We are literally days away from the 63rd Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon, Portugal, and you know what that means? Spectacle on stage and off, thanks to a legendary voting process that's nearly as eccentric as the performances.
You know the drill: If you're watching the broadcast in one of the participating countries (yes, including Australia!), you are encouraged to vote for your favourite song in the Eurovision Semi-Finals and Grand Final by televoting. This result makes up 50% of the total vote.
The other 50% of the vote is decided by a National Jury in each participating country. Each jury comprises of a team of respected local music/entertainment figures with extensive experience in the industry and, of course, a passion for all things Eurovision.
SBS is proud to announce that Australia’s 2018 Eurovision Jury members are: television legend Richard Wilkins (Chairperson), Double J host Zan Rowe, comedian and musician Jordan Raskopoulos, hip hop artist L-FRESH The LION and music executive Millie Millgate.
AUSTRALIA’S EUROVISION SPOKESPERSON
SBS is also delighted to announce that Australia’s Eurovision Spokesperson this year will be SBS World News and Small Business Secrets presenter Ricardo Goncalves.
The Portuguese-Australian presenter has been chosen this year because of his close ties to the host country. Ricardo Goncalves is a self-proclaimed Eurovision tragic who will have the honour of announcing Australia’s allocation of points via satellite to those gathered in his family’s homeland of Portugal... and to 200 million Eurovision viewers worldwide.
“As a Portuguese Australian, I can’t wait to make my Mum and Dad proud by being part of this huge event in their home country," Ricardo said. "Boa sorte Lisboa e boa sorte Jessica Mauboy!”
In each Semi Final, 10 contestants are chosen to qualify for the Grand Final. As per the official Eurovision rules, viewers in all countries taking part in a particular Semi Final are invited to vote via the official app, telephone and/or SMS. Australian viewers are eligible to vote in Semi Final 2 (in which Australia’s Jessica Mauboy will perform) as well as The Grand Final. The voting window for Semi Final 2 and the Grand Final opens after the last song has been performed, and ends 15 minutes later.
For Australian viewers, this means they will need to tune into the LIVE broadcasts of Semi Final 2 Friday 11 May, 5am (AEST) and the Grand Final Sunday 13 May, 5am (AEST) and text or call the numbers that appear on screen during these live broadcasts.
One thing to remember is that Jury members and public voters can’t vote for their own country, but there are plenty of other outstanding acts alongside Australia’s Jessica Mauboy.
Will voters embrace bookies' pick Israel, or will they be wooed by Sweden’s reality TV star? Will the former Eurovision winner from Norway make a comeback, or will the previously banned contestant from Russia take the prize?
The Eurovision Song Contest will be broadcast live and in prime time exclusively on SBS from 9 to 13 May.
Primetime evening broadcasts
LIVE early morning broadcasts
Semi Final 1 – Wednesday 9 May, 5am (AEST) SBS and live streaming at SBS On Demand
Semi Final 2 – Friday 11 May, 5am (AEST) SBS and live streaming at SBS On Demand ** FEATURING JESSICA MAUBOY
Grand Final – Sunday 13 May, 5am (AEST) SBS and live streaming at SBS on Demand
The Eurovision Jury was selected by SBS and had to meet the criteria set out by the EBU.
Semi Final 1: Meet the artists competing and watch their music videos
Semi Final 2: Meet the artists competing and watch their music videos
Grand Final: Meet the artists with an express entry to the Grand Final and watch their music videos