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Velkam Yurup! What a cute opening, NOT. No, seriously it was very cool to see all those freaks out there in Globen (ah, I could have been one of them *sob* *sob*) with their lighters lit (were these provided by the organizer or what?). It was all so quiet and freaky (ah, yeah, you know you like it!) and all of a sudden that weird-looking sweetie said the two words and Globen went crazy. Mother of coolness! Right then and there I broke down, hugged a pillow, lay down on the floor crying and inaudibly screaming "Oh, why, why isn't my dumb face there?" Uph, I will never get over that! I mean, the crowd was the biggest in ESC history and they all looked like they were having fun, while I, as miserable as I am (those who know me know what I'm talking' 'bout), sat in my fucking unbelievably hot room staring at the tv set with awe. Oh, Gawd, I am starting to feel sorry for myself. Movin' on.

In contrast to Jerusalem's trio from hell (ouch!), I thought Kattis and Anders were yust amazing (no, that wasn't a typo). Though their little chit-chat was obviously very rehearsed, I couldn't help myself feeling goosebumps all over my body. (Wait, that might have been my boyfriend's hand. Oh, yeah, he wasn't with me watching. What was it then? Hmm...).

That little upside-down folder thingy was cute and for a moment there I actually thought Kattis was talking in some language. (And they call me a linguist! Pff!) In fact, the entire act around the folder was cute. A bit cheesy, but still cute. Hey, they're Swedes, don't judge them too harsh. I preferred Kattis a bit more to Anders. There was just something about him that annoyed me. He acted dumb at times, and I wondered, because he isn't blonde. Hmm.

You (and I too) have had enough about the presenters. Here's something about the stage. Ay, que lastima! A great disappointment. Though it looked cool during some songs, most of the time this pile of pale material looked very unexciting. There was nothing there that made me go "Oh, wow." Yes, there were those incredibly overrated monitors on stage, but even though they were big, they weren't big enough. Each of the stages that I've seen so far all had a very cool look to them, especially in 1993, 1995 and 1997. Those were just amazing. However, the 2000 stage was a big-time flop, at least for me. More on the stage during the individual reviews of each song.

Israel: Pity, great pity. I like the music very much, but their singing was outrageously bad. Those backing singers were even worse than the two girls in front. I always hate when countries chose backing singers who have no idea whatthey're doing. I mean, there've been several rehearsals prior to the Big Night itself and it really amazes me that they actually decided to keep the backing singers, who, even to the deaf, sound absolutely apalling. The performance itself was very good and thissong was a very good opener. Ping Pong just have this vibe of theirs that they transmit that makes it worthwhile to watch. The blonde gilr was especially cute. There was just something about her that made me go "This is a very cool little tune." It's unfortunate they camen ear the borrom bcause I think they deserved a few more points. The stage wasn't very good. I do not like when they mix bright green, purple, pink, blue et al. because all those colos just contrast each other and are really painful to look at. Also it was far too bright for my young eyes. As for those flags, all I have to say is "peace!"

The Netherlands: Dutch circus on their world tour. They were in Stockholm on May 13th. For some reason, all the gimmicks on the Big Night looked ridiculous as opposed to the Dutch final where it was much more extraordinary. This time there was no big reaction from the audience and the entire stripping business seemed a waste of material. They were all dressed very badly too, way too much aluminum, you know. Linda san very nonchalantly and it showed. She also sounded out-of-breathe and that could have been fixed simply by not jumping as much as she did. It looked silly how they all jumped around and it really didresemble a damn circus. An early favorite for top 3, this song and the performance basically disappointed almost everyone and the televoters weren't impressed with the whole "we can't sing, but we sure can bring on a show" attitude. A deserved mid-way placing. The stage looked hideous. The screens were turned around which made it all look plainly white. That was a big minus.

