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Guy is in with a good chance.

OUR Guy in Vienna. Forget the tiresome haters, we’ve sent our most successful and talented (those two things don’t always go hand in hand) pop artist over to the biggest pop competition in the world. Tonight Again showcases everything we know he does well (effortless sky-high vocals, retro groove, modern production) and is a catchy party starter ready to compete with the world. The geographical outsider could also be the musical outsider this year.

That’s our Guy ... Could Tonight Again be the wildcard in Eurovision this year?
Source: news.com.au

The Australian Eurovision Jury

Australia – meet your 2015 Eurovision Jury, charged with the glamorous task of finding performers guilty of pop perfection… or of being criminally bad.

Amanda Pelman (Chair)

Amanda has a distinguished career in Australian music. She has worked at record labels where she signed a young Kylie Minogue, cast leading musicals (Priscilla Queen of the Desert), produced live events (Long Way to the Top) and judged music television programs (It Takes Two).

All the Artists who appear on Eurovision are totally unique – not just in displaying the nuances of their specific nationalities, but in getting a grip on the ART of show business. Everything is over the top and fun filled. I wish the music industry would embrace more of this humour and joie de vie!

Richard Wilkins

A trained violinist Richard is known as a television/radio host (Channel 9’s Today; Smooth FM) and performer (Grease: The Arena Spectacular). With 27 years in the Australian music and television industry he is a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the community through the entertainment industry.

What’s not to love about Eurovision? I’m deeply honoured to be part of the Australian jury. Just a shame we can’t vote for Guy. But tell your rellies in Europe to vote 1 Australia!”

Danielle Spencer

Danielle began singing and learning piano at aged 4. As an adult she worked in film, television and theatre before releasing her debut album White Monkey in 2001. She toured internationally after the release of her second album in 2010 and is currently working on a new album.

“As someone with a passion for music and performance, I’m thrilled to be part of a jury that assesses some of the world’s best performers on our biggest stage. It’s exciting to be part of Australia’s debut at Eurovision, and I’m sure Guy Sebastian will do us all proud. I can’t wait to see what the acts have in store for us and to hopefully discover the next ABBA or Conchita with my fellow jurors”.

Jake Stone

Jake boasts a varied and successful music career as a performer (with his band Bluejuice), music journalist (The Sydney Morning Herald, Rolling Stone Australia), radio host (triple J), songwriter and event host (MusicNSW, Vivid Festival). Jake has just released his debut solo single ‘BRH’.

“From being in a band people thought was weird enough to compete in Eurovision, to actually being officially asked to judge Eurovision for Australia, it’s been a dizzying and completely unexpected ride so far.”

Ash London

An MTV addict growing up, Ash has lived and breathed pop music since she first saw Britney cartwheel down the corridor in ‘Baby One More Time’. Since then, she’s spent majority of her 20s bringing pop music into the ears of Aussies on TV and radio as host of Take 40, The Loop and Shazam Top 20.

“From the tap dance shows in my living room, to my lifelong obsession with neon spandex and a deep seated love of show tunes, I feel as though my whole life has been working towards this point. What an honour to be involved in Australia’s first ever shot at Eurovision glory!”

What does the National Jury do?

National Juries from each participating country make up 50% of the total vote. Each jury comprises of a rag tag team of respected local music/entertainment figures with extensive experience in the industry and, of course, a passion for all things Eurovision.

Jury members and public voters can’t vote for their own countries, but there are plenty of other brilliant acts alongside our beloved Guy Sebastian.

Will the jurors embrace Armenia’s supergroup (including Australian Mary-Jean O’Doherty, an international coloratura soprano of Armenian ancestry)? Will Slovenia’s air violin playing singer Maraaya cause division in the voting room? Or will reigning champs Austria get a unanimous thumbs up with their slick rock entry, The Makemakes?

How was the Australian Eurovision Jury selected?

The Australian Eurovision Jury was selected by SBS and had to meet the criteria set out by the EBU.

