Eurovision Song Contest 2000 Review

Hello everyone and welcome to the new millennium! Charlotte Nilsson has earned SVT the right to host the first contest of the 21st century and they’ve really gone all out. The production values have been upgraded and the contest has been given a more modern, fresh and welcoming feel. This is also the year that will have the first use of pyro, so hype! The number of participants has been increased to 24, so five countries got relegated to make way for six countries that didn’t take part last year. In alphabetical order, the relegated countries are Bosnia and Herzegovina (very sad), Lithuania (also sad), Poland, Portugal and Slovenia (also very sad). In their place, we have Finland, North Macedonia, Romania, Russia and Switzerland returning after their absences in 1999 as well as Latvia finally making a debut! They’ll prove to be quite a strong competitor in the early days, so keep your eyes peeled for them.


Welcome! To the 21st century! And Stockholm! Unlike a lot of other things around the turn of the millennium, Eurovision was more than happy to rush ahead and not hold to old, outdated things. Despite lobbying from Curt-Eric Holmquist and Anders Berglund, the orchestra wasn’t brought in this year, which means we’re in for the second year of all songs being performed to a backing track.

This year has brought in a very important change that still echoes to this day: the Big 4. From now on, France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom would be immune from relegation and would get to participate every year, regardless of their average or result. There are varying opinions on this rule, but I’m actually not as fussed about it as a lot of the fans. The money provided by them definitely helps a lot to sustain Eurovision.

But before we get to the contest, there’s a little documentary the Russian channel has shown before the show to get through (well, I could technically fast forward through it, but I don’t want to). It’s mostly just a recap of old years, highlighting famous celebrities that took part and so on, but it’s a good idea, they needed to get people interested in Eurovision, so showing that ABBA, Celine Dion, Julio Iglesias and Toto Cutugno, among others, took part in Eurovision was a great way to raise the contest’s prestige in the audience’s eyes. But there’s one interesting moment I do want to mention: there was an interview with Maria Katz (the 1994 entrant) and she said that Russia was very lucky that the language rule was lifted as the audiences “have always given preference to songs in English” and she wasn’t sure if they’d be able to sustain their participation if they had to continue singing in Russian. And that raises an important point: the language rule was bad and removing it was good. A lot of people love to shit on Slavic languages and call them weird, unmelodic, angry and other stuff.

Being able to sing in English (or any other language, we’ll see countries singing in completely random languages from time to time) is good and lifted a lot of limitations from ESC. Even heavily accented English was usually preferred to something in a native language, so is it a wonder that most Slavic countries started singing in English as soon as they could? Same applies to other languages that people mock a lot like Danish, Dutch or German. But countries with languages that are usually considered beautiful (French and Italian basically) continued sending stuff in them (in fact, we’ll hear a song in Italian this very year).

Honestly though, fans tend to overfixate on the language of the song. Entries in English aren’t inherently worse or better than non-English entries. To me, the language of a song matters little, but I do, of course, appreciate the different cadences and flows different languages have. That provides some necessary variation.

But anyway, the documentary spends some time praising Sweden, SVT and the Globe Arena. But before we go on with the Russian commentary, let’s switch to SvenskTV’s upload as it has a small segment of the arena before Te Deum starts (same as other years held in Sweden). This alone shows how different this year will be from the previous one as we can already hear the arena cheering and shouting, making waves and behaving less like stuffy bores and more like fun people. It’s also huge! There were 13000 people in attendance, which was, at the time, a record and by quite a margin. Another thing about this year I want to remark is the logo , the lips, yeah. This is the first time the contest’s logo was so prominently integrated in the whole branding, with LED versions being placed all over the stage to display the colours of the performing country’s flag. Before 2004, the EBU even considered making them the permanent logo instead of the hearts we’ve all come to know and love. And maybe it wouldn’t have been such a bad choice, I like that the flags are a bit more abstract.

Another way this contest feels more modern than any of the previous ones is by being broadcast online. There was an official partnership with Microsoft to broadcast this over the internet all over the world. Nowadays, this might seem trivial - after all, the official ESC YouTube channel shows all live shows, but it was a huge deal back then for sure.

