The Eurovision Song Contest is a annual musical event hosted by the European Broadcasting Union in the previous years winner's country.
Member countries of the EBU hold televised contests of performers, singing songs either written for them or by them. The public from each country tele-votes for the performer they wish to represent their country at the Final.
Due to the large amount of countries taking part recently, two semi-finals take place before the final. The only countries not to take part in the semi-finals are the Big Four (The United Kingdom, France, Spain and Germany) and the winner of the previous year (who usually acts as the host county).
At both the semi-finals and the finals, the participating countries perform their songs, lasting no longer than three minutes, and the public from all Eurovision nations have a tele-vote for the song they want to win.
Results are given out nation by nation, with each nation's favourite song being awarded 12 points, its second favourite 10 points, then 8 through 1 points for their third to tenth favourite.
In the semi-finals votes are tallied and the ten countries with the highest score progress to the final. In the final the winner is the nation with the most points, and they will take on responsibility for organising the following years contest.
It is known internationally for it's camp and outlandish performances, and for the singing and song-writing talents throughout Europe, it is in this capacity that it launched the careers of artist such as Abba and Celine Dion.
The show has recently had controversy brought upon to it with accusations of some countries of Nation Block Voting, with Baltic states, former Soviet states, and former Yugoslavian countries voting for each other due to country alliances and not countries based upon the songs.