I unfortunately didn't get to hear any of the enteries this year but the format changed slightly with a semi-final round taking place the day before (I think it was the day before anyway..) to vote on which enteries from the smaller countries and those countries that didn't get many votes last year were represented in this evenings final. The top ten semi-finalists went through to the finals.
I'm interested to compare yesterdays top three semi-finalists with todays overall winners....
1. Serbia & Montenegro
2. Serbia & Montenegro
Of the other semi-final qualifers several also made very high final positions (Cyprus = 5; Albania = 7; Bosnia & Herzegovina = 9; Malta = 12; Croatia = 13; FYR Macedonia = 14; Netherlands = 20).
I wonder if the fact that they all got an extra nights worth of airplay helped the qualifers in the final event. They certainly got better results than many of the countries which had automatically qualified. The best placed pre-qualified country was last years winners (and this years hists) Turkey who came 4th. The United Kingdom came 16th with 29 points, which is certainly a lot better than last years wooden spoon when they scored an amazing nil points! (The UK is automatically preselected for the event regardless of final position due to the amount of support and money it pumps into the show - good to see it's not on our own merit ;-p).