1) United Kingdom - I shall try not to be biased here, but Engelbert Humperdinck looks absolutely perfect on stage. He is accompanied by a male and female dancer, and a guitarist. The ballad is sung with such grace and spine tingling notes that people will naturally enjoy this everywhere. As we reach the end of the song people could get quite bored and so the dancers give us something to keep us intrigued ...but the focus returns to the Hump as we reach the end of the song. As I said, those spine tingling notes are brilliant. An elegant yet beuatiful performance. The Hump has name recognition and with a song + performance like this, he will surely do well. It's so aggrivating that he has to perform first!
2) France - This is also a very good performance. Topless (and sweaty) dancers always go down well with the crowds, and there is so much energy in this performance that I can see the song being appreciated for what it is all across Europe. There are some funky boxes and electrifying lighting, as well as Anggun's trail, which I thought was hair. Now I just think it's light material. If something upbeat performs before France, then it may struggle next to this. If this was in a semi final, I would say that it would be a strong qualifier.
3) Italy - Slowly going off this song so will try not to be too one-sided. But this isn't one-sided...how BORING. Literally, I was watching it, the next thing I know I was looking out the window day-dreaming. The performance is still playing now as we speak and I haven't even bothered to watch the end. I just know that I haven't missed anything good. Sorry Italy. Performing after France (10th) will do no favours to Nina Zilli. Once again, how is this third favourite? I would doubt this as a qualifier if it was being performed in the semi finals. Especially if it was performed in the first 6.
4) Azerbaijan - This is as stunning as ever. Sabina's vocals are beautiful, the dress is show winning, and the lighting effects (especially on the dress) are incredible! Just stunning.
5) Spain - Well Pastora Soler has just completely trumped Sabina Babayeva. And she does it ALL through the power of her voice. In the last 3 days, I have watched toooo many ballads (especially piano ballads) to remain completely interested. This had me hooked from start to finish. It's ridiculously emotional, and Pastora's vocals are sensational. There have been so many ballads, that it hasn't just been my interest which has gone, but the whole effect they have has gone too. This has brought them all back. This was incredible. A show stealing song no doubt. After watching this, I am literally gunning for Spain like never before. She performs 19th...can that mentality last for me and the rest of Europe till the end of song 26 though...?
6) Germany - A very strong vocal and very nice performance, and this works REALLY well in Roman Lob's favour. After watching the Spanish performance which blows you away, you kind of do want something that is easy listening, otherwise it is just too much at once. Standing Still is a slow rock song and so it naturally just works really well in this running order. I don't personally think this can compete with Spain but then again they are two very different songs and could both end up doing pretty well as they perform near the end.
WELL, THIS IS IT. That is all the song reviews...all the live rehearsals...and this evening it all kicks off. The First Eurovision Semi Final will begin tonight at 21:00 (CET) and for BBC viewers, BBC3 will broadcast the event from 20:00. Good Luck to all countries participating and to Baku of course! I am sure Azerbaijan are going to put on one hell of a show, which will just be mind blowing. There is one more blog post I will do before this evening...and that is who I believe will win...