United Kingdom: Oh, this song was very overrated from the very beginning. When I first heard it after people proclaimed it a follow-up to Love Shine A Light I was very disappointed. This load of dong is just so simple that there is no way it will enter people's heads and stay there. It just makes the trip from one ear to another. The beat is there, but it's so subdued that one doesn't notice it. A very weak tune to a very weak song and that's what 16th position looks like. Some may say that UK was hurt by other up-tempo numbers around. but there is no way I'm gonna buy that/ What killed the song was the song itself. Oh, and the awful backers had their share too. They were all hideous and their voices were horrible! Now, what the fuck?? Can't they find a few decent backers in the whole UK? Oh, and Nicki, Nicki is just not for these kind of songs. She looks old, dances old, behaves like a Big Momma and then someone decides to give her a fast song to gin? Oh, give me a break. Nicki is very nice as a person, she just shouldn't sing songs like this. The stage was again pathetic. Very ugly-looking with all those violet and fuschia shades.

Estonia: Yawn! So far, a very monotonous contest, eh!? However, Estonia stands out as it had a better-defined beat and the music doesn't sound like an opera singer is singing. It sounds professional, but to an extent. We can't have it all and if we have good music we can't have a good voice. Ines was deadenly nervous in the begining and it was very annoying. She got better with time, but you can't get a whole lot better in three minutes. The cowboy image and the green theme were unnecessary. It looked very bad. I hated it. At time, I wondered if the stage was a swamp! Again, the backing vocals were very bad, singing in a different octave (and melody, at times) from Ines. After a couple of listens it became very annoying. However, I don't mind the male backers on Ines's left. They were very comforting for my eyes.

France: This is what I call classy music. This is a very good song and I was very mad at the final result. It's a disgrace to place this 23rd out of 24! Sofia sang beautifully and she seemed very confident. The backers were, finally, good. Except from that girl on the left who insisted on jumping in sync I saw no other faults with the French crew. My friends liked this song the best and I was very surprised by that. If teenagers can like this song, which, I believe, only older people can fully appreciate, then that is the evidence that this song is trully a classic. The stage looked nice with those roses in the background. It all seemed very becoming.

Romania: Yawn to the nth degree. Who are we trying to kid, Romanians? Did they actually think that this song is appropriate for an international contest? This is pure annoyance. The music, the instruments, the singer, they were all just unbearable. I can't see anyone listening to this (unless they're very intoxicated or they're ROdO, Lizz and a few others from the mailing list, but they are forgiven). I never finish listening to The Moon till the ened because I just cannot keep myself atttracted to the song. The stage was not worth mentioning. Oh, how I miss those RTÈ stages!

Malta: One of my favorites since the Maltese final. A very good song. Though it is uptempo, it has soul, you know. It's not just a combination of shallow lyrics and and empty beat. There's more to it. He he, and the great part of that were the Swedish backers. They were awesome, just like the previous year. They knew what they were doing unlike their "colleagues" from Israel and the UK. Claudette seemed jsut a tad too cheery, enough to want to vomit at time. But, if you watch the contest with a bag near your mouth, it all works out well. She also seemed a bit too pretentious, like a wannabe diva who thought she owned the damn contest. Apparently, it worked for her. The stage again was full of contrasting and disgusting colors. Yuck!

Norway: Mekado, ENI, Times Three? What's this? Oh, it's Charmed. Same fucking difference. Ridiculous clothes; a few ridiculous-looking girls and a ridiculou tune. The lyrics can only be described as very laughable. She lost her mind and popsicle! Who the fuck writes stuff like that? And the damn radio is singing! OH! The girls are pretty (like I care), but their dress sense is deadenly awful (oh, yes, I care about that, I'm a queen after all, right?) :). The stage again (what's this, the millionth time I said that?) looked very bad. I won't even mention the hair. Let's move on.

