Airdate: Eurovision 2009

eurovision_2009The spectacle that combines pop, flamboyance, culture and occasionally politics (even though it tries hard not to) is back in May.

Eurovision looms large for its 54th event, from the city of Moscow.

As one of its most-buzzed events, SBS is once more bringing the two semi-finals and final to screen across three consecutive nights.

The two semi finals screen 7:30pm Friday / Saturday May 15 & 16 with the Final at 7:30pm Sunday May 17th.

There are changes this year to EV, not the least of which is the retirement of longtime commentator Terry Wogan from the BBC broadcast. SBS will send RocKwiz host Julia Zemiro, who has previously introduced the broadcast to Aussie viewers (not to mention appearing in the original Eurobeat stage musical), for an on the ground presentation. Accompanied by RRR broadcaster, Sam Pang, the two will represent the biggest EV coverage ever staged by SBS.

Understanding the reverence that is Eurovision, producer Paul Clarke indicates commentary will be kept to post-song, over the traditional ‘Postcards.’  There will also be extra video packages showing the lead-up to EV with the Australian presenters. Clarke has previously staged several big music events including two Kylie concert videos plus Long Way to the Top and the Countdown Spectacular.

Another change this year is the return of juries for voting. In an attempt to minimise political bloc voting, jury votes will comprise 50% of the voting results along with the public vote. Juries have previously formed part of EV voting- but not for some years.

So far Norway is the bookies’ favourite, with a charismatic male vocalist who also plays a mean violin. But there’s a long way to go.

Hello this is Moscow calling….

David Knox also blogs Eurovision for SBS.

24 Comments:

  1. I’m still miffed at Malta losing in 2002 with one of their best songs all due to the stupid phone voting system which is why Malta didnt win

  2. go the FYROM. You know when they’ve got points, even if the language is foreign as it’s just a long ramble.I loved Wogan, and his comments and hatred of britain’s hideous songs.

  3. aw i would really want graham norton’s commentary, if we do get it thats great but if we dont, bummer i would like to see what he has to say

    hope julia introduces the show, and then maybe pre commercial break, she might chat about her feeling about the performances

  4. Did Wogan ever do commentary mid-song? I can’t seem to remember him doing that (not recently, at least) and I believe that Eurovision’s rules for broadcasters say that they’re not allowed to talk over the performances.

    I agree that Wogan isn’t much of a loss. His commentary for the last few years consisted entirely of moaning about how people weren’t voting for the UK entry enough, to the extent that he talked about nothing else through the entire voting part of the program. His tantrum at the end of last year’s show was just embarrassing. The BBC commentators for the semi-finals were usually much more entertaining than him.

  5. The difference between Julia and Des Mangan is the Des was trying to be an imitation Terry Wogan. Julia has a natural wit and loves Eurovision so I am interested to hear her commentary.

    I am going for Norway but my favourite favourite entry is Belarus – remember Sweet from the 70’s? This guy looks and sounds like them and think that Belarus’ retro rocker is just awesome. Cant wait to get the compilation CD so that I can listen to it really loud!

  6. Hooray for the Eurovision. Hooray for the Europe!
    Cannot hold myself in for the waiting of it. All of the Moscow will be in excitement.

    Back to English as a first language now… While I would have loved to hear Graham Norton’s comments, I think Julia will be great because she’s a huge fan of EVS. She won’t just slag it off. She’s very clever.

    For the past two years, I have accidentally forwarded through the ‘boring’ songs, only to discover during the voting process that they are the winners. Can I make it three years in a row?

  7. I read somewhere that Andrew Lloyd Webber is going to be onstage with Jade Ewan, the UK entrant, playing the piano to accompany her.

    I wouldnt be surprised to see the UK do quite well this year, Lloyd Webber is apparently quite popular in Eastern Europe and he wrote their entry this year

  8. Julia Zemiro is fine but i just kept help but think that its a European event and aussie commentators are just outsiders with little to contribute. I loved Wogan back in the day, but the last 4 or 5 years when the UK havent done so well, I havent found him particularly cutting, sarcastic or witty like I used to, rather he just come across as a sore loser.
    PS – Go Finland!!!

  9. Most of the European broadcasters have always sent their own commentators, so now the Wogan era is clearly over SBS is falling into line. Everyone is very aware of a previous experience with Des Managan and indicating a it will not be mid-song commentary as Wogan did, but at the end of the song during the Postcards.

    Anyone who knows Julia Zemiro knows she has a long personal history with both EV and music television. I’m surprised how many people actually didn’t enjoy Wogan too, finding him “sour” (I wasn’t one of them). Julia’s a pretty perfect Aussie choice.

  10. imagine | seriously

    can’t wait. i love this show. 2007’s winner Marija was the best. Last years Dima Bilan also had a great song.

    i can’t even tell you how excited i am about this years eurovision.

  11. David, do we take from this that we wont be getting the BBC commentary with Graham Norton? bit of a shame, he’ll do a good job I think, last time SBS sent their own guy, Des Mangan I beleive it was, it was a total car wreck and SBS ended up playing the BBC version the following weekend after viewers complained

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