This time, the commentators are much younger and more energetic. Their names are Tanya Godunova and Alexey Zhuravlyov and both of them were (and actually still are) radio DJs. They’re extremely excited about Alsou’s performance and talk over the two hosts - Kattis Ahlström and Anders Lundin - giving their welcome. Although they get quiet when the female host begins greeting the viewers in Russian (though they talk over other languages), they get extremely excited about that, which is just so sweet. They also mention that songs have to either be performed to an instrumental-only backing track or without a backing track, which is a bit of a confusing statement: does this mean that playing instruments live was still allowed? It seems like it does, but I don’t think any entry actually had live music this or any of the following years. They also mention that all vocals must be live and no vocal processing is allowed and throw a bit of a shade at the Danish performers and say that they’ll elaborate later. After that, they continue praising the production: the decorations, the lighting, the colour gradation and the dynamic lips logo. It’s impossible not to get excited from them showering everything with praise. They’re also very positive about Eurovision itself, calling it a “true celebration of music”. Compare that to the sarcastic and negative Terry Wogan, who brought down the mood every time he opened his mouth.

But we begin the first song after a pretty brisk 8 minute intro (don’t mind me writing so much, I had to keep pausing to write it all), which is half as long as the previous year, so let’s move on, shall we?


Israel - Sameach

Performed by

But first, a bit about postcards. The whole idea behind them, as the commentators have very helpfully explained, is that you can find a part of the participating country in Sweden as well, which is a pretty cool theme, I can’t lie.

Bafflingly shit vocals and bafflingly shit fashion aside, I think it’s fun! Not just funny, but fun. Well, I mean, the studio version is. I forgot how bad the live performance of this was. They mostly couldn’t hit a single note, but at least there’s a decent song underneath it. But I’m going to rate the live performance, not the studio version, which means it’s going to be quite a bit lower for me than it could’ve been.

Netherlands - No Goodbyes

Performed by

Her first dress is absolutely hideous and the one that’s revealed after the dress change isn’t much better either. And I know that this isn’t even the worst outfit of the evening, which is just depressing.

But I do actually kinda like the song. Only kinda because it doesn’t have a lot of progression, but the pre-chorus and chorus are memorable enough for me to hum. Plus Linda has pretty good vocals, even though she starts doing vocal exercises at the end that always annoy me.

United Kingdom - Don’t Play That Song Again

Performed by
Nicki French

As always, the commentators have something positive to say about Nicki. They call her “very experienced” and “one of the big threats to Alsou”.

of course, she ended up only scoring 16th place, but I actually think it was undeserved. She’s indeed an experienced performer with a lot of stage presence, plus the song is quite catchy too, I definitely find myself humming it from time to time. I also think the instrumentation is nice, especially the piano, which really makes the whole composition pop. Plus she’s definitely one of the best vocalists of the night.

Estonia - Once in a Lifetime

Performed by

The lyrics might be janky, but with the majority of Europe not being English speakers, that doesn’t actually matter, does it? I mean, most countries had a population whose English skill, on average, ranged between 0 and like 3 at best. Plus even people that do know English usually just don’t pay attention to the lyrics, so the composition was way more important than the lyrics in this era. And, I have to say, the composition is quite a banger. Well, alright, it lacks progression just like so many other songs this year, but relatively, it’s actually pretty good. I always find this enjoyable. And she isn’t so bad vocally either - her accent isn’t bad either. Estonia was obviously gearing up for a win, which they would achieve next year.

France - On aura le ciel

Performed by
Sofia Mestari

Chill, laidback and nice, but ridiculously uncompetitve - this is how I’d describe this song. It definitely isn’t bad at all, but it’s also very unmemorable, certainly not a song people would pick up and vote for.

Romania - The Moon

Performed by

Romania’s best result up to this point came from a song in English. Or rather, a translation of a song in Romanian into English. Would it have fared better or worse if Taxi had chosen to perform it in Romanian? Well, as tempting as it is for me to say yes, I honestly don’t think so. Even though most people didn’t really understand English, it still had a certain reputation to it, so even a heavily accented song in English would be preferred by people, even if they themselves didn’t speak it. Though honestly, people overstate just how heavily accented this is, I understand it just fine myself. And I actually find it pretty enjoyable musically, chill and laidback, same as France, but very uncompetitive, again, same as France. It just lacks a wow factor that would get people to vote for it. But it does have a very nice pan flute, which does elevate it, as well as a good guitar solo that really feels like it’s being played live.