Russia: Is she full of herself or what? I think she is (believe me, like people recognize each other, *snigger" *snigger*). The song is typical of today's charts and what a surprise that Americans wrote. It has "plastic pop" written all over it. Just senseless, but I can understand why so many people liked it. It's fucking as instant as instant coffee. I must say, though, that out of all uptempo (and quasi-modern) numbers, this one was the best and it seemed classy (now, I have to go kill myself for saying this). The other songs sounded harsh (yeah, I said Estonia was good, but guess what, I had a change of heart!). Alsou didn't go for any gimmicks, except those two GI Joe dolls by her side (yum, yum). Boy, did they make my day (oh, hell, year!).

Belgium: One of my faves. I trully enjoy this song and I won't take any criticism from any of you. You can shove it! Nathalie did an awesome job and I love her voice. She was better than any of the fan's "hot" favorites as far as performance goes. Her dress also looked good despite what some very mean people say (what till I complain to my mommy!). Sometimes I think that a few people start bithing about a song and then everyone joins in even though they may not mind the song at all. Well, I believe that was the case with many ESC fans this year. I know many say they don't like it in front of everyone, but I've had a few people tell me they do like it. Now what? Go Belgium, go!

Cyprus: Blasphemy! I love this dramatic song. It's so complex that I can't escape its beauty. I didn't like the Italian part because it didn't fit the song much. Greek fits it just fine. Maybe they should have stopped acting like stubboring kids and sung their song at least partially in English. Actually, the Greek lyric of the song are very fitting and becoming to the music and if they had written passionate English lyris to it, it would have done much better. Very disappoointed with the result, but all I care about is the fact that I adore this song. And there is no chance in hell I will try to explore why Cyprus did badly this year. I ain't got the nerves for it.

Iceland: Well, a very old-fashioned song, but nonetheless it is fun to listen to. But, that's all it is. Ain't nothing special about it. They picked the right song to represent them in Stockholm, 'cause out of five Iceland preselection songs, only this one had any merit to it. Now, that's sad. (And answer me this: why have a preselection at all, if you're going to have only 5 songs in it?) However, I am glad they chose this song. It got a placing it deserved and it did its purpose. Ther performance was very fun to watch. The two singers seemed like there was truly some chemistry going on there somewhere (In his armpit, in her hair, who knows? OK, that was lame, I know.). Unlike Michael and what's-her-face from last year, they sang a duo and really looked like they mean what they were singing. Agust looked cute in his little skirt thingy. I kind of like those things, so I might get one :). They look fun to have.

Spain: What a fucking drag! Kill them Spaniards! (Now, now, it's only a joke, saben que os quiero!) Don't ever fucking send another male ballad (unless it's sung by Mikel Herzog and called Que voy a hacer sin ti). The all suck! Why couldn't you have selected El reloj or Alcanzaras la luna? You'd think they would, given the fact that the world market is exploding with Latin-influenced music. These two songs would have undoubtedly given la España a top 10 placing--first one since 1995! Serafin is all nice and everything, blah, blah, blah, yawn, but please don't send personalities to the Contest, send songs. And, please do not abuse the damn Big 4 rule! It's a disgrace in itself, much more so if a country sends junk and still doesn't have to worry about being relegated. I think that the Big 4 (at least the ones that have a very low average, wink, wink Spain, wink, wink France) should be relegated at least once very soon, just to let them that ain't no fucking around no more.

Denmark: Oh, I'm about to kill someone! He, he, nah, I'm just kidding (you know that, right?). Nevertheless (hey, big words never suffice), I am sure that many people felt and feel like killing someone after having the (dis)pleasure of finding out that Denmark, a complete outsider had own the Contest which hadn't been won by the right song since it began (nope, none ofthem were right, so there!). You know, the winner isn't really the winner. Well, how's that, you aks. Hold on a second. The winner realyl holds no special status except the fact that they get a couple of glass vases (or some weird-looking sticks in some cases) and soem flowers to put in the vases. When you think about it (everyone together, THINK!), the winner country wins nothing, except, of course, the immense burden of having to host next year's contest, which, despite it's notoriety for being unmodern, keeps getting more and more expensive as it flies on the wings of technology (and something that is as expensive, would, if it were following logic, be something that's very modern and up-to-date). Now, try to say the last two sentences three times really fast. OK, back to the song. It's a very nice tune and I remember liking it the first time. So, maybe it was very instant, who knows. Or maybe it was just the best (read: simples, due to al lthe ridiculous and more ridiculous gimmicks of all kinds and sorts). Personally, I wouldn't have minded Denmark in top 5, but I am not so sure about the first place. Maybe I am biased. Hey, I probably am. All of us fans are biased in one way or another, because we just keep on missing out on the favorites (by a long-ass mile!).

