Disaster struck within ten minutes of me sitting down to watch the second Eurovision semi - it suddenly dawned on me that I've double-booked myself for Saturday night. I bought a ticket for something last week without checking the dates closely enough, so now I'm going to have to make a decision about whether to miss my first Eurovision final since 1994 (and even in 1994 I managed to catch the second half, complete with Riverdance). OK, I suppose I could just watch it on the iplayer when I get home, but that would mean having to go to Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads lengths to avoid hearing the result for several hours. I dunno what to do. I'm so stoopid.
Anyway, to the extent that I was actually able to concentrate on tonight's proceedings after that realisation, here are my impressions -
1) Disappointed for Ireland, but not surprised in the end. It didn't come across as well as in the national final, possibly because she was trying to project her voice to such a huge crowd.
2) Delighted for Montenegro, and not just because they qualified. The staging was much more powerful than I expected from having watched the rehearsal videos. This is the first Željko Joksimović entry that hasn't really been touted as a potential winner, but I now think it could potentially do some damage (maybe top eight).
3) Serbia was the obvious qualifier that I failed to pick on Tuesday night, and tonight it was Israel. I did have them in my initial long-list, but unfortunately that included at least fourteen of the seventeen songs.
4) I wasn't totally convinced by Sweden's status as favourites before tonight, but now I am. It's not my cup of tea, but I can absolutely see how people are going to pick up the phone to vote for it. My only lingering doubts are that the main challengers (with the possible exception of Russia) are all countries that haven't performed yet, so we'll still have to see how Australia and Italy come across live.
Oh, and I'm pretty sure I caught sight of a large saltire at one point. A DIY Eurovision presence is better than nothing, I suppose.