“The one thing I learned about Eurovision when I was there is that the world decides what song it needs, not the polls, the media or anyone,” explains Myf Warhurst.
“Who would have thought last a year a gentle song with a story and a big heart would win?
“But maybe we’re ready for Jess’ song? Maybe it’s time for a big party banger! She has such spirit and heart. She’s such a wonderful performer and a great voice, so I feel confident.”
Warhurst is soon headed to Portugal for the 63rd Eurovision Song Contest with partner-in-crime Joel Creasey. Lisbon is home to the world’s longest-running song contest following the 2017 win by Salvador Sobral.
“Do you reckon that’s sour grapes because the UK came last?”
Jessica Mauboy will represent Australia with “We Got Love”, her first official entry following a guest appearance for the 60th event in 2015.
Australia’s entry in the Euro-contest has previously attracted some criticism by English host Graham Norton, who questions our inclusion.
“Do you reckon that’s sour grapes because the UK came last?” Warhurst asks.
“I reckon that might have been the case a couple of years ago. But I didn’t get that sense at all when we went.
“But maybe we were so naïve because we were like the new kids at school? There are other acts not from Europe at Eurovision so we’re not the only ones.
“People don’t like change and then when it happens they get used to it and forget that it was ever not the case in the first place.
“We were so busy. Or maybe they were better at bitching behind our backs! I didn’t feel it at all.
“It’s the 4th year now, so there’s no point in getting upset about it.”
Warhurst landed a day before Semi Finals began in Ukraine last year and hit the ground running. With a nightly schedule of rehearsals, Semi Finals and Final, there was little time for anything other than work.
“You are running on adrenalin,” she recalls.
“The broadcasts are solid. The Semi Finals are 3 hour broadcasts on their own and there are 2 of those. Last year the Grand Final was 5 hours all up, and it happened in the middle of the night, Australian time. So with the jet lag you have to look after yourself and do your preparation for the next day.
“We went to a couple of parties but sadly it wasn’t really ‘party central’ because there’s a lot of work to be done. And on your off days there’s a lot of press to do as well (for Australia). But that’s great because people care.
“Last time I felt like I had to over-prepare so that I could cope in all circumstances. But this time I know what I need to do, which will make the job even more pleasurable and that can only feed into the broadcast.
“I love working with Joel. I adore him. We had such a good time last year.”
“We got each other through. Joel’s very supportive.”
2017 marked Warhurst’s debut with Creasey following the departure of Julia Zemiro & Sam Pang. While they have never worked together before they were forced to bond quickly when technical glitches hit their first Live Semi Final broadcast.
“If anything can bond a creative team it is technical problems!” she laughs.
“But we got each other through. Joel’s very supportive. And I’ve worked with some comedians who might not be so thoughtful and supportive, but he is!
“Adam (Hills) and Alan (Brough) were the same, and I thought that was a one-off. So I was just as surprised working with Joel.
“He does most of the gags but we just have a nice time, bouncing off each other. It’s really rare that you will get someone you will work so well with.”
Warhurst swears she doesn’t know how Mauboy’s performance, which features first in Semi Final Two, will be staged. But while she suggests participation is a win itself, she’s hoping for classic Eurovision.
“I have requested a white frock, wind machine, pyrotechnics, drummers possibly shirtless with water in the drums,” she teases.
“But they won’t listen to me. It will probably be something tasteful and magnificent.”
Eurovision Song Contest on SBS
Semi Final 1 – Wednesday 9 May, Live 5am (AEST) / 7:30pm rpt
Semi Final 2 – Friday 11 May, Live 5am (AEST) featuring Jessica Mauboy 7:30pm rpt
Grand Final – Sunday 13 May, Live 5am (AEST) / 7:30pm rpt