  • Jurors must not be employees of participating broadcasters
  • Jurors can’t have been part of a National Jury the previous two years
  • Jurors must have a job within the music industry as a radio DJ, artist, composer, author of lyrics or music producer
  • There must be a balance among each jury of gender, age and background
  • All jurors must be citizens of the country they represent
  • Jurors cannot be connected in any way with any of the participating songs entered and/or artists performing in the ESC in such a way that they cannot vote in complete independence and impartiality.

 

Does my vote count?

Yes! The other 50% of the vote comes from the viewers from all 40 participating countries, including Australia. Viewers can vote for their favourite songs in the Eurovision Semi-Finals and Grand Final by televoting. Find out how to vote.

 

Semi-Final 1 Friday 22 May | Semi-Final 2 Saturday 23 May | Grand Final Sunday 24 May

  • This story was first published @ sbs.com.au
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No Pets! The bizarre plan organisers rejected for Guy Sebastian’s Eurovision performance.

guyleatherTHE country’s first entrant in the Eurovision Song Contest wanted koalas and kangaroos on stage with him in Vienna but animal handlers said it wasn’t possible.

“They were worried about them getting loose in the audience and they have big claws so who knows what could have happened,” singer Guy Sebastian said with a laugh.

He was pulling the leg of European reporters and officials from the Austrian embassy in London who had come to see him before he flew off to represent Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest, viewed by more than 180 million people in 40 countries

Many people are still mystified why Australia is competing in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest on May 23, but Malaysian-born Sebastian said everybody he spoke to during a European visit thought it was fantastic.

Australia may even be a wildcard to break up the notorious bloc voting that sees nations group together to support each other. The European Broadcasting Union said it invited Australia because the show is very popular in Australia, with many Eurovision parties being thrown while the live broadcast begins at 5am. People in Europe can vote for Australia, and for the first time Australians can vote in the contest. If Australia wins it will hold the 2016 contest somewhere in Europe. Parties are planned around Australia and several cinemas are putting it up on the big screen.

“I’ve been watching Eurovision since I was a young boy,” Sebastian told DPA. He is 33 and has a wife and two toddler sons. He made his name by winning reality TV show Australian Idol in 2003, and has released several hit albums.

“Eurovision is great fun and entertaining. I loved that it is so diverse with everything from hard rock Lordi in monster costumes to Russian Babushka peasant songs to girls churning butter while someone sings something,” he said.

“You never know what you’re going to get, and now they are going to get an Aussie popping up from nowhere. How good is that?”

Now an Armenian citizen … Educated in the US, Mary-Jean O’Doherty Vasmatzian was born to an Australian father and a Greek-Armenian mother.

Sebastian is not the first Australian to sing at Eurovision. Australian singers have represented Germany and Britain in the past, and Australian Mary-Jean O’Doherty Vasmatzian is singing this year — for Armenia.

Source: news.com.au
This story was first published @ news.com.au

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Eurovision in Concert: Watch Guy Sebastian’s live performance.

Yesterday, in Amsterdam, the seventh annual Eurovision In Concert took place. Outside of the actual Eurovision Song Contest itself, this was the biggest gathering of artists from the 2015 contest. Prior to the concert that took place last night on Saturday, there was an opportunity for the artists to meet the press for a series of one to one interviews that took place in the afternoon.

Some 1,500 fans attended the concert in the evening. Many queued for several hours in order to secure the best view in the venue. The show was presented by Edsillia Rombley (Netherlands 1998 and 2007) and Cornald Maas (the Dutch commentator.

