Julia Zemiro packs her bags for Eurovision 2009

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It's the songs, the costumes, the bad lyrics, the wild choreography and the voting that stretches for an eternity. The Eurovision Song Contest is now just a week away.

The contest that was such a springboard for ABBA, Celine Dion and "Volare" is readying in Moscow. And this year there is quite a bit of change too.

Legendary British commentator Terry Wogan, who is so wicked with his opinion, has retired from Eurovision, incensed that Britain never wins anymore. All those Eastern European countries have been voting for neighbours for years.

So SBS will send RocKwiz host Julia Zemiro and upcoming ADbc presenter Sam Pang to provide Australian commentary.

"Eurovision are very excited that SBS is on board and want to be a part of it," said Zemiro.

She should know, given her long affection for the contest. As well as previously introducing the show to Aussie viewers, Zemiro was in the original EuroBeat The Musical stage show.

"My mother was pregnant with me in 1967 when Sandie Shaw won with Puppet on a String. As a French-born kid who then moved to Australia with a French dad and an Australian mum who taught French, we had a lot of French music in the house."

SBS will provide commentary after the performances across the traditional Eurovision "postcard" clips.

"And we'll be doing little packages of arriving at the airport, losing our luggage, arriving at the venue. There will be little bits of showing you around Moscow, touristy things.

"The most exciting thing about it is the live aspect, especially if they muck it up. Eurovision was around way before Australian Idol happened."

This year Eurovision also reintroduces jury voting, who comprise 50 per cent of the voting along with 50 per cent from the public to avoid another winner being dominated by Eastern Euro voting.

There will be two semi-finals, which is the place to catch the best "bad" songs followed by the final.

The bookies' favourite this year is Norway, but Greece, which is second fave, has a song co-written by two Aussies.

"I'll be wearing a muff if it kills me," says Julia. "It'll be hot but if you don't see me in a muff I haven't done me job!"

The Eurovision Song Contest airs 7:30pm Friday to Sunday May 15–17 on SBS.

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