Television network SBS are this year celebrating the 30th anniversary of broadcasting the Eurovision Song Contest on Australian shores, and the popularity of the show there is rising every year. Although Australia can’t compete or vote, it doesn’t stop them from getting involved in the festivities and spreading the Eurovision love to the Southern Hemisphere.
The show was originally broadcast with legendary British Eurovision personality Terry Wogan’s commentary, until he hung up his microphone in 2008, and have since had their own commentary from television and radio personalities Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang. There are viewing parties run in Melbourne and Sydney where fans are encouraged to dress up, pour a drink, watch and sing along to the final. SBS also run their own unofficial Eurovision vote and crown their own winner, and they share the tastes of Europe, having voted Loreen their winner last year, with over 70,000 votes.
Australia’s connection to Eurovision even precedes the 30 years it has been shown there, with Olivia Newton John coming fourth in 1974 with Long live love, and more recently Gina G came 8th in 1996 with Ooh aah.. just a little bit. Also Johnny Logan, who is widely known as ‘Mr Eurovision’ was born in Victoria, Australia before moving to Ireland at age three.
Australians, who love pop music as well as a good party will definitely celebrate this year’s competition in their own special way, and the popularity of the show will no doubt continue grow in the future. For more details on everything that is happening with Eurovision down under, see the SBS website