When SBS airs the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest live from the Ukraine starting May 10, Spicks and Specks quiz whiz Myf Warhurst will be on-hand, along with comedian Joel Creasey, for backstage interviews and running commentary. "When you grow up, you have secret gigs that you'd love to do," says the Double J host, "but you never want to say that out loud in case it never happens. And then it happens, and I was so excited."
WHO gives Warhurst douze points for answering our burning questions.
Q: What kind of window into Eurovision was it last year being on Australia's national jury and in a follow-up, was Dami Im robbed?
Myf: Well, of course she was! She was so amazing. I mean, really, her performance was so perfect. The judges all thought exactly the same around the world, but it's Eurovision. They're going to go with what they're going to go with. She was definitely robbed, though — she should have won. I loved her, but judging as well was such an incredible experience because I've obviously been a fan of Eurovision for a long time and it's such an honour to be able to do that. I had such a good time and I was really into it.
Q: What was your earliest Eurovision memory?
Myf: I feel like I've watched Eurovision forever, just like everyone else. I used to watch it when Terry Wogan did the commentary in the UK version. I think I remember clearly Bucks Fizz with "Making Your Mind Up" and I think they did that really raunchy skirt reveal, and they pulled the skirt off to reveal the tinier skirt! That was pretty funny. But that was a great song.
Q: Has Eurovision become too slick these days or lost any of its campy appeal?
Myf: I don't know. This is one of the hard ones to answer because Eurovision, to me, which is why I love it, is about amping everything you know and love about music up to 11. I don't feel people are winding it back. I think they're more hip to what's happening musically in the world, but I still feel like there's that real effort to amp it up and that will never go away. There will always be massive key changes, there will always be great costumes, there will always be a naked man with a wolf or a butter churner or so many Russian babushkas, you know. Everyone wants to put in their culture as well, so that will always bring it down a level without it being too slick, which I love.
Q: Any acts we should be looking out for this year?
Myf: Yeah. Speaking of having a schtick, Italy's got a dancing gorilla, it seems, as part of their stage show, so that's what I'm getting very excited about. And Romania is another one I'm getting excited about. It's called "Yodel It," and I love a fusion. Because it's Eurovision, why not fuse a couple of musical styles that shouldn't go together? They've done a rap-yodel fusion. Never before! What a surprise! See, you think Eurovision just can't take it up another notch, they'll take it up a notch.
Q: Any advice or lessons learnt from watching Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang all these years?
Myf: Obviously we've got huge shoes to fill with those two leaving, and they will be terribly missed. I've known Sam for years and also Julia, and they are just divine and I really want to do a great job because they're really set this up for Joel and I. I've never started a gig that has so much goodwill already invested in it because they've done such a great job over the years.
Q: What are Isaiah Firebrace's chances of bringing home the glory for Australia?
Myf: I reckon he's in with a shot. He's very young and he's got huge shoes to fill with Dami doing such an extraordinary job last year. He's got such a beautiful, soulful voice. It's a beautiful song, he's got a great story and he is everything that is Eurovision and I'm so excited for him. I reckon he might be in with a chance, but that may be me because I'm biased.
Q: What do you love about Eurovision?
Myf: How can you not love it? It's just so many levels of excellence and fun and ridiculous and wonderful and magnificent. It's all those things.
The 2017 Eurovision Song Contest will air live on SBS at 5 am (AEST) on Weds., May 10 for Semi Final 1 (when Isaiah Firebrace performs), Fri., May 12 for Semi Final 2, and Sun., May 14 for the Grand Final. Primetime broadcasts on SBS start at 7.30 pm (AEST) on Fri., May 12 for Semi Final 1, Sat., May 13 for Semi Final 2, and Sun., May 14 for the Grand Final.
For more from Myf, pick up the latest issue of WHO on newsstands now.