Another major Eurovision milestone is set to occur in late November 2015 as teen sensation and The Voice Kids Australia finalist Bella Paige takes her place on stage in Sofia, Bulgaria representing Australia for the first time at the junior version of the contest.
And it’s fitting that the contest gets a “mini” version of the Australian adult hosts, Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang, in the guise of comedian-actor Toby Truslove and radio-host Ash London – both no strangers to the eccentric world of Eurovision.
Truslove partnered with Zemiro to host the fabulously fun Blink TV production of The Eurovision Quiz Contest back in 2014 and London was a member of the esteemed 5 person Australian Jury for this year’s adult contest in Vienna, Austria.
“I hope some country really goes for it. Someone on fire…someone on fire on ice-skates. That’s what we’re watching for."
So what do mini Julia and Sam expect from this year’s contest? Well, from the sounds of it – madness, ice-skating fire dancers and world peace.
Truslove is quick to point out that, of this co-hosting duo, he’s the mini Julia. “We flipped for it,” he notes nonchalantly. “Ash is Pang…so she’ll need to suck it up."
As for the contest and the contestants, his expectations remain high - and sprinkled with a bit of crazy.
“Could someone turn into a vampire? That’d be good," Truslove muses. “I hope some country really goes for it. Someone on fire…someone on fire on ice-skates. That’s what we’re watching for."
In fact, Truslove wants he and London to “giggle their way through” the on-air shenanigans to ensure that the audience and the hosts are having a collectively fabulous time. “I hope there’s lots and lots of madness," he says, adding, "really though…if everyone were as happy as Junior Eurovision then we’d have world peace”
On a more serious note, Truslove is all praise for our 14-year-old entrant Bella Paige who’ll represent Australia for the first time in the junior version of the contest. “Bella’s a corker,” he offers. “She is genuinely good. Our act is going to be the one to beat.”
And he’s not alone in his opinion, with many insiders tipping that Australia will go close to claiming the ultimate glittery prize or at least emulate Guy Sebastian’s Top 5 finish from the adult contest held earlier this year in Vienna, Austria.
Ash London, host of a slew of music programs including Take 40 Australia and the Shazam Top 20, will partner with Truslove for the broadcast. London admits that she’s fascinated by “what the kids do with it,” citing that the “glory of Eurovision” always presents fascinating and talented acts.
She adds, “I’m depressed that I’ll be 29 and these entrants (are) more talented than I’ll ever be."
Wiping a glittery tear from her eye she then admits that she’s really looking forward to “having fun” during the broadcast and excited that she’ll “be with Australia as they watch it”.
Also on hand to watch (and judge) the contest will be a jury consisting of presenter Richard Wilkins, founding Red Wiggle Murray Cook, beloved Playschool alumnus Monica Trapaga, children’s entertainer Ben Thatcher, singing coach and choir conductor Natasha Cupitt, and15-year-old musician and singer Mara Van Duyl who represents Australia on the International Kids Jury.
Bella Paige’s historic moment on the Junior Eurovision stage, hosted by Truslove and London, can be seen at 7:30pm on Saturday November 28 on SBS or watch the LIVE coverage at 5:30am on Sunday November 22 on SBS.
Go to www.sbs.com.au/junioreurovision for all Junior Eurovision news, interviews, behind the scenes pics and to follow Bella’s journey in Bulgaria.