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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 May 2006, 07:15 GMT 08:15 UK
Eurovision Song Contest jury
The BBC News website has assembled a panel of Eurovision Song Contest luminaries to decide which of the 37 songs have the best chance of succeeding this year in Athens.

The 10 countries with the most votes are predicted to perform well at the semi-finals on 18 and the grand final on 20 May in the Greek capital.



Maltese singer Chiara has represented her country at the Eurovision Song Contest on two occasions.

In 1998, she sang The One That I Love in Birmingham and was well-placed to win throughout much of the voting.

But the performer had to settle for third place behind Israeli transsexual star Dana International.

On her return to the contest last year in Kiev, Chiara came second with soaring ballad Angel.


Jorgen Olsen

As one half of The Olsen Brothers, Jorgen Olsen won the Eurovision Song Contest for his native Denmark in 2000, a victory which confounded some critics.

Their winning song, Fly On The Wings of Love, was turned into a dance anthem and UK chart hit three years later.

Jorgen and Niels Olsen have been performing together since they were children in the 1960s, and made several bids to represent Denmark at the Eurovision Song Contest before their success six years ago.


Jan Leeming

Broadcaster Jan Leeming became a household name in the UK during the 1970s and 80s as a newscaster and presenter on the BBC.

In 1982 she hosted the Eurovision Song Contest, held in Harrogate after Bucks Fizz scored a victory for the UK the previous year.

Jan recalls having to memorise the script in French for the show as there was no autocue, and that it was "a very exciting evening".

She adds that presenting the show would be a tough job nowadays, but she would like to announce the votes on behalf of the UK on the big night.


Zdob si Zdub's Roman Iagupov with "Granny"

Moldovan band Zdob si Zdub became their country's first Eurovision entrants in 2005.

Their energetic song Bunica Bate Toba, which featured a grandmother rocking on a wheelchair and then banging a drum, was one of the talking points in Kiev.

They cruised into the grand final and finished in an impressive 6th place.

The band - including lead singer Roman Iagupov (pictured with "Granny") - chose their selections while on their tour bus on the way to a concert in Romania.


Jahn Teigen

Norwegian musician Jahn Teigen holds the dubious honour of being the first artist in the modern era of the Eurovision Song Contest to score "nul points" in 1978 with his song Mil Etter Mil.

Despite his showing, the song became a huge hit at home, staying in the Norwegian top 10 for more than four months.

The singer went on to represent Norway at the contest in 1982 and 1983, coming 12th and 9th.

He has taken part in Norway's national finals on a total of 14 occasions, the latest in 2005.


Nicki French

Singer Nicki French shot to fame in 1995 when her dance cover of Bonnie Tyler chart-topper Total Eclipse Of The Heart became an international hit.

She represented the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2000 with her song Don't Play That Song Again which finished in 16th place.

Nicki says that she is still proud to have represented her country at the contest and enjoys being a Eurovision pundit.

She adds that the UK enjoys a real love-affair with Eurovision, despite treating it less seriously than other countries.


Keith Mills is the webmaster of Irish-based Eurovision website All Kinds of Everything, named after Dana's song which won the country the first of their seven wins in 1970.

Keith Mills

Keith singles out Ireland's maiden victory as one of his fondest childhood memories, leading to a life-long interest in the contest.

But he says that France's exotic 1991 entry by Amina is his favourite song from the past 50 years of Eurovision, narrowly beaten by Sweden that year.

Keith will be in Athens for this year's contest, writing a weblog for his site along with two other journalists.

The semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest takes place on 18 May and will be screened on BBC Three at 2000 BST. The grand final on 20 May is on BBC One from 2000 BST.


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