The stars in the Milky Way (Melkweg)

The 24 acts from 2015 who performed at Eurovision In Concert

  • Albania – Elhaida Dani
  • Australia – Guy Sebastian
  • Austria – The Makemakes
  • Azerbaijan – Elnur Huseynov
  • Belarus – Uzari & Maimuna
  • Cyprus – John Karayiannis
  • France – Lisa Angell
  • FYR Macedonia – Daniel Kajmakoski
  • Georgia – Nina Sublatti
  • Germany – Ann Sophie
  • Greece – Maria-Elena Kyriakou
  • Hungary – Boggie
  • Israel – Nadav Goedj
  • Latvia – Aminata
  • Lithuania – Monika Linkytė and Vaidas Baumila
  • Moldova – Eduard Romanyuta
  • Montenegro – Knez
  • Netherlands – Trijntje Oosterhuis
  • Norway – Mørland & Debrah Scarlett
  • Poland – Monika Kuszyńska
  • Serbia – Bojana Stamenov
  • Slovenia – Maraaya
  • Sweden – Måns Zelmerlöw
  • United Kingdom – Electro Velvet

Watch below the video with Guy Sebastian’s live performance on stage last night

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Guy Sebastian’s Eurovision postcard.

Guy Sebastian, the 2015 Australian Eurovision representative has filmed the first part of his Eurovision presentation postcard in Sydney.

Sydney provided a perfect sunrise for the Australian postcard shoot on March 26 for the Blink TV film crew. Australia’s postcard will be shown just before Guy Sebastian’s performance in the Grand Final on Saturday 23 May 2015  from Vienna.

The package, a personal gift all the way from Austria travelled high above the harbour on one of Sydney’s famous sea planes, before it was transferred to a high speed water taxi for delivery to Australia’s first Eurovision artist, Guy Sebastian.

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Guy Sebastian was selected via an internal by SBS to represent Australia at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna. He will fly the Aussie flag in Vienna with his entry Tonight again

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Mary Coustas, the very first Greek-Australian Commentator

Mary Coustas (Μαρία Κούστας) born 16 September 1964 is an Australian actress, comedian and television personality. Originally from Melbourne, her television career started with the popular television sitcom “Acropolis Now” (1989-1992), in the role of Effie Stephanidis, a stereotypical second-generation Greek Australian prone to malapropisms. She won the Logie Award for Most Popular Comedy Personality in 1993. Since then she has appeared as “Effie” in other television shows and commercials. Apart from that she played other roles, both dramatic and comic, she released a single, and her memoir, called “All I Know; a memoir of love, loss, and life”. She is married to George Betsis since 2005. Together they have two daughters, Stevie and Fani.

"Effie"

“Effie”

When popularity of Eurovision in Australia became most evident during the 2000s, SBS sought to capitalize on its cult status by ‘localising’ the song contest. In 2001, the broadcaster attempted its first Australian studio broadcast of Eurovision hosted by no one else than “Effie” – the popular comedic Greek-Australian character played by Mary Coustas, in order to give a comic and relaxing tone. The program that went to air heavily edited the song contest, removing the local hosts, postcards and much of the voting; replacing them with local introductions from renowned television personalities in Australia and utilizing a chat format discussing the worth of the songs performed. To say it was an unpopular move would be an understatement, causing a meltdown of the switchboard due to the level of complaints. Bowing to fan pressure, SBS was then forced to re-screen the contest in its entirety featuring the BBC commentary one week later. Apparently, the era of permanent commentators had not come yet.

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Australian Eurovision Artists

In the past well-known Australian artists represented other countries, namely Peter Doyle & Marty Christian, as members of the New Seekers (IRL 72), Olivia Newton John (UK 74), Johnny Logan (IRL 80, 87), Jane Comerfort (GER 06), and Gina G (UK 96), while the BBC had twice asked from Danii Minogue to represent the UK.

Olivia Newton-John

Olivia Newton-John

The New Seekers

The New Seekers

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Jane Comerfort

 

 

Johnny Logan

Johnny Logan

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Gina G

 

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Danii Minogue

 

Moreover there are references in some songs’ lyrics, the most memorable of which being “Boom Boom Boomerang” (AUT 77-Kangaroos, didgeridoos).

This year, another Australian, of Armenian origin, Mary-Jean O’Doherty will be on stage for Armenia, as member of the group Genealogy.

