It's what made the contest special as a (now)multi-continental music festival competition that spanned so many countries and cultures. Obviously people will be biased towards using English since that gains you points so I think that the pre '98 rule of the native language song was a rather good one. I'm just looking at my favourite countries' selection for each year since '98 and NOT a single song has been in it's own language since the lifting of the rule: Denmark, Sweden, Norway (exception of one time). This is twelve years must I remind you. Some of you aren't even that old. This rule also forces at least some of the song writers to be from that country which I think is important. I know a lot of you disagree with me because you don't care about actual cultural identity, just cheesy europop music you can understand. I was looking at the song writers for many of this year's entries and A LOT of them were Swedish or Norwegian. Go figure. The eastern european/middle eastern country will just buy some pop song from a famous Swedish song writer since Scandinavians are famous for making catchy pop songs (some with substance, most of what you guys like, probably not). I'm probably the only person with this view here but I'm not a big fan of how liking American or British music means you must despise your native tongue in your own music. let the freakazoid bashing begin?