Malta - Desire

Performed by
Claudette Pace

During a small break before this song, you can very clearly see a guy waving the Italian flag right into the camera, as if to say “Italy, please come back”. Now, I’m not sure if he’s Italian himself or just loves Italian music, but it’s clear that people really wanted for Italy to return. Sadly, they’d have to wait for slightly over a decade for that to actually happen.

Now here’s an actually good song sung by a good performer. It has some very memorable mediterranean melodies and actually memorable verses, as well as a good, rousing chorus. But even a good song can be murdered by a bad performer, but we have the complete opposite situation here as Claudette is clearly an experienced singer who knows how to make the audience feel the fun she’s clearly having. And I actually kinda like the spoken-word bridge in Maltese, even if I thought it was in German for the longest time (don’t ask me about the logic here, I didn’t apply any).

Norway - My Heart Goes Boom

Performed by

And here’s another pretty fun Nordic-sounding pop song. The three girls are charming (ha ha ha) performers, they’re very energetic on stage, they have decent vocals, but there’s something in me that prevents me from fully embracing it.

Russia - Solo

Performed by

And here we finally are, Russia has stopped trying to send big Russian names and songs composed by them and has instead begun sending songs with a lot of international appeal, made by international composers and songwriters. This approach would pay off really well, earning Russia a bunch of second and third places as well as a win. Is this approach necessarily bad? Well, no, not really. This is how music sounded during my childhood, except the lyrics weren’t usually in English. The 2000s and the 2010s were, for the most part, an era of music sounding “international”, which might be why I’m not that fussed by Eurovision following this trend as well.

The song is honestly really good, you can see (or rather hear) that it was made to win. It has a nice Bond vibe, and songs like that always do well in Eurovision. It’s also one of the first songs to have a fairly elaborate choreography with the backing dancers and the staging is really nice in general, there’s some fog and the screens on stage are put to good use. It also has the most hype key change of all Eurovision. She starts the chorus, says “wait” and then after a couple seconds of silence, the song kicks in again with a key change. How could you not love this just a little bit? And sure, I’ll readily admit that her vocal performance isn’t that great, but it’s also not really that bad.

Belgium - Envie de vivre

Performed by
Nathalie Sorce

And here we have the last place of the year, completely deserved I must add. It’s a truly hideous song with a terrible performance. She isn’t nailing anything here, but she looks so smug like she’s a gift to god, which irritates me every time I watch this. The lyrics are super basic too, just some trite “oh isn’t it great to live and love”. The melody is just an irritating beat with very little other instrumentation or variation. Add to that her inability to harmonise with the backing singers (or the inability of the backing singers to harmonise with each other) and you get this. Whatever this is. Because it can hardly qualify as a song. Oh, and her pronunciation of French makes her sound like an English speaker. It definitely gives me “envie de mort”.

Cyprus - Nomiza

Performed by
Greek, Italian

I’ve never been sure how I feel about this. I keep trying to decide how I feel about the instrumental: is it wonderfully minimalistic or underdeveloped? Today, I’m leaning towards underedeloped more than minimalistic. It just feels like they wrote the lyrics and then cobbled together the music at the last possible second. And is it just me or do they have no chemistry on stage at all? But I do like the interplay between Greek and Italian parts, that’s pretty fun.

Iceland - Tell Me!

Performed by
August and Telma

For some weird reason, I’ve always found this to be extremely compelling. August and Telma just have an irresistable stage presence and I can’t help but feel like they’re performing this specifically for me. Their dresses might be abhorrent and the lyrics might be slightly janky, but this is a song my brain managed to remember from the first time. And honestly, others might want to call the lyrics janky, but I’ll call them out-of-the-box. It isn’t very complex, but it does what it needs to do very effectively.

Spain - Colgado de un sueño

Performed by
Serafín Zubiri

This is alright. I mean, he has a nice voice and the instrumental is pretty good, but it’s just not particularly standout. But I definitely prefer this to his 1992 song, even if it’s still not exactly my cup of tea.

