Canberra gets its very own Eurovision contest
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Canberra gets its very own Eurovision contest

Eurovision may be over for another year, but fans can still get their dose of ballads with dramatic key changes, dazzling costumes and an unpredictable voting system right in the nation's capital.

A Canberra version of the famous song contest has been set up, with singers representing suburbs instead of countries taking to the stage.

Canberra's version of Eurovision - Canbeurovision -  is holding heats at Smith's Alternative, co-hosted by Jayne Hoschke and organiser Chris Endrey. Pictured with Last Group House, representing O’Connor Heights.

Canberra's version of Eurovision - Canbeurovision - is holding heats at Smith's Alternative, co-hosted by Jayne Hoschke and organiser Chris Endrey. Pictured with Last Group House, representing O’Connor Heights.

Photo: Elesa Kurtz

Organised by Canberra Eurovision fan Chris Endrey, Canbeurovision has 24 suburbs taking part in the competition, and he said he's been blown away by the level of interest.

"I really thought I would be ringing around begging friends to take part, but everyone has been begging me for a spot," he said.

"If you imagine a pissweak version of Eurovision with a great sense of Canberra pride, I think that really represents what this is."

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Such has been the level of interest in the competition, an extra heat had to be added.

Heats two and three are being held this weekend at Smith's Alternative, with the final taking place at the Polish White Eagle Club on June 8.

"Just as Eurovision allows Israel, Azerbaijan and Australia, we've also allowed suburbs from Queanbeyan," he said.

Much like the real thing, each suburb is represented by a musical act, with the performances being judged by a mix of audience and judges.

While no northside or southside voting blocs have emerged as of yet, there is a lot of friendly rivalry between suburbs.

"I don't think anyone hates suburbs as much as the ones right next to them," Mr Endrey said.

Mr Endrey said many of acts have embraced the wackiness that is Eurovision, adopting an unorthodox approach in their performances.

"There was one guy who wore a gold mankini and he covered himself in vegetable oil while he was singing," he said.

"Some people are singing about their suburb, which shows off some pride, while some people are doing big ballads with key changes and lots of flare."

While Isabella Plains has emerged as an early favourite for the crown this year after taking out the first heat, Mr Endrey said it's still anyone's game as to who will win.

A prize for the overall winner is yet to be determined, there is a prize for those who come last in each of the heats - a free music lesson.

Mr Endrey said he hopes for the event to become a regular Canberra fixture.

"It's a lost opportunity to have something unique," he said.

Tickets for the final and the heats have already sold out, but the event will be streamed live over Facebook.

Andrew Brown is a journalist at the Sunday Canberra Times. Andrew has worked at the Canberra Times since 2016.

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