Michael Idato

Michael Idato

Michael Idato is a Senior Writer based in Los Angeles for The Sydney Morning Herald.

Expanding the Marvel universe

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Michael Idato Stars of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D discuss how the Avengers, Iron Man and Captain America impact their show.

Guy Sebastian gains fifth place for Australia at Eurovision Song Contest

Singer Guy Sebastian rehearses for the 60th annual Eurovision Song Contest.

Michael Idato Guy Sebastian may have conquered Europe's hearts but Antipodean charm alone was not enough to wrest the crown of the 60th annual Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna.

Australia's result

Eurovision 2015: Guy Sebastian 'blown away' by top five result

Guy Sebastian during the final of the 60th annual Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna.

Michael Idato "We were hoping to not finish last because that would have been a bit embarrassing. Top 10 we thought was going to be amazing. To go top five, we're pumped."

Grand final

Eurovision 2015: Sweden's Mans Zelmerlow wins; Australia's Guy Sebastian fifth

Sweden's Mans Zelmerlow.

Michael Idato Australia's hopes of winning the 60th annual Eurovision Song Contest have been dashed at the last, with Sweden storming to the top of the leaderboard and claiming victory.

Recipe for success?

Eurovision final 2015: The winning formula behind Guy Sebastian's Tonight Again

Guy Sebastian at the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna.

Michael Idato Guy Sebastian's Tonight Again is, like most good Eurovision songs, elegantly simple. Musically, lyrically and in terms of staging, it isn't over-baked. And perhaps that is the trick.

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Song choice

Eurovision 2015: The best, the worst and why Guy Sebastian will win votes

Guy Sebastian

Michael Idato There is a glorious madness to the Eurovision Song Contest, coming off a six decade history which has been largely defined by glittery pantsuits, typically worn by men with unnaturally hairy chests,...

Guy's prediction

'I'm putting my money on Sweden': Guy Sebastian rates the finalists he faces at Eurovision

Australia's Guy Sebastian poses for photographers during a press conference after a rehearsal for the semifinals of the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 in Vienna on May 17, 2015. The final of the 60th Eurovision Song Contest 2015 with 27 nations competing takes place on May 23, 2015. AFP PHOTO / DIETER NAGL

Michael Idato Guy Sebastian isn't a betting man, but if he was he says he'd back Sweden for the win in the 60th anniversary Eurovision Song Contest.

Second semi-final

Eurovision 2015 second semi-finals: What Guy Sebastian is up against

Hopeful: Monika Kuszynska performs <i>In The Name Of Love</i>.

Michael Idato They say it is never darkest than before the dawn. That might explain why the second semi-final of the 60th annual Eurovision Song Contest was, at times, an unrelenting assault of wind machines,...

'Soft diplomacy'

Eurovision 2015: Inside the politics of the Vienna song contest

Singer Guy Sebastian representing Australia performs during a dress rehearsal for the upcoming 60th annual Eurovision Song Contest In Vienna, Austria, May 20, 2015.

Michael Idato It may sell itself on feathers, wind machines and cheesy songs, but behind the sequins of the Eurovision Song Contest is a complex, carefully managed political game.

'A little crook'

Eurovision 2015: 'I'm a little crook' - Guy Sebastian shrugs off cold ahead of final

Guy Sebastian performs <i>Tonight Again</i> during rehearsals ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, Austria. The final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 will be broadcast on SBS on Sunday at 5am.

Michael Idato Australia's Eurovision Song Contest entrant Guy Sebastian says he's fighting fit and ready for this weekend's final.

Homeland creator Gideon Raff talks Dig

Michael Idato With an almost otherworldly sense of the spiritual and touches of Indiana Jones, the television series Dig shovels up equal parts religious mystery and boy's own adventure.

Competition begins

Eurovision 2015: Conchita Wurst opens semi-finals, Guy Sebastian has nothing to worry about

I'm back: Last year's winner Conchita Wurst performs <i>Rise Like a Phoenix</i> during the first semi-final.

Michael Idato It had a lady with a beard. A case of the splits that made everyone wince in their seats. And thousands of shiny balls hanging from string. What else could it be but the Eurovision Song Contest?

How to vote

Hello Australia, can we have your points please? Australia votes at Eurovision

Australia's jury for its inaugural Eurovision Song Contest is, from left, music presenter Ash London, journalist Richard Wilkins,  music producer Amanda Pelman (who is also the chairperson of the jury), singer/songwriter Danielle Spencer, musician and host Jake Stone.

Michael Idato For the first time in the Eurovision Song Contest's six decade history Australia is competing, assured of a berth in this weekend's final alongside the host country, Austria, and the so-called "big...

Eurovision 2015: what you need to know about the iconic song contest

Serbia's Bojana Stamenov performs during a rehearsal of the first semi-final in Vienna.

Michael Idato Your essential guide to the Eurovision Song Contest.

Pop stars

Eurovision's honour roll: from Domenico Modugno to ABBA and Celine Dion

ABBA's Anni-Frid Lyngstad belts out Waterloo, representing Sweden in Eurovision in 1974.

Michael Idato In the strange and sometimes inexplicable world of the Eurovision Song Contest, where gothic horror, acrobats and bearded ladies are the norm, genuine pop superstars seem curiously out of step.

Love for Australia

Eurovision 2015: Here's why Armenia loves Australia's Guy Sebastian

Mary-Jean O'Doherty (right) during Armenia's rehearsal for Eurovision.

Michael Idato Why Australian opera singer Mary-Jean O'Doherty is not worried two Australians in contention at Eurovision risks splitting the vote.

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From red carpet

Eurovision 2015: Why Australia's Guy Sebastian is the talk of Vienna

Has an automatic 'wildcard' entry into the Eurovision final: Guy Sebastian of Australia has the world's attention in Vienna.

Michael Idato From the launch, Guy Sebastian is trying to fend off the flu but the media is in a frenzy to talk to him.

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Eurovision, this Guy's in love with you!

Guy Sebastian with Australian Eurovision commentators Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang.

Michael Idato If the Eurovision Song Contest wasn't already a confusing enough mass of competing countries, archaic voting methods and memorably eccentric performances, the 60th anniversary event adds a wild card...

TV news: Celebrity Big Brother returns; series based on Marsden, Tsiolkas books; American Idol axed

Floyd Mayweather jnr celebrates his welterweight title fight win over Manny Pacquiao. The bout was the biggest-earning pay-per-view event ever.

Michael Idato Coming up on Australian TV: Celebrity Big Brother and series based on the books Barracuda and Tomorrow, When the War Began.

Mayweather-Pacquiao fight clocks half a billion in revenue; most lucrative pay TV event in history

Manny Pacquiao, left, from the Philippines, trades blows with Floyd Mayweather Jr., during their welterweight title fight in Las Vegas.

Michael Idato The boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao has drawn half a billion dollars in pay television revenue, confirming its place as the most lucrative pay-per-view event in history.