[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Sunday, 13 May 2007, 14:04 GMT 15:04 UK
Eurovision Song Contest: Top 10
By Michael Osborn
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

The BBC News website invited a panel of Eurovision Song Contest experts to listen to this year's 42 entries and cast their votes for the songs they thought would succeed in Helsinki.

Now that the competition is over for another year, it is time to assess how well they did.

The panel's members included former contest winner Sandra Kim (Belgium 1986) and dedicated Eurovision enthusiasts from across Europe.

Germany's entry by Roger Cicero collected the most votes among the experts, although it was Serbian singer Marija Serifovic who won with her ballad Molitva.

1. GERMANY

Germany's Roger Cicero

The song: Frauen Regier'n Die Welt (Women Rule The World) is a first for Eurovision - think big band swing and the cool of the Rat Pack

The performer: Roger Cicero - whose ancestry is Romanian - is the son of jazz musician Eugen Cicero and studied in the Netherlands. His debut album was 2006's best-selling record in Germany by a homegrown artist.

Our panel said: "Fabulous - a proper song and singer."

Germany's form: The country has taken part in almost every contest since 1956, but they have only won once in 1982 with Nicole's A Little Peace.

Result: Roger Cicero's slick performance failed to capture the Eurovision zeitgeist and finished a lowly 19th.

2. SWITZERLAND

DJ Bobo (centre)

The song: Vampires Are Alive is an uptempo piece of Europop with the odd film score moment - and Dracula-friendly lyrics.

The performer: DJ Bobo has been one of Switzerland's best-known pop acts since the mid-1990s and is renowned for his colourful, themed concerts, with a Vampire tour on the cards next year.

Our panel said: "A very powerful entry indeed... DJ Bobo has found a song that could please most Eurovision voters."

Switzerland's form: The country won the first contest in 1956 and Celine Dion triumphed in 1988. DJ Bobo must qualify for the grand final.

The hotly-tipped Swiss act made an unexpected exit from Thursday's semi-final.

3. SERBIA

Marija Serifovic

The song: Molitva (A Prayer) is a heartfelt ballad which gradually builds to a powerful climax.

The performer: Music runs in the family of 22-year-old Marija Serifovic, who began singing as a child. She has won a clutch of prizes in Serbia and neighbouring countries.

Our panel said: "Marija has great voice, the music is strong and powerful with great lyrics. It doesn't try too hard - builds beautifully."

Serbia's form: This is the country's first appearance in its own right after Montenegro seceded in 2006. Serbia and Montenegro finished second on their debut in 2004.

Result: Balladeer Marija Serifovic overhauled Ukrainian drag queen Verka Serdyuchka to win the contest.

4. GEORGIA

Georgia's Sopho

The song: Visionary Dream is an exhilarating mix of Georgian folk tunes, pounding beats and soaring vocals - parallels to Bjork and Kate Bush spring to mind.

The performer: Sopho Khalvshi, 21, was a winner at a song contest held in Latvia last year, and was selected to represent Georgia at the contest. Her debut album contains songs which were shortlisted for Helsinki.

Our panel said: "An amazing song - very unusual. It could do surprisingly well."

Georgia's form: The former Soviet republic is appearing for the first time.

Result: Sopho came 12th, narrowly missing out on an automatic place for Georgia in the 2008 final.

5. SPAIN

D'Nash

The song: I Love You Mi Vida is sung in Spanish with a smattering of English. A thumping pop tune with a very definite Latin feel.

The performers: Four piece boyband D'Nash - Mikel, Basty, Javi and Ony - are all in their early 20s and formed last year. They won a long selection process to represent Spain at Eurovision.

Our jury said: "Passionate song which is distinctively Spanish. A good dance routine is likely to go along with this."

Spain's form: The country's only victories to date came way back in 1968/9. The past two years has seen the Spanish floundering near the foot of the scoreboard.

Result: The contest's only boy band came a disappointing 20th place, failing to reverse Spain's faltering fortunes.

6. GREECE

Greek singer Sarbel

The song: Bouncy, catchy pop song Yassou Maria is performed in English, but has a definite Greek musical feel and is all about a drop dead gorgeous woman.

The performer: Sarbel, 25, was born in London to a Cypriot mother and Lebanese father. He saw off two seasoned Greek stars to win the right to go to Helsinki.

Our jury said: "The refrain is very easy to remember, so with a good show, Sarbel could win for Greece."

Greece's form: After decades in the Eurovision wilderness, the country has hit a purple patch, hitting the top 10 in the past three years, including Helena Paparizou's victory in 2005.

Result: Despite a slightly shaky performance, Sarbel captured seventh place.

7. CYPRUS

Cypriot singer Evridiki

The song: The French language song Comme Ci, Comme Ca is a solid dance tune with a moment straight from Ayia Napa's club scene.

The performer: Evridiki, 39, is an experienced Eurovision artist, finishing 11th in both 1992 and 1994. She was also a backing singer on three other occasions in the 1980s.

Our jury said: "The French lyrics give this song more personality and everyone will remember 'comme ci, comme ca'. It's a very strong song."

Cyprus' form: The Mediterranean island nation entered the Eurovision fray in 1981, and has since attained a best of fifth place on three occasions.

Cyprus was not among the 10 qualifiers from the semi-final.

8. BULGARIA

Bulgaria duo Elitsa Todorova and Stoyan Yankoulov

The song: Water is a fusion of traditional Bulgarian vocals, crashing percussion and a techno beat.

The performers: "Full-toned and tough" female vocalist Elitsa Todorova studied folk singing and percussion before taking her music all over the world.

Stoyan Yankoulov is credited as being Bulgaria's best drum player, inventing a new form of percussion. The pair have performed together for five years.

Our jury said: "A modern tune with lots of drums and energy. It is sincere and not manufactured for Eurovision, which makes it stand out."

Bulgaria's form: The Balkan nation took part in the 2005/6 contests, but failed to qualify for the grand final.

Result: The pair impressed in Bulgaria's first final appearance, finishing fifth.

9. BELARUS

Dmitry Koldun

The song: Work Your Magic is a pop song with an orchestral flourish which has all the makings of a James Bond theme. Lyricist Karen Kavaleryan penned the words for Russia's 2006 song, which came second.

The performer: Dmitry Koldun - who has dropped his first name for Eurovision - won the sixth series of Russian talent show Factory of Stars, before which he studied chemistry at university.

Our jury said: "A good singer with good looks and a good tune."

Belarus' form: The former Soviet republic's three Eurovision attempts have failed to result in qualification for the final.

Result: A classy performance surpassed the expectations of the panel, coming sixth.

10. RUSSIA

Serebro

The song: A slice of sassy, streetwise contemporary pop which UK group Girls Aloud would be proud to call their own.

The performers: Female trio Serebro (Silver) were formed by Russian music producer Max Fadeev especially for the Eurovision Song Contest. Lead singer Elena Temnikova took part in a TV talent search show in 2003.

Our jury said: "A very good, up-to-date song, extremely well-produced and not formatted for Eurovision at all."

Russia's form: This vast nation hit its peak of second place with Dima Bilan in Athens last year, a spot they also attained in 2000.

Result: Serebro's smouldering stage presence catapulted them to third place.


RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific