The EBU (European Broadcasting Union) has revealed today that Australia will compete at the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, hence will be the 40th country in the competition.
Yes! a total of 40 countries will join the Eurovision party in Vienna next May. In an unprecedented move the EBU and host broadcaster ORF have invited Australia to compete in the 60th Eurovision Song Contest and thus will be #BuildingBridges from Europe to Oceania!
It’s not a lie! 27 countries in the Final
The 60th Eurovision Song Contest taking place this year in Vienna, will be historical since one more country will join the contest. After the successful performance during the interval act in Copenhagen, Australia gained their ticket to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna. The Oceanian country will qualify directly to the Grand Final in 23 May, making the total number of participating countries 27!
It’s a daring and at the same time incredibly exciting move. It is our way of saying; let’s celebrate this party together! states Jon Ola Sand, the Executive Supervisor of the Contest.
While Michael Ebeid, Managing Director says: We are very excited to have secured this historic opportunity for Australia to be represented on the world’s biggest stage at the 60th anniversary of the Eurovision Song Contest and are honoured that the European Broadcasting Union has supported us to achieve this ambition. SBS has been broadcasting Eurovision for over 30 years and we have seen how Australians’ love of the song contest has grown during those years.
Director General Dr. Alexander Wrabetz from the host broadcaster ORF states- The song contest has developed in its history to become the biggest TV entertainment event in the world. With the participation of Australia, together with our partners at the EBU and SBS, we have succeeded to lift it to a new global level and to build another bridge for the 60th anniversary. A bridge that spans the globe, starting from the heart of Europe.
Following the long tradition of attending the Eurovision Song Contest in Australia, the EBU decided to grant access to this major event to the public broadcaster despite last year’s teasing by the organizing committee.
How will it work?
According to the rules, SBS, the broadcaster will have to submit their entry by 16 March. The song can be selected by any format the broadcaster decides. The reason Australia participates directly to the Final is mainly because the organizers wanted to avoid reducing the chances of semi-finalists to participate in the Final, as Australia’s participation is honorably given. In case the country wins the contest, then SBS will co-host the show in European capital along with an EBU Member Broadcaster.
How will Australia vote? Can we vote for Australia?
The EBU, SBS and Digame are working on a way to allow the Australian audience to cast their votes during the three shows. More news will follow up soon! Despite the time difference – it’s early Sunday morning in Australia while Europe watches the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday evening – the EBU’s international voting partner Digame is exploring possibilities to allow the Australian public to vote in both Semi-Finals and in the Grand Final. Viewers in all other 39 participating countries also have the possibility to vote for the Australian contestant. As usual, no one can vote for his or her own country.
Can Australia and countries from other continents compete in Eurovision?
Australia’s Eurovision Song Contest participation is a one-off initiative. But throughout its 60 years of development, new elements have been introduced to keep the Eurovision Song Contest exciting, surprising and relevant to the spirit of time. Who knows what the future will bring, as excitement about this European tradition spreads to other countries around the world?
Australia in Eurovision
Last year, Australia was given the chance to perform for the first time on the Eurovision stage, when Jessica Mauboy sang during the inteval act of the second semi-final.