My expectations for this years ESC weren't great, after the almost horrible 2003-version, but things sure got better. Thanks to the semifinals (to avoid 36 songs on the big evening) we didn't have to listen to some of the worst songs - though, that being said, there were some terrible ones that made it through.
Apart from bringing in semifinals the voting had also changed. It wasn't only the 24 countries who made the finals who got the chance to vote this year - all 36 countries got their say. I can't really decide whether I think this is good or not. When it's made like this shouldn't the semifinals have been done this way too? Some of the Western European countries suffered from the fact that most of the countries in the semis were from Eastern Europe, and, traditionally, voted for each other. Had all 36 countries had their say the outcome could've been completely different - maybe not as to who won in the end; all three countries in the top three came to the finals through the semis. Ukraine as the winner (being second in the semis), Bosnia & Herzegovina 2nd (winning the semis) and Greece third (as in the semis).
36 countries giving their votes takes a lot of time - probably even a bit too much. Though it can be thrilling, there comes a time when you just think: "Will it ever stop?". With this in mind I'm just glad it wasn't one country miles ahead of the others... that would've been too boring. The first place changed several times, making it a bit exciting, and in the end the result was: 1. Ukraine 280, 2. Bosnia & Herzegovina 263, 3. Greece 252, 4. Turkey 195.
It was quite impressive to see Bosnia & Herzegovina and Greece receiving points from every country they could (and Ukraine from everyone except Switzerland). But I guess that just proves that they did deserve being the top three - though I didn't particularly like any of the songs.
Overall, it was good to see ESC back on track after last year.
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