Mary-Jean O'Doherty

Mary-Jean O’Doherty

 

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Sydney 1997: un unknown story

Back in 1996 the European magazine of Eurovision fans “Eurosong News” claimed that the Australian television asked officially that Sydney would take over the 1997 Contest and that the winning country would go on hosting the next year, a suggestion that was rejected due to heavy costs that the delegations would have to pay.

It is also known that various official petitions for participation were made through the years, but they were also rejected because Australia does not belong neither to the European Broadcasting Area nor to the Council of Europe, through which eligibility for becoming an active member of the EBU is achieved.

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SBS and the Eurovision Song Contest

Australia’s love for the ESC is well known. Some people used to watch the BBC transmissions already back in 1974, nevertheless the contest is being broadcasted officially by SBS from 1983 onwards, with many hour time delay. Each year accredited journalists and fans rush in order to live the ESC experience from close. In 2014, a special tribute to Australia, produced by SBS and featuring Jessica Mauboy happened to be the interval act of the second semifinal, titled “Down Under”.

From 1983-2000 there was no commentary. In 2001 it was provided by Mary “Effie” Coustas (of Greek origin). In 2002 it was received via BBC. For two years, 2003-4, Des Mangan took over, while in 2005 it was once more received from BBC. In 2006 SBS aired the UK’s broadcast, including commentary from BBD presenters Paddy O’Connell and Terry Wogan. An estimated 462.000 Australians tuned in to watch the Final, making it the 21st most watched show in the 2005/6 financial year. The same occurred the next year (436.000 viewers making it the 20th most watched show in the 2006/7 financial year).

Sam Pang & Julia Zemiro (of Chinese and French origin respectively) are the permanent commentators from 2009, the year when SBS decided to send for the first time an ESC delegation. They were also the master minds behind this special tribute, a sketch whose theme was why the Aussies love Eurovision so much. In the past, Julia Zemiro had participated as singer in three Eurovision themed musicals staged in Australia. She also provided the commentary alone in 2008, before Sam Pang joined her (427.000 viewers). From 2012, they have been allocated a commentary booth. Nowadays TV Ratings are higher as ever (2.7 million viewers in 2014; More than 3 million in 2013), proving Australia’s love for the Contest, due to the countries strong political and cultural bonds with Europe.

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Needless to say that SBS have broadcast every edition of the JESC since 2009 and the Eurovision Dance Contest in 2008.

From 2010 Australian viewers can participate in their own televote for the Grand Finals only. However, these votes are not counted at the actual contest. They are announced the next day on the SBS and the official Eurovision website. If the votes of 2010-2014 were added, Greece would have awarded the most points (33), followed by Ireland and Sweden (26), Denmark (21) and Serbia (15).

And suddenly EBU news struck worldwide fans as lighting! It was officially announced on 10 February 2015 that Australia would be the 40th country in the ESC 2015, in honor for the contest’s 60th running and a recognition of the event’s popularity in Australia. The country was given an automatic berth into the final, together with the “BIG-5” and Austria, last year’s winner and this year’s host. Australia will vote through professional jury and televoting in both semifinals and the final. Although it is considered as a one-off event, Australia would return in 2016 in case it wins. The only restriction is that the contest should be held in a European country with Australia as a co-host.

After an internal selection, Guy Sebastian was chosen as the country’s representative, with the song “Tonight Again”, which was officially unveiled by SBS on 16 March. Earlier on a press conference was held at the Sydney Opera House on 5 March 2015, where the singers and the song’s title had been announced. It remains for us to see the song’s ranking in the grand Final.

Guy Sebastian releases Eurovision song

guyAustralia’s first ever Eurovision entrant Guy Sebastian has released the song he’ll compete with in Vienna.  

Australia’s first ever Eurovision entrant Guy Sebastian has released the song he’ll compete with in Vienna.

The R n B track was written and recorded in the space of a week- and will be performed infront of millions of viewers.

 

 

Have a look here.