Constructed Worlds Wiki
2009 National Song Contest
Date: 12 December 2009
Presenters: Jelena Jakupović
Noah Kavanagh
Venue: National Indoor Arena, Southport
Submissions: 1,077
Director: Blake Underwood
Commentators: Adam Portnoy (NCR-1)
Eve Grosvenor (NCT Three)
Viewing figures: ~ 2,022,100
Voting: 50% Jury / 50% Televote & SMS
Televotes cast: 549,561
Interval act: Riverdance
Winner: "A Country Apart"
Jake Dunigan
◄ 20082010 ►

The 2009 New Cambria National Song Contest was the sixth running of New Cambria Television's popular annual music competition. It took place over six successive Saturdays from 7 November to 12 December 2009. Preparations for the contest began in January 2009. A number of changes to the contest's format were introduced, including increasing the number of songs selected to participate and the way the finalists are selected.

Popular New Cambria comedian Brad Nivens was scheduled to co-present the Grand Final with NCT morning program hostess Jelena Jakupović, while journalist and writer Noah Kavanagh presented the Semi-Finals. However, Nivens's arrest for drink driving just five days before the final led to his being replaced with Kavanagh. In the Grand Final, Irish dance act Riverdance performed as part of their North American farewell tour. Blake Underwood directed the contest for the third time, having previously done so in 2006 and 2008.

In a close finish, twenty-five-year-old Jake Dunigan won the contest, scoring 181 with the song "A Country Apart." Selma Kljajić and James Skerritt finished second by a nine-point margin with the song "The Fire is Burning."

Logo and Theme[]

NCT commissioned proposals for the logo and theme to be used during the contest, and also opened up the selection process. The last date to submit logo designs was 20 March. NCT published some of the candidate entries received on its website, a few of which are shown below.


Construction on the National Indoor Arena, a new, state-of-the-art performance and sporting venue in Southport, was completed on 31 March 2009, and it was rumoured that the contest's Grand Final would be held there, rather than the Brock Carter Memorial Arena in Arvant, which has hosted every Grand Final since 2004. On 2 April 2009, NCT confirmed that the NIA would host the Grand Final, and the BCMA would host the Wild-Card Semi-Final.

While Grand Final's location is somewhat of a given, the venues of the four Semi-Finals were open to much more speculation. NCT announced the venues on 9 May 2009. The historic Rozenn Theatre in New Breizh is the only venue to never have hosted a NSC event before. In 2008, it underwent restoration to its original 1931 construction, and a renovation from a cinema to a stage theatre. With a seating capacity of only 720, the Rozenn is by far the smallest venue to ever host a NSC event.

Event Date Venue City
First Semi-Final 7 November John Cabot Concert Hall Settlementflag The Settlement, Cavitislandflag Cavit Island
Second Semi-Final 14 November Black Box Theatre Stsaviourflag St. Saviour, Trinitycountyflag Trinity County
Third Semi-Final 21 November Rozenn Opera House Newbreizhflag New Breizh, StoneCountyFlag Stone County
Fourth Semi-Final 28 November Averytown Municipal Forum Averytownflag Averytown, AveryCountyFlag Avery County
Wild Card Semi-Final 5 December Brock Carter Memorial Arena ArvantFlag Arvant, StGeorgesCountyFlag-WithNewCambrianRibbon St. George's County
Grand Final Gala 12 December National Indoor Arena SouthportFlag Southport, CapeBangorCountyFlag Cape Bangor County


On 30 January 2009, the 2009 edition's first press conference was held at television centre in Arvant. At the conference, the official rules were made public for the first time. The rules for the 2009 contest feature several fundamental changes to the format of the shows.

Song Selection[]

  • The number of songs selected to compete in the contest was increased from 24 to 40, with ten songs in each semi-final.


  • The jury comprised three music professionals who awarded the songs 10-1 points in descending order of preference. The song that earned the highest combined score received 10 points from the jury. The second-highest received 9 points, the third, 8 points and so on down to 1 point.
  • The viewing public cast their votes via telephone or SMS. The song with the highest number of televotes received 10 points, the second-highest, 9 points, the third-highest, 8 points, the fourth and so on down to 1 point.
  • The three songs with the highest combined jury and televote scores qualified for the Grand Final Gala. The fourth-, fifth- and sixth-placed songs in each Semi-Final received an invitation to compete in the Wild Card Semi-Final. The four lowest-ranked songs were eliminated from the competition.
  • In the event two or more songs received the same score, preference was given to the song with the higher televote score.


