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Taking advantage of some relatively stable network from the apartment to say ‘hi’ on the last day of this short-term unpaid reporting contract!

We’re giving the final dress rehearsal a miss – a man can only take so much, and apparently there’s some TV show being recorded tonight that we’re expected to turn up for.

Last night in the arena just served to confuse… of the first seven in the running order, any or all could get wiped out when the votes start being tallied. Germany is good but doesn’t scream winner – Denmark seems to be coming to a peak, but I don’t think it’s a high enough peak.

Romania’s extraordinarily big in the hall, Phil’s explained it to me and I still don’t really get it. Bosnia is completely wrong after the break, and I’ve got a nasty feeling that Daz is going to get squeezed by the ten minutes of scary chaos of various types which will ensue after he leaves the stage.

France is no longer a funny horrible. We hear that the head of delegation and the floor manager are virtually having to force her on stage – she looked like she’d been in tears last night, and watery smiles didn’t stop it being an uncomfortable and painful three minutes to watch. I don’t normally go in for sympathy votes, but spare her a thought tonight – I don’t think she realised what she was getting herself into, and I reckon in her own way she’s the biggest star of the night just for getting through it all.

As uncomfortable as it is to watch, it sets the stage for Croatia. If the trick to this contest is being an interesting contrast and clearly better than what immediately preceded you, then we’re all off to Zagreb or Split next year, and Phil will be paying for the whole OnEurope delegation out of his winnings. He didn’t realise that until about 10 seconds ago, apparently! 🙂

Ireland could surprise – it seems like the right song at the right time, and for all that I didn’t rate it as part of a weak semi-final first half, he looks very right in this slot.

I broadly disbelieve all the reports of semi-final results I’ve heard, but for those who believe anything, it was won by Bosnia, Sweden, Turkey and Finland. And Belgium in Europe’s hearts. Not.

That’ll be that until after the contest then. Have fun with it, and feel free to use the below space to tell us who’s going to win the European Festival of Popular Song Nineteen Two Thousand and Six, because I’m still buggered if I know.