COME BACK performed by JESSICA GARLICK

Can the UK beat the curse of number two this year? Daffodilly maybe.

Despite the usual protestations of doom about securing the worst draw since the man who came second at the OK Corale, them folks at the Beeb, with a little help from 67,000+ televoters, have come up with a real corker.

Mush more of an effort was put into the UK final this year - so much so, some ticket holders were turned away from Television Centre as the production team weren't expecting to fill the place to capacity and issued a surplus number.

Christopher Price was a very funny host (as expected), a man drier than a not-very-wet thing whom one could tell was drawing from a vast knowledge of El Contesto (Samantha Janus sounding like a cat, anyone?) whilst Claire Sweeney was as Scousely down to earth (yawn...) as usual in a suit clearly designed by Corrina May.

Better people than me have reviewed the whole thing elsewhere on the web (see Catherine Baker's report in La Escena for an example), so we'll just stick to discussing the eventual winner - Come Back, ably performed by that siren of the vallies and Pop Idol first-tenner Jessica Garlick.

Thankfully this was drawn last, or the dreadful DJ Romeo could have sneaked over to Tallinn in its place, but the second Jess's vocal chords began wobbling, she knocked everyone else assembled into a cocked hat with the first ballad to represent Britain since 1989.

If this rare bit of Welsh vocal talent can sustain any early interest a ballad can garner before all the entries in Eurovision's most uptempo year ever are performed remains to be seen, but we'll be keeping everything crossed for her.

EUROREF SAYS: The only other ballad with balls this year is France,
and the French do the same thing with Eurovision ballads as
they do with footballs, so don't get too excited. Yet.
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