  • The Grand Final Gala featured 15 songs:
    • Three from each of the four Semi-Finals;
    • Three from the Wild Card-Semi Final;
  • An eleven-member jury panel provided 50% of the total scores in the Grand Final:
    • Ten of the jurors were local entertainment industry professionals.
    • The eleventh jury consisted of nine music professionals from all over the world.
  • The jury members each awarded 10-1 points to their top 10 songs in descending order.
  • The viewing public contributed 50% of the scores with their telephone and SMS votes. These votes were be totaled and assigned points equal to that of eleven juries. Thus, the favorite song from the televote received 110 points, and the tenth favorite received 11 points.

Grand Final Jury Members[]

Name and Occupation Origin
Maura Ackerman, Vocal coach NewCambriaFlag New Breizh, New Cambria
David Blythe, Radio executive NewCambriaFlag Arvant, New Cambria
David Broome, Singer/Musician NewCambriaFlag St. Saviour, New Cambria
Kevin Cross, Songwriter Flag of the United States Nashville, United States
Travis Egan, TV presenter NewCambriaFlag Arvant, New Cambria
Penny Morrow, Composer/Choreographer NewCambriaFlag Southport, New Cambria
Amy Sedaris, Comedian/Actress Flag of the United States New York, United States
Alicia Toussaint, Record producer NewCambriaFlag Coventry, New Cambria
Amanda Young, Singer/Songwriter NewCambriaFlag Averytown, New Cambria
Steven Zane, Music critic NewCambriaFlag Talbot, New Cambria

International Jury Members[]

Name and Occupation Origin
Jeanette de Chapeau, Singer Flag of France Paris, France
Marta Ellsworth, Composer/Musician Flag of Australia Melbourne, Australia
Nanne Grönvall, Singer Flag of Sweden Stockholm, Sweden
Zoran Hadžić, Musician Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Masaru Makota, Performance artist Flag of Japan Okinawa, Japan
Eivør Pálsdóttir, Singer/Songwriter Flag of Denmark Flag of the Faroe Islands Syðrugøta, Faroe Islands
Eimear Quinn, Singer Flag of Ireland Dublin, Ireland
Alejo Sandoval, Music critic Flag of Argentina Buenos Aires, Argentina
Bastiaan Van Graan, TV presenter Flag of South Africa Cape Town, South Africa


NCT accepted entries between 28 June and 7 August. A total of 1,077 songs were received, a new record and a 16% increase over the previous year.

Returning Entrants[]

Several performers in the 2009 contest's Semi-Finals have previously competed in the contest. They include:

  • Kevin Altan (2005)
  • Jacqueline Clayson (2006)
  • Sarah Jađehe (2008)
  • Dan Kagan (2008)
  • Mađalo (2005)
  • Emily Pearce (2008)
  • Brian Trask (2004)
  • Hillary Williams (2004)
  • Micah Williams (2008)

Grand Final Gala[]

The Grand Final was broadcast live at 8:00pm on Saturday, 12 December at the National Indoor Arena in Southport.

Voting and Controversy[]

Due to the changes in how the votes are tallied, the voting sequence in 2009 was one of the most unpredictable to date. Four songs held the leading position during the announcement of the jury results. Despite being ignored by the international jury, Jacqueline Clayson's "Forgive" emerged as the clear front-runner after the first five sets of results. At the close of the jury vote, Clayson led on 90 points, with Amélie Bourque holding second on 82 points, and and Selma Kljajić and James Skerritt in third on 73 points.

With only the top three televoting results left to be announced, Bourque and "Laisser-nous croire" was in first place on 137 points. The televoters gave 88 points to Velocity, rocketing them from 7th to 1st place, and a final score of 158 points. The 99 points went to Kljajić and Skerrit, giving them a total of 172 points and the lead, which meant at least one of the two pre-contest favourites, Clayson's "Forgive" and Jake Dunigan's "A Country Apart" failed to receive any points from the televote at all. After a few tense moments, the 110 points were awarded to Dunigan, giving him 181 points and the victory. This left Clayson in disappointing 7th place.

The morning after the contest, the full televoting results were revealed, and it was discovered that Clayson's performance received a total of 12,659 votes, ranking 11th out of the 15 songs. Clayson's management accused the contest's organizers of rigging the results, and Clayson herself lambasted the contest in an interview with a Newfoundland radio station, then refused to appear on the contest's retrospective special, "Looking Back," which aired live the evening following the Grand Final. Of the 15 finalists, Clayson was the only one absent. Host Noah Kavanagh attempted to make light of her absence, and placed an empty chair on stage where Clayson was to sit had she attended.

In the weeks following the contest, several fellow performers made public statements about Clayson's sportsmanship and attitude during the Semi-Finals and Grand Final. Both Jake Dunigan and Selma Kljajić stated that Clayson refused to speak to either of them in the moments following Dunigan's victory, and she immediately left the green room area after the final votes were announced. In an interview with Radio 2, Dunigan said, "I thought it was very unsporting of her [...] as soon as the last set of points was announced, she got up and started to leave [the green room]. If the voting had gone the other way, and she had won, I would have gone over and shaken her hand." Kljajić stated in an interview with Cam' magazine that Clayson was frequently late to arrive during the rehearsals for the Grand Final, and unsuccessfully attempted to convince the producers to let her perform in the final position in the running order, rather than second-last as determined by the draw. Excepting the single interview with the Newfoundland radio station, in which her use of expletives was thrice censored, Clayson has refused requests for interviews regarding the contest.

