, to the confusion of everyone else who has no idea who she is, which is in fact a bit saddening. Why isn’t Elena a superstar in the UK?

** Voting **

So, it’s off to Finland next year. Not too far from Sweden, so at least they’ll have a big presence at the event. Obviously I’m not pleased about a rock band winning Eurovision, but I am pleased that it was something different and considering it could have been Boresnia-Hurtseargovina, we’ve been quite lucky.

My points:

12 Russia
10 Romania
8 Germany
7 Sweden
6 Moldova
5 Lithuania
4 Denmark
3 Malta
2 UK
1 Switzerland

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