Denmark - Fly on the Wings of Love

Performed by
Olsen Brothers

But this song is my cup of tea. It’s just so warm and cozy and comfy, with a lot of lovely progression and complexity. I also really love that it’s just so simple and sincere, the singers clearly feel the lyrics. And why shouldn’t they when one of them wrote and composed it himself. By the way, he wrote it in English right away and only translated it into Danish for DMGP, but neither of them have had any intention of performing it in Danish at Eurovision.

And yes, they did use a vocoder at the end. No, I don’t think it’s a bad thing - it does add a nice touch to the song. And yes, the Russian delegation did complain about it, but they filed a complaint before the show (according to the commentators), not after as most people believe, back when they weren’t considered winner contenders at all, so it wasn’t just pettiness.

Also, the LED pillars are put to a pretty good use here, with planets being displayed on them, which kinda fits the theme “reaching the stars above on wings of love”.

Also, the Russian commentators have mentioned that they’ve been popular for a long time and that the warm reception they’re getting in the audience must be from “little girls that became mothers and maybe even grandmothers already”, but it was meant affectionately, not in a mean way.

Germany - Wadde hadde dudde da?

Performed by
Stefan Raab
German, English

And here’s Stefan Raab returning just two years after his last performance, now as a lead performer. In fact, he’s the only person that has fulfilled all major roles at Eurovision: lead singer, backing singer, composer, songwriter, conduction (in heavy quotes, but still, he was credited as one) and host.

I can’t help but compare it to the previous song he made for Eurovision and it really doesn’t compare. Guildo hat euch lieb was an actually credible song that I find a pleasure to listen to. On the other hand, this just isn’t. It’s very repetitive and shouty and I just don’t feel any fun from it because of that. Now, I’m not denying that it was good and I won’t say that it didn’t deserve 5th place, but man, novelty entries aren’t excepted from having to be a good song.

Switzerland - La vita cos’è?

Performed by
Jane Bogaert

I still have no idea how they got Al Bano to be the backing singer for this. The commentators seem to be as baffled by this as others and for a good reason - he’s a huge star all over Europe, so him being a simple backing vocalist for Switzerland is extremely unexpected.

Honestly, I wish he could be the lead singer instead since Jane is a pretty poor singer, especially in the verses, which are barely audible. She also struggles with the high notes quite a bit, she either didn’t have enough time to rehearse or just got handed the song and told to sing it. I’m leaning towards the second part myself. And it’s a shame too, it could’ve been pretty good with a stronger singer, it has a nice anthemic quality to it and the studio version is actually fairly enjoyable.

Croatia - Kad zaspu anđeli

Performed by
Goran Karan

For the longest time, this was Croatia’s best result in the 21st century - at just 9th place, yes. They really haven’t fared well until Baby Lasagna came 2nd this year.

I actually think this is great. It has a lovely guitar and a very nice sense of melancholy to it. Goran is a very strong performer too and it actually tried to do some staging with a woman covered by a dark veil that gets thrown off near the end and she’s revealed to be wearing a white dress (Croatia really does have a thing for white dresses huh). It’s almost great, but it just lacks something to become truly amazing.

Sweden - When Spirits Are Calling My Name

Performed by
Roger Pontare

First ever use of pyro in Eurovision hype. This is another way this year was more modern than all of the previous year, even though only Sweden chose to use pyro with every other delegation forgoing it.

Honestly, while I like the song, I’ve never loved it as much as other people. Sure, everything about it is at least good or even great, the lyrics are well-written, the music is well-composed, the song is really well-performed, with people from other minority cultures backing Roger and making this a celebration of every minority culture in the world. But it just simply doesn’t do a lot for me. I don’t dislike it either, of course, it’s a good song, but it’s far from being one of my favourites. Even the Swedish version with a live orchestra doesn’t do anything for me.