The contest's organizing committee had initially refused to comment on the Clayson controversy until after the winner's promotional appearances were over. On 24 January, NCT released a statement that read:

The organizing committee was made aware of the situation regarding one of the finalists' dissatisfaction with her result shortly after the televoting results were published. NCT has reviewed the results collected from the independent televoting partner, and there is no evidence that they were miscounted, nor is there any evidence of vote-tampering. The results published by NCT and the scores announced by the spokesperson on the night of the Grand Final were both correct and accurate.

Final Scoreboard[]

Song Performer Jury Televote Score Rank
01 Goodbye, Love Margaret Carroll 4 4 15
02 Laisser-nous croire Amélie Bourque 82 55 137 4
03 Looking for You Brian Trask 21 33 54 9
04 Completely Kevin Altan 12 12 14
05 Ahet Sarah Jađehe 50 77 127 5
06 Wrong or Right James Clooney 23 23 12
07 Day After Day Kenneth St. John 19 44 63 8
08 Meant to Be Dan Kagan 7 11 18 13
09 A Country Apart Jake Dunigan 71 110 181 1
10 Bez tebe Hajrudin Ademović 36 66 102 6
11 Perdu dans l'infini Serge Fortescue 20 22 42 10
12 The Way it Used to Be Velocity 70 88 158 3
13 The Fire is Burning Selma Kljajić & James Skerritt 73 99 172 2
14 Forgive Jacqueline Clayson 90 90 7
15 Timeless Aurora 27 27 11

Jury Scoresheet[]

Song Int'l J1 J2 J3 J4 J5 J6 J7 J8 J9 J10 Total
01 Goodbye, Love 1 3 4
02 Laisser-nous croire 9 9 8 3 5 9 4 7 10 10 8 82
03 Looking for You 2 3 3 2 2 2 5 2 21
04 Completely 6 5 1 12
05 Ahet 6 2 9 8 8 5 9 3 50
06 Wrong or Right 6 4 1 6 6 23
07 Day After Day 2 3 1 4 9 19
08 Meant to Be 4 1 2 7
09 A Country Apart 8 5 8 10 5 9 6 9 4 7 71
10 Bez tebe 5 1 6 9 5 3 2 1 4 36
11 Perdu dans l'infini 3 4 2 1 3 4 3 20
12 The Way it Used to Be 4 8 7 10 8 7 1 8 7 5 5 70
13 The Fire is Burning 10 7 5 4 7 4 7 10 6 7 6 73
14 Forgive 10 10 9 6 10 10 9 8 8 10 90
15 Timeless 7 1 7 2 6 1 3 27


Song Votes Points
01 Goodbye, Love 8,709
02 Laisser-nous croire 31,062 55
03 Looking for You 16,048 33
04 Completely 7,853
05 Ahet 76,237 77
06 Wrong or Right 8,926
07 Day After Day 23,028 44
08 Meant to Be 14,994 11
09 A Country Apart 109,266 110
10 Bez tebe 39,096 66
11 Perdu dans l'infini 15,642 22
12 The Way it Used to Be 88,380 88
13 The Fire is Burning 90,701 99
14 Forgive 12,659
15 Timeless 6,960


See Article: 2009 New Cambria National Song Contest Semi-Finals

The Semi-Final rounds were held on 7, 14, 21 and 28 November.

Semi-Final One Semi-Final Two Semi-Final Three Semi-Final Four
Sirens N'avoue jamais Ask Me Enchanted
Deeper and Deeper Ahet Always Thinking of You Forgive
The Island Meant to Be Alone Wrong or Right
Bez Tebe Night of My Dreams Đanek Jahvija A Country Apart
The Way it Used to Be Come Closer Looking for You Get Crazy
Goodbye, Love Child of Creation Un Monde Sans Musique No One Knows
Words of Love Dance with Me Completely One Small Step
Laisser-nous croire The Fire is Burning Never Again Point of no Return
Insomnia Breathe Out Timeless Ehvija Đa
Day After Day Perdu dans l'infini Tonight is the Night Along for the Ride

Wild Card[]

The Wild Card Semi-Final was held on 5 December at the Brock Carter Memorial Arena in Arvant.

Wild Card Semi-Final
Bez Tebe
The Island
Along for the Ride
N'avoue jamais
Ehvija Đa
Always Thinking of You
Point of No Return
Breathe Out
Perdu dans l'infini
Ask Me
The Way it Used to Be

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