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Growing Eurovision popularity in Australia


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Et
Eurovision.tv
Posted 29 May, 2010, 15:06

There is a strong Australian presence here in Oslo. Broadcaster SBS, who provide a multilingual and multicultural radio and television service in Australia, have sent a crew to Norway including presenters Julia Zemira and Sam Pang to provide full and comprehensive coverage.

Major radio interest

Both Semi-Finals and the Final will be shown in full with delayed starting times over this weekend in Australia, there are digital radio stations playing non stop hits from the Eurovision Song Contest and a huge number of parties will be held across the country in all of the major cities. SBS has even produced a comprehensive guide to catering for Eurovision parties, and score sheets that can be printed off to vote on the songs during the parties.
Freelance journalist and radio broadcaster Alistair Birch has been extremely busy filing reports and making interviews for numerous Australian radio stations and for his pool service website Eurovision Minute Australia. Alistair is primarily working for the ABC local radio stations in Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne but the network serves around 50 locations in Australia. He is also doing some work with the Swedish and Croatian language stations of SBS radio.
The radio interest is mainly for the breakfast shows but also there are also a number of evening shows which have Eurovision Song Contest features, including recorded press conferences and interviews with artists.

Contingent of Australian fans in Oslo

On Thursday, prior to the Second Semi-Final, a meet and greet event was held to unite all of the dedicated Australian Eurovision Song Contest fans who have made the long journey from their homeland just to be here and share the moment in Oslo.
Both Semi-Finals and the Final will be shown in full with delayed starting times over this weekend in Australia, there are digital radio stations playing non stop hits from the Eurovision Song Contest and a huge number of parties will be held across the country in all of the major cities. SBS has even produced a comprehensive guide to catering for Eurovision parties, and score sheets that can be printed off to vote on the songs during the parties.
Nigel Bruce, who is based in Canberra recalls watching the contest for the first time in the 1990's and one of his earliest memories was that of Australian Gina G who represented the United Kingdom in the 1996 edition. He also usually holds or attends a Eurovision party every year, but this time decided to make the long journey to be here in Oslo where he will be accompanied by an inflatable kangaroo as a mascot which he will be waving in the arena on Saturday.
Nigel also explained "To make the event more exciting, there is a parallel voting contest held by SBS whereby you send in a text message to vote for your favourite song, and the results are then published to reveal who is the Australian publics favourite song."

Honeymoon at the Eurovision Song Contest

Originally from Queensland, Belinda Conn was meant to attend her first ever Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow last year, that is until her boss begged and pleaded with her to stay at home to work. Belinda works in the public service, specifically in the overseas aid programme. She also hosted Eurovision parties in Papua New Guinea over the last three years and said "We had a huge party with many people attending, one of the funniest things I remember was in 2007 when two friends who were engaged made a bet beforehand and decided that their honeymoon would be at the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest wherever the destination may be, which they were hoping may be in Paris, however they ended up in Belgrade."
Most of the Australian fans are eagerly anticipating the Our Sound Asia Pacific song contest which is due to be held in Mumbai, India in November as Australia will be participating. Belinda and Nigel said that the selection of the artist and song will be held internally.
Contributors
Et
Eurovision.tv
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Australia2010OslonewsSBS
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