North Macedonia - 100% te ljubam

Performed by
Macedonian, English

Alright, I’ve always found this to be absolutely hideous and torturous, but Cookiefonster has recommended me to listen to the studio version and, to be fair to it, I did end up taking a listen. And you know what, I actually ended up enjoying it! So while I’ll still rate it mostly based on the live performance (which was really bad), I’ll bump it up a bit because I could actually hear the instrumental, which is pretty good. I also think I actually like the language change, it adds a nice twist to it.

Finland - A Little Bit

Performed by
Nina Åström

It’s a rather pleasant pop song, a bit anthemic, with a nice vibe, but it’s also not competitive at all. Though once you consider that Finland had Nightwish in their national final this year (and they actually won the televote, but the juries sunk their chances by placing them last by a huge margin), you just start comparing it to Sleepwalker, which really dampens your enjoyment of this and you just realise how big of a mistake Finland has made. They definitely could’ve avoided relegation with Nightwish. I just don’t get the logic of having juries at a preselection for a televote-only contest, it’s completely illogical (alright, it did mostly work out for Sweden, although the times the juries disagreed with the televote too much proved to be pretty disastrous for them anyway).

Latvia - My Star

Performed by

Latvia decided that the best way to score well was to send one of their biggest names ever. And it turns out that they were right as Latvia had one of the most successful debuts ever, scoring third place with 136 points, which is really good. And it was certainly well-deserved, it’s a total earworm. It was translated from the original Latvian version, which was already good, but there was a lot of thought put into it as it all flows very well and makes perfect sense.

But I really think that it’s the performance that made this succeed. Sure, he has a bit of a cursive style of singing and the choreo is a tiny bit weird, but it all has its own charm and a lovely indie vibe. In general, Latvia often sends indie-feeling songs and I love them for that, they’re definitely a country that got paid dust for a lot of good songs. But specifically this is a true gem in a year full of songs that can’t really be considered gems and would’ve been one of my favourites in any year. Of course, the running order helped this, there’s no doubt about it, but at least you can’t simply go and blame bloc voting for their result, you can’t get 3rd place purely off bloc voting.

Turkey - Yorgunum Anla

Performed by
Pınar and the S.O.S.
Turkish, English

Thank you Turkey for going back to something more Turkish. There’s a very lovely instrumental here and a strong vocal performance and, again, a pretty nice language change. I really don’t have a lot to say about this, but I do like it.

Ireland - Millennium of Love

Performed by
Eamonn Toal

Do I have to talk about this? If I do, I don’t have a lot to say about it, and what I do have to say is very negative: I think it’s a truly hideous song, just like with Belgium. It’s just some trite bullshit about peace and unity, except it also tries to tie in the turn of the millennium because that was trendy. To me, it comes off a fake, tryhard and cheesy attemt at gathering votes by appealing to the good side of people and it does indeed piss me off that it got a good result. Why oh why couldn’t this have been drawn in second so it got a much poorer result that it deserved instead of coming above so many other good songs.

Austria - All to You

Performed by
The Rounder Girls

Yes! The final song and it’s actually really good, especially after the drivel from Ireland. The Rounder Girls are just so charismatic on stage and have a very enjoyable energy. They’re definitely giving the fun all to me. Plus they harminise really well and have very pleasant deep voices. And they actually sound really well while singing in English, which makes sense given that one of them is actually British and the other one is American (the third one is Austrian). But yeah, this is actually a pretty good closer, thank you, random draw.

Final thoughts

My final thought is: meh. The year was mostly salvaged by an excellent sleek production and an amazing stage, as the songs mostly ranged from meh to bleh, with very few exception. At least there were very few songs I thought were actively bad and there were several songs I thought ranged from decent to really good. One random thing I want to remark upon is the recap slot for the Netherlands, which is pretty much perfect, it’s the part of the song that really leaves you hyped up. Same for Russia’s recap slot, the key change is absolutely perfect and using it for the recap was a great idea. And the recap slot for North Macedonia shows that they were still taken from rehearsals as they sound complerely fine and on-tune.

The Russian broadcast went on an ad break and then played a small documentary over the final part of the interval act, which I did watch and while it wasn’t anything special, it did have some short interviews with restaruant owners, hairdressers, music shop owners and so on talking about how Eurovision has helped them. At the end, they showed Alsou who said that she needs everyone’s support more than ever and she hopes that everyone is with her, which is actually really sweet, I just can’t root against her no matter what.