Germany: After the Dutch circus show, we got the Deutsch circus show. And this one is a lot more like the real thing. It's utmostly ridiculous, nonetheless then Europeans fell for it hard. You can't really blame them, can you/ If ESC is viewed as something ridiculous (and believe you me, it is viewed that way by a lot of people) and when an entry ridiculues the event itself, well then you'll get a lot of people voting for the entry, just to make a point. Hmm, maybe, maybe not. I don't know, I'm just trying to make sense here and I guess I am not succeeding. But you tell me. And please bear with me, I am doing this part of the review at my job, where I obviously should be doing my work, not writing some gibberish like this. But, once in a while one needs a break. In any case, I like the music of the entry, but the whole idea behind it is sucky. And what's up with these Germans and their circus shows? last year we had a song about a chapter in the Bible (The Babel Tower), the year before we had a rugged old man doing acrobatics and this year we had a guy with dangerously obvious fake teeth trying to look like a clown. Whatever the hell they're doing, it seems like they're succeeding. I am not fond of the German entries of past few years, but at least they're getting enough points to secure their spot for the next few years, whereas the MFrench and Spanish seem to be enjoying their privileged status.

Switzerland: I did not like La vita cos'e when it first came out. It was just so plain and it had nothing that could make me go "Damn, this shit good!" However, as we were approaching the May 13th, I grew more and more fond of this little ballad. Usually, I do not like ballads of this type, but this year has been a very weird one for me. Not only do I like this ballad, I also like the French, Belgian, and Croatian ballads. And they're all in my top 10 (except maybe Croatia). I love singing La vita cos'e no matter how absurd the lyrics of it are. Italian is beautiful, so the meaning of the words don't really matter (to me). I saw no point in having Al Bano on stage, whoever the holly fuck he is. Moreover, he ruined the damn song with his screaming in the end! Did you ehar that? Oh, it was terrible. But, I still love the song.

Croatia: Too bad Severina didn't make it! Oh, she would have rocked the Globe with her up-beat Latin song. But, hey, we got a typical Dalmatian ballad instead. It can't do much worse. Well, actually, as surprising as it was, Kad zaspu andjeli did excellently. Too bad it didn't deserve the placing it got. It's a nice song with very good lyrics, but as such can only appeal to those who can understand it and who are into this style of music. As HRT did not allow Goran to sing in English, I expected a very low placing for the song. I mean, it's a very forgettable song. It's not like Marija Magdalena, which really is appealing because of the beat, the melody, and the interpretation. If Croatia 99 had been sung in English I doubt it would have got a higher placing. It's just the type of song that's good and catchy at the same time. On the other hand, Kad zaspu andjeli is, as I said, a very forgettable song, especially to those who do not like ballads, and as such (in addition ot being sung in Croatian, which means no matter how good the lyrics are, 99% of the televoters will not understand it) I am awed at how good it placed. People must be, like, fixated to vote for Croatia because they're used to them tie-inventors to send good songs, ballads or else.

Sweden: Talk about a circus show! Damn, was all that shit needed? Send a fucking Se pa mig please! But, seriously, I think that this song was fairly good, but again just ay too much going on on the stage. Not much to say about this, except that it was overrated and got a placing it didn't really deserve.

