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2008 National Song Contest
Date: 6 December 2008
Presenters: Brad Nivens
Sarah Stanhope
Venue: Brock Carter Memorial Arena, Arvant
Submissions: 926
Director: Blake Underwood
Commentators: Adam Portnoy (English, Radio only)
Eve Grosvenor (French, TV & Radio)
Viewing figures: ~1,883,600
Voting: 40% Jury; 60% Televote/SMS
Televotes cast: 522,689
Interval act: David Broome & Ad Astra
Of Dance and Song

Keep On Moving
Karen Johns

◄ 20072009 ►

The 2008 New Cambria National Song Contest was the fifth edition of New Cambria Television's popular annual music competition. It consisted of four Semi-Final rounds broadcast on Saturday evenings between 1 November and 22 November; a Wild-Card semi-final on 29 November, and a Grand Final gala held on 6 December. A total of 926 songs were submitted, the highest amount to date. Thirty-year-old Karen Johns of Greenbriar won the contest with the song "Keep On Moving."


The addition of a fourth Semi-Final round for the 2007 contest helped boost the show's ratings, interest and revenue over the previous year. On 20 March 2008, NCT announced that the format of the 2008 contest would be identical to the 2007 contest, but some rules regarding song submission and televoting would be changed.

The old rule that songwriters, composers and performers must be citizens of New Cambria was amended to include non-citizens who have been resident in New Cambria for at least five years. Submissions could not be longer than three minutes in length. From 2008 onward, the maximum number of credited composers and lyricists is two each, and the maximum number of performers on stage would be increased from four to six.

The open submissions period ended on 12 September, and a total of 926 songs were received. From the 926 submissions, panel of judges selected 102 songs to present to the contest's organizers. The 102 shortlisted songs were then handed to a twelve-person jury of music professionals, NCT staff and other members of the public ranging in age from teens to fifties. The 24 songs that were selected to appear in the Semi-Finals were presented to the public on 3 October, and assigned starting positions in the Semi-Finals by draw later that same day. The two highest-scoring songs in each Semi-Final automatically qualified for the Grand Final gala on 6 December. In addition, the third- and fourth-placed songs in each Semi-Final were selected to compete in the Wild Card Semi-Final on 29 November. The top two songs from the Wild Card Semi-Final joined the eight qualified songs in the Grand Final.


Ticket stub from the 2008 contest's third Semi-Final

In each event, forty percent of the total score came from a panel of eight jurors, and the remaining 60% came from telephone and SMS voting, the same ratio as in 2007. The jury composition rules were changed to include four entertainment industry professionals and four non-professionals. In May 2008, NCT announced that a lottery would be held to select two "fan jurors" for each event. The twelve winners were revealed on 23 August.

For the 2008 contest, the window of time during which viewers may vote was extended from five to ten minutes, and the maximum allowable votes from each individual telephone number was raised from ten to twenty. The charge for casting a vote was confirmed to be 15c, the same as the previous year.

In July 2008, contest organizers approached comedian Brad Nivens and NCT news reporter Sarah Stanhope to host the event. Nivens originally accepted, but was forced to decline the invitation two weeks later, because a previous engagement would have precluded him from hosting the first three Semi-Finals. On 20 August, an agreement was reached in which Nivens and Stanhope would co-present only the Wild Card Semi-Final and the Grand Final. It was later announced that Christopher Bear and Claire McLean would co-host the first and third Semi-Finals, and Kenneth Bowden and Jelena Jakupović would co-host the second and fourth Semi-Finals. This is the first year in which the same presenters will not host every event.

The prize money awarded to the winner was also increased for 2008, from ₤5,000 to ₤10,000, to be divided equally amongst the composer(s), songwriter(s) and performer(s). Additionally, CamCom, New Cambria's largest telecommunications company and principal sponsor of the contest, donated ₤10,000 to the charity of the winner's choice.

Grand Final Gala[]


Larissa Bergen performing "Romance" in the Grand Final.

The Grand Final was broadcast at 8:00pm on 6 December, from the Brock Carter Memorial Arena in Arvant, St. George's County. Brad Nivens and Sarah Stanhope presented the event, and 2007 winner David Broome, with choral/dance group Ad Astra, performed a medley of pop, folk, classical and medieval songs as the interval act.