But then I switched to SvenskTV’s upload for the interval act, just because I think it’s a really good one. Instead of being a huge ad for Sweden, it showcases every country, its people, the traditions and culture and just really gives me good vibes. The Swedes definitely know how to keep things fresh and interesting. For the first time in a while, the interval act was better than a lot of the songs.

The Executive Supervisor showed the new fancy CD with all of the songs (1999 did have a CD, but some songs were missing due to copyright) and the Russian commentators said that everyone in the audience wanted to have one of those amazing CDs with all of the amazing songs. They’re just so sweet and made getting through this year so much easier.

The voting wasn’t that interesting though. Denmark started leading from the very first voting and Russia came second. I mostly just skipped through the small points since the commentators were giving a lot of background information on every country giving points (when they debuted, how many times they won, which famous people represented them) as well as being super happy when Russia got points, and I don’t just mean the 12s, they were very happy about the 5 from France and the 4 from Germany as well. They made watching the voting so much more fun than Terry Wogan and I’m thankful I found this commentary so I can keep avoiding the BBC commentary for the rest of this blog (hopefully). In the end, Denmark came victorious by a landslide and Russia got a comfortable second place, just as the votes from Israel had predicted. Belgium got its deserved last place and Ireland got really boosted by its running order into a very undeserved position.

In any case, I’ll see you all in Copenhagen for a contest that had considerably poorer production values.


Yeah, so, I’m way less confident about these rankings than I usually am because most of the middle is pretty much interchangeable to me. My bottom 2 is very solid and my top 11 is solid as well, but I’m not really certain about the rest.

  1. Iceland - Tell Me! (+11)
  2. Estonia - Once in a Lifetime (+2)
  3. Latvia - My Star (=)
  4. Denmark - Fly on the Wings of Love (-3)
  5. Malta - Desire (+3)
  6. Russia - Solo (-4)
  7. Austria - All to You (+7)
  8. United Kingdom - Don’t Play That Song Again (+8)
  9. Croatia - Kad zaspu anđeli (=)
  10. Turkey - Yorgunum Anla (=)
  11. Sweden - When Spirits Are Calling My Name (-4)
  12. Norway - My Heart Goes Boom (-1)
  13. Romania - The Moon (+4)
  14. Netherlands - No Goodbyes (-1)
  15. Cyprus - Nomiza (+6)
  16. Finland - A Little Bit (+2)
  17. North Macedonia - 100% te ljubam (-2)
  18. Spain - Colgado de un sueño (=)
  19. Israel - Sameach (+3)
  20. Switzerland - La vita cos’è? (=)
  21. France - On aura le ciel (+2)
  22. Germany - Wadde hadde dudde da? (-17)
  23. Ireland - Millennium of Love (-17)
  24. Belgium - Envie de vivre (=)


  • Austria - 1 (1965)
  • Belgium - 1 (1961)
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina - 1 (1999)
  • Cyprus - 2 (1992, 1995)
  • Denmark - 2 (1963, 1989)
  • Finland - 2 (1974, 1985)
  • France - 4 (1969, 1976, 1977, 1979)
  • Germany - 3 (1957, 1972, 1978)
  • Iceland - 1 (2000)
  • Israel - 1 (1988)
  • Italy - 3 (1958, 1983, 1990)
  • Luxembourg - 3 (1956, 1964, 1973)
  • Malta - 1 (1991)
  • Monaco - 2 (1968, 1970)
  • Netherlands - 1 (1959)
  • Norway - 2 (1966, 1996)
  • Poland - 1 (1997)
  • Portugal - 2 (1967, 1984)
  • Russia - 1 (1994)
  • Slovenia - 1 (1993)
  • Spain - 2 (1971, 1982)
  • Sweden - 2 (1962, 1980)
  • Switzerland - 2 (1981, 1986)
  • Turkey - 1 (1975)
  • United Kingdom - 2 (1960, 1998)
  • Yugoslavia - 1 (1987)

So yes, I did pick Iceland as the winner this year and not in any of the years they’ve sent fan favourite entries. But I don’t know, there’s something irresistable about this entry.