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2016 Eurovision Song Contest - coverage guide

ProgrammingSteve Molk

Sam Pang & Julia Zemiro
Image - SBS

It’s almost Eurovision time, Australia. With Dami Im about to perform ‘Sound of Silence’ in front of a worldwide audience of almost 200 million, SBS is a one stop shop for everything you need to get swept up in Eurovision fever.

From the start of May, SBS Eurovision Radio is the soundtrack for the countdown to Sweden, while SBS’s Eurovision website is the place to keep up with the news and gossip on the preparations of all 42 competing countries and follow Dami’s journey to Stockholm. On television, SBS has Eurovision covered from every angle with a RocKwiz Europe special, ABBA live in concert, documentaries on Eurovision favourites Conchita Wurst and Lordi, encores of Junior Eurovision, The Eurovision Quiz Contest, plus music movies and more.

The Eurovision Semi Finals and Grand Final: with backstage interviews and behind the scenes action, are 7.30pm Friday 13, Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 May on SBS.

Our favourite duo act, SBS Eurovision hosts Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang will once again be poised and ready from the commentary booth in Stockholm. This year, a third member joins the team, as television, film and theatre star and Eurovision aficionado Toby Truslove puts on the sequins and shimmys into place as backstage reporter to bring interviews with performers and behind the scenes action.  

Australians will be able to vote again this year during the early morning broadcasts and then join in the conversation using the hashtag #sbseurovision during the interactive evening primetime broadcasts, with tweets and party pictures on screen.

As per the official Eurovision rules, viewers can vote in the Semi Final in which their country is participating, as well as the Grand Final. The viewers’ votes make up 50% of the final result. The other 50% of the vote is decided by a National Jury in each participating country. Australia’s jury will be announced on Friday April 29.

The jury and Australian public can vote for any country except Australia.

For Australian viewers, this means they will need to tune into the LIVE broadcasts of Semi Final 2 Friday 13 May, 5am (AEST) and the Grand Final Sunday 15 May, 5am (AEST) in order to cast their vote at the same time as European audiences. To vote they will need to text or call the numbers that appear on screen during these live broadcasts.


2016 Eurovision Song Contest

Primetime evening broadcasts
Semi Final 1 – Friday 13 May, 7.30pm, SBS
Semi Final 2 – Saturday 14 May, 7.30pm, SBS - **Featuring performance by Dami Im
Grand Final – Sunday 15 May, 7.30pm, SBS
LIVE early morning broadcasts
Semi Final 1 – Wednesday 11 May, 5am (AEST) SBS
Semi Final 2 – Friday 13 May, 5am, (AEST) SBS - **Featuring performance by Dami Im
Grand Final – Sunday 15 May, 5am, (AEST) SBS

There are 42 countries competing for glory at the 61st Eurovision Song Contest.

Last year’s Eurovision winner Måns Zelmerlöw and popular presenter Petra Mede will host the Semi Finals and Grand Final from Stockholm’s spectacular Globe Arena. 

The theme of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest is ‘Come Together’.

As a full competing nation this year, Dami Im must perform in Semi Final 2, and be one of the top 10 countries from her Semi voted through to battle it out in the Grand Final, unlike our wildcard entry last year, Guy Sebastian, who was placed straight into the Grand Final.

Dami’s ‘Sound of Silence’ is up against quite a variety of songs in Semi Final 2. Belarus’ entrant wants to be on stage naked with live wolves, Ireland has an ex- boy band member from Westlife, Israel has a big power ballad, and Ukraine has already been stirring up controversy with a political message in their song.

Top contenders Semi Final 1 to win a spot in the Grand Final include high profile Russian singer, actor and TV presenter Sergey Lazarev, and Malta’s Ira Losco; both high in the betting odds.

The Big 5 straight through to the Grand Final are hot competition this year. Spain’s Barei has a meme-worthy dance, France’s Amir a catchy upbeat track, UK duo Joe and Jake are sure to secure the teenage girl vote, Italy an epic in-language power ballad, and Germany with the quirky fashion and amazing voice of Jamie-Lee. Host nation Sweden are also straight through to the Grand Final with their act Frans storming up the local charts.

Conchita: Unstoppable
Wednesday 27 April 11pm, SBS
Before Eurovision 2016 kicks off, follow Conchita Wurst - the Queen of Austria and winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014, through her time after her overwhelming victory and the preparation for Eurovision 2015, giving a very personal insight into Conchita's way of fulfilling her dreams and her ambitious aim of winning a Grammy. Conchita: Unstoppable shows how the Queen of Austria manages to reconcile her tight schedule and thereby always remains faithful to herself and her convictions.

Wednesday 4 May 10.45pm, SBS
With their costumes and satanic alter egos, Finnish heavy metal band LORDI's victory in the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest gained them international acclaim. For front man Tomi, their victory was the realisation of his childhood dreams. An outcast from a young age, Tomi found solace in heavy metal and fantasy tales. However, five years on, his band are without work and hundreds of thousands of Euros in debt. Can Tomi keep his monstrous dream alive?

Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2015
Saturday 7 May, 3pm, SBS
Relive Australia’s first ever entry into the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, as 13-year-old Bella Paige hit the stage in Bulgaria, Sofia, with her song ‘My Girls’. The Junior Eurovision contest is the perfect prelude to get audiences excited for the big competition, with all the catchy pop tunes, emotional ballads, impressive choreography, vocal prowess, surprising props, glitzy costumes and fun of the grown-up version.

Pop Asia
Sunday May 8, 9am, SBS 2
Dami Im is PopAsia’s Special Guest Host with Jamaica and Andy on Sunday May 8th. Dami picks some of her favourite Asian pop singers and fills us in on how she is feeling in the lead up to Eurovision.

RocKwiz Salutes the Legends of Europe
Saturday May 7, 8.30pm, SBS
Heading into Eurovision week, Julia Zemiro presents RocKwiz Salutes the Legends of Europe. To celebrate the musical stylings of Eurovision, this super episode of RocKwiz will feature the music of ABBA, Shocking Blue, Nena, Kraftwerk, The George Baker Selection, Golden Earring and more, with exciting performances by Jess Cornelius, Megan Washington and Phoebe and Lou from Alpine.

Eurovision’s Greatest Hits
Sat 7 May 9.30pm, SBS
In 2015, UK presenter Graham Norton and Swedish host of this year’s Eurovision Petra Mede presented a special concert to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Eurovision with performances from some of Eurovision's greatest acts of all time.

The Eurovision Quiz Contest
Monday 9 May – Friday 13 May, 6pm SBS 2
Each night during Eurovision week, tune in to SBS 2 to brush up on your Eurovision knowledge. The Eurovision Quiz Contest, hosted by Toby Truslove, with Julia Zemiro and Casey Bennetto as team captains, is a smorgasbord of flashbacks and games as they trawl through the Eurovision archives to test Julia, Casey and their teams of celebrity guests on some of Eurovision’s greatest and most memorable costumes, songs, and performances.

Eurovision Song Contest Encores, SBS2
Switch over to SBS 2 for late night encores of the Semi Final and Grand Final.
Semi Final 1 – Friday 13 May, 10.15pm SBS 2
Semi Final 2 – Saturday 14 May, 10.25pm SBS 2
Grand Final – Sunday 15 May, 11.30pm SBS 2

ABBA in Concert
Saturday 14 May, 10.00pm, SBS
Straight after Semi Final 2 on SBS, continue that Eurovision buzz with ABBA in Concert. Shot in 1979, mainly at London’s Wembley Arena, the Swedish heroes of Eurovision play their biggest hits in front of a passionate crowd. The featured songs are: Waterloo, Take a Chance on Me, Voulez-Vous, Chiquitita, I Have a Dream, Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!, Knowing Me Knowing You, Summernight City, Dancing Queen, Does Your Mother Know, Hole in Your Soul.

Music Movies
Begins Friday May 13, SBS
To keep that Eurovision feeling lasting long after the action has wrapped in Stockholm, SBS brings the best in music movies. Beginning Friday May 13 and continuing on Saturdays 9.30pm, the musical fun kicks off with Strictly Ballroom, followed by The Commitments, Quartet, Saturday Night Fever, Walk The Line and Ray. 


SBS Radio kicks off Eurovision celebrations early with SBS Eurovision Radio, your non-stop soundtrack to the world's biggest song contest, broadcasting 24 hours a day from 1 to 15 May. Listeners can request their favourite Eurovision tracks via twitter with the hashtag #sbseurovision and enjoy back-to-back Eurovision hits and classics.

SBS Radio’s Eurovision Reporter Alistair Birch will be on the ground in Stockholm bringing all the backstage gossip and interviewing Eurovision artists for SBS Radio’s in-language programs.

SBS Eurovision Radio will simulcast the LIVE SBS coverage of both semi-finals and the Grand Final on Wednesday 11 May, Friday 13 May and Sunday 15 May at 5am AEST. The primetime broadcasts with backstage interviews and behind the scenes action, on Friday 13, Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 May at 7.30pm AEST. Tune into SBS Radio 4 on digital radio or stream online or via the SBS Radio App.

Over on Pop Asia, Wednesday May 11th Dami joins Jamaica and Andy on #hastaghits from 6pm. Hear the latest from Dami on Eurovision and what she thinks of her competition. Dami also reveals her new favourite K-Pop Boy Group. Plus – did Dami say she met Got7 in China recently? Catch the radio show on the SBS PopAsia App at 6pm – 8pm AEST.

In the week of the 9th – 13th May win Eurovision Merchandise on #hashtaghits with Jamaica and Andy.


The SBS Eurovision website is the hub for all the latest Eurovision news straight from Stockholm.

Check in with Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang, catch up on all Dami Im’s preparations for the big event, as well as all the latest gossip, exclusive videos and pictures. Backstage reporter Toby Truslove will present exclusive behind-the-scenes video interviews with artists.

Across all three nights of Eurovision weekend, May 13 - 15, the Eurovision website is the number one destination for the complete interactive experience for Aussies. Viewers can rate their favourite performance, join the social chatter and post party pics on Twitter and Instagram using #sbseurovision and the best ones will end up on screen during SBS’s broadcast! 

To get into the Eurovision spirit, party packs are available to download with all the essentials to glitz up parties across Australia.