In the Grand Final, the eight-member jury panel ranked the songs, and awarded them 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 points, with the favourite receiving 10 points. The jury panel was confirmed on 28 October 2008, and consisted of:

  • Travis Egan, NCT entertainment correspondent and co-presenter of the 2004 National Song Contest;
  • David Blythe, executive director of New Cambria Radio's music programming department;
  • Charity Ennis, host of New Cambria Radio's late-night music program SoundScapes;
  • Jessica Dunigan, cast member on NCT's sketch comedy series Night Out Night In;
  • Michael Bublé, Grammy-award winning Canadian big band singer;
  • Amy Sedaris, popular American comedian and actress;
  • Jacob Johnson, a records processing clerk from Bainbridge Island and winner of NCT's Fan Juror Lottery, and;
  • Kelly Keegan, a personal banker from Portsmouth and winner of NCT's Fan Juror Lottery.

The telephone and SMS votes were totaled and assigned the weight of 12 individual juror's votes. The songs received 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84, 96, 108 and 120 points, with the highest-ranking song receiving 120 points. A total of 522,689 valid votes were cast, breaking the previous year's record.


Song Performer Jury Televote Score Rank
01 Your Soul Is Calling Me Fantasma 26 48 74 8
02 Strangers Samantha Keller 15 12 27 10
03 Keep On Moving Karen Johns 68 120 188 1
04 Romance Larissa Bergen 42 24 66 9
05 Le Temps Perdu Jonatan Fiori 53 96 149 3
06 Keeping Secrets Matt Reese 47 60 107 6
07 What I Want From You James Howe 41 36 77 7
08 Ljumahan Sarah Jađehe 60 108 168 2
09 Three Wishes David Dejardin 43 72 115 5
10 Douar Nevez Roger Picard 45 84 129 4

Jury Scoresheet[]

Song J1 J2 J3 J4 J5 J6 J7 J8 Total
01 Your Soul Is Calling Me 6 4 1 1 2 7 2 3 26
02 Strangers 2 1 3 3 1 1 3 1 15
03 Keep On Moving 10 10 7 10 9 3 10 9 68
04 Romance 8 3 2 5 6 9 4 5 42
05 Le Temps Perdu 4 5 8 2 5 10 9 10 53
06 Keeping Secrets 9 7 10 6 3 2 6 4 47
07 What I Want From You 1 8 6 4 7 5 8 2 41
08 Ljumahan 3 9 9 8 10 6 7 8 60
09 Three Wishes 5 2 5 7 8 8 1 7 43
10 Douar Nevez 7 6 4 9 4 4 5 6 45


Song Votes Points
01 Your Soul Is Calling Me 48,503 48
02 Strangers 8,728 12
03 Keep On Moving 88,653 120
04 Romance 22,823 24
05 Le Temps Perdu 61,437 96
06 Keeping Secrets 57,565 60
07 What I Want From You 35,284 36
08 Ljumahan 82,885 108
09 Three Wishes 58,361 72
10 Douar Nevez 58,450 84

Karen Johns is the second female soloist to win the contest, and the first since 2005. Remarkably, three of the four highest-scoring songs were not performed in the English language, but rather one each in French, Hēvat and Breton. Ƚumahan, performed by Sarah Jađehe, reached second place, the best result to date for a Hēvat-language song.


Main Article: 2008 New Cambria National Song Contest Semi-Finals

As in 2007, the 2008 contest consisted of four Semi-Final rounds. Six songs performed in each weekly Semi-Final, with the two highest-scoring songs automatically qualified for the Grand Final. The third- and fourth-placed songs in each Semi-Final performed in a Wild Card round, giving the top two songs a place in the Grand Final.

Semi-Final One Semi-Final Two Semi-Final Three Semi-Final Four
Douar Nevez All I Have Freedom Song What I Want From You
Le Temps Perdu Three Wishes Heaven Celebrate
Girls' Night Out Reach Don't Ever Cry Keep On Moving
Try Harder Wind Ƚumahan Quand Tu Reviendras
Keeping Secrets You Are My Only One Romance Your Soul Is Calling Me
Keep Out! Strangers Why? Help
Colors key: Qualified to Grand Final; Wild Card Semi-Final; Eliminated

Wild Card Semi-Final[]

The Wild Card Semi-Final round was held on 29 November, and featured the third- and fourth-placed songs from each Semi-Final. The top two songs received places in the Grand Final.

Wild Card Semi-Final
Keep Out!
Freedom Song
Le Temps Perdu
What I Want From You
Quand Tu Reviendras
Colors key: Qualified to Grand Final; Eliminated

New Cambria National Song Contest
Editions 20042005200620072008200920102011
Winners Kyle MasonSarah-Anne KerriganCadence in TimeDavid BroomeKaren JohnsJake DuniganGlenna St. Martin
Runners-Up Gretchen CarlsonJuliet WalrondJacqueline ClaysonAimée FerrerSarah JađeheSelma Kljajić & James SkerrittCadence in Time
Looking Back National Song Contest: Looking Back2004200520062007200820092010
Other New Cambria Public BroadcastingCamComMelodifestivalen