Macedonia: Oh, que lastima. The girls sang awfully. It was miserable, almost as miserable as the Israeli entry. Good looking girls, cute clothes, nice melody, but they just bombed it on the night. And them bacing vocals didn't really help, you know. And I don't even want to get started on that one again! I've said enough about the backing vocals. But I can summarize it again: backing vocals are supposed to better the song, not ruin it. I am sorry that Macedonia is again out next year, as I was hoping that all four ex-Yugoslav republics would be together in one year for the first time. We have next year all the ex-USSR republics in (well, those that do have interest in ESC) and we'll see some major voting going on among the BAltic countries and Russia; and of course, the Northern countries. All in all, there will be quite a few Baltic/Nordic countries in!

Finland: Oot voimani mun! Does that say enough? Those Finns were really stupid! I mean, the one time their entry could have been in top 5 they fucking miss out and send this dreadful, abso-boring-lutely dreadful song--Somewhere In Europe, Part II. This song really does have the ability to put me to sleep. Pity really, because I usually find the Finnish entries to be quite good, notwithstanding their results. I don't think that I've listened to the entire three minutes of A Little Bit ever and I suspect I won't be doing it any time soon, either. Quite a deserved low placing, though I hate to see Finland out again. It's their fault, though.

Latvia: Didn't like it on the first listen and don't like it now. This kind of popsy rock just appals me and I try to get away from it. It is easily for me one of the worst songs this year, but I can understand why so many people liked it. It's an appealing little tune of the style that made the Goo Goo Dols, Dave Mathews Band, and that Australian duo famous. But, personally, I hate these bands (don't tell my boyfriend) and I also hate My Star. On top of that, I think his voice is irritating as shi! I can't listen to it for a long time. But on the night, I couldn't even look at the guy, because it was just disgusting how he danced all high and shit! My belief has always been that when one smokes (insert your favorite pastime here), one should NOT go outside, one should stay inside and enjoy the moment. But, hey, some people are different.

Turkey: I preferred Bir kirik sevda to this song in the Turkish final. but Yorgunum anla did quite fine. COuld have done better than tenth place, but I think that's enough. The song wasn't overly good, but it had its own thing going on. I loved how Latin it sounded. I used to dance flamenco to it all the time. The English version is much better and most of us agree that if they had sung completely in English they would have gotten a higher placing. Hopefully, Turkey will send something good next year and they will escape the relegation. Nothing bad to be said about this entry, well, except, the fact that Pinar looked absolutely dreadful with that dress on. Oh, and her nose...

Ireland: Oh, God, what can be said about this? Well, the most I've listened to this one is one minute, so I suspect that pretty much says it all. Certainly did not deserve the high placing it got, as it is a crappy piece of something, which in Ireland, apparently, they call music. I will say it again, the Irish need to lay off ballads for once and send an up-beat song. no matter its quality. Just please let us know that you know what up-tempo means and that you can dance anything beside that overrated motherfucking Riverdance shit (Come one, I love Riverdance!).

Austria: Wow, they are really round! Who in the God's name told them to put those dresses on? They looked hideous in them. I liked this song a lot and I still do, but I am a bit disappointed wit htheir voices on the night. The black lady with brown hair sounded really awful. The stage looked very simple, but those dancing figures on the back were a nice touch. That's all.

Here's my top 24 of 2000:
1. Cyprus: Nomiza
2. Belgium: Envie de vivre
3. Malta: Desire
4. France: On aura le ciel
5. Switzerland: La vita cos'e
6. Russia: Solo
7. The Netherlands: No Goodbyes
8. Israel: Same'ach
9. Estonia: Once In A Lifetime
10. Croatia: Kad zaspu andjeli
11. Turkey: Yorgunum anla
12. Austria: All To You
13. United Kingdom: Don't Play That Song Again
14. Iceland:Tell Me!
15. Denmark: Fly On The Wings of Love
16. Norway: My Heart Goes Boom
17. Macedonia: 100% te ljubam
18. Sweden: Spirits Are Calling My Name
19. Germany: Wadde hadde dudde da
20. Romania: The Moon
21. Finland: A Little Bit
22. Spain: Colgado de un sueño
23. Latvia: My Star
24. Ireland: Millenium of Love