Bye bye blackbird (...and more predictions)

Aww...  I think everyone was seriously gutted that we lost the wonderful Blackbird from Finland on Tuesday night.  We chatted with Leena and Lasse afterwards and, as ever, they were just so lovely about it.  In Leena's words, "it's fine, nobody died, we will go on making our own special kind of music".  True professionals.  I hope it's not the last we hear from Norma John.

Finland aside, the qualifiers were much as predicted.  I got 8 right, missing out on Poland (which pretty much always go through due to diaspora) and Belgium (which, of course, is a brilliant song, but badly staged and performed).  Interestingly, it's Belgian Blanche who has taken the European iTunes charts by storm since Tuesday night.  She's currently topping a number of countries' charts and Top 20 in more than twenty!

Of course, the big news is that the beautifully understated and simply performed Amar Pelos Dois went through for Portugal.  Their flag was proudly flying all through the arena and later in the press centre.  Could Salvador (#salvadorable) topple the mighty gorilla?  The bookies have slashed odds and he's now almost equal favourite with Italy.

Yesterday I had a quiet day, apart from the first full run through of tonight's Semi Final 2.

I think this is a far harder one to call, as there are so many similar songs, and much blandness too...

So, based on what I have seen here in Kyiv over the past 10 days, here are the ten that I am predicting to qualify this evening:


I think Denmark and Croatia are both borderline, and could go either way.

Finally, I went out for a fab Georgian meal last night.  After we ordered we were given a complimentary glass of ChaCha!  I immediately thought of Elaine Dove and THAT Georgian Party (also known by us as the BEST PARTY EVER!!!).  The food was delicious and the accompanying Georgian red wine went down a treat after the ChaCha.

Right now I'm off to be pampered and massaged next door at the Intercontinental.  This was a present from our fabulous friends Martin and Darron (thank you again, boys), and when I popped in yesterday to book it, the lady said "I'm really sorry but we only have male staff who are able to do the deep body massage right now, is that OK for you?"

"That's a pity," I replied, "...but I'm sure one of your men will know exactly how to handle me..."


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