For those of you who aren’t aware, Eurovision is an international pop idol contest.  Think American Idol if you will, but each contestant represents a different country in the European Nation.  Voting is by popular opinion, though viewers are prohibited from voting for the singer from their own country, and there are only two rounds of voting; that for progressing to the final and that for selecting the overall winner.

Each year, around 40 to 50 countries take part in the competition, each national singer giving a stage show of their song to a broad international audience.  Throughout the EU, the show is broadcast simultaneously, allowing the entire grouping of countries to watch the song contest live.  As such, many songs are in English so a majority of views can understand the song.

Eurovision has been going strong since its founding 1950, and is considered Europe’s favorite TV Eurovision 2010Credit: Amazonshow and holds a strong place in Europe’s collective mind.  As such, it is a great launching platform for a singing career.  Stars such as Riverdance, Celine Dion, and ABBA owe Eurovision a lot for their fame.

The next contest is scheduled to begin on May 10th, and as such now is a good time to review some of the successes from lasts year’s competition.

1)    Germany’s entry – Satellite by Lena

This list wouldn’t be complete without Lena’s song, which won the competition last year.  It’s a folksy, easy listening song love song about being drawn the to person you’re attracted too.

2)    Armenia’s entry – Apricot Stone by Eva Rivas

Eva’s song is a light pop song, whose lyrics mix the sense of nationalism and dreams.  It features a bouncy drumbeat and features a bit of reed flute.

3)    Romania’s entry – Playing with Fire by Paula Seling & Ovi

This song features a heavy piano beat and great chemistry between the two singers, which is a must in a song about a heated relationship between two people.

4)    Azerbaijan’s entry - Drip Drop by Safura

Safura’s chorus always gets stuck in my head, with the violins in the background and her voice sounding in my ear.  It’s a sad song, about still loving someone after they cheated on you.

5)    Belaru’s entry – Butterflies by 3+2

This song is a slow, mellow piece whose soft snare and smooth vocals flow over your ears, singing about finding a perfect world.

6)    Slovakia’s entry – Horehronie by Kristina Pelakova

While not in English, the beat of this song is distinctive you’ll be able to recognize it within the first 10 seconds, and Kristina’s light voice is a joy to listen too.

7)    Turkey’s entry – We Could Be the Same by Manga

Manga’s song is very interesting for delivery of the verses is very much like rap, though the lyrics are those of a pop lyrics and the background music is an electronic string instrument.

8)    Sweden’s entry – This is My Life by Anna Bergendahl

A song about searching for independence, Anna’s voice is brilliant.  She’s got incredible talent, reaching for high notes and filling each word with a range of emotions.

9)    Greece’s entry – Opa by Giorgos Alkaios

While in Greek, you can’t help but get up and dance to this song whenever it comes on.  It’s got a great beat with a slight techno feeling to it.

10) Ireland’s entry – It’s For You by Niamh Kavanagh

Filled with sensual piano playing and slowly building strength with the addition of other string instruments, Niamh sings a powerful song about love that’s a perfect match for her voice.