Some of the most enthusiastic fans of the Eurovision Song Contest come from the country which is the furthest away from this year’s host city. That is Australia.
Being allowed to take part in the Viennese show this year means a lot to Paul Clarke, who is their Head of Delegation and he spoke to Regina Brandstätter from songcontest.orf.at about what it means to him and the country.
He explained how last year he approached ORF, the Austrian broadcaster, and asked whether it would be okay to participate in the 60th show, but as an interval act. It exceeded all of his expectations that the decision was more than they expected. An invitation to be one of the participants.
The ethnic and cultural mix in Australia means that a large number of their ancestors originate from many parts of Europe and that may well be why the contest is followed with such passion when it is transmitted on SBS, the Australian broadcaster.
He also thinks that the nature of the show, being one displaying the drama of competition along with the spectacle of the performances, appeals to their audience.
He is quoted as explaining that the Eurovision Song Contest is a world unlike any other, and a television show format with different cultures having the opportunity to represent themselves.
The Song Contest is for us a great family show, and gets people excited. Last year we had a million viewers.
The artist who has been chosen to represent his country is Guy Sebastian and Paul Clarke shows his enthusiasm for the singer.
Guy has a great voice, he is incredibly popular with us, he is a wonderful person, a trustworthy person and an incredibly good performer [and] I am sure that the Austrians will love him.
The suggestion that Guy was chosen came from Mr Clarke. There were many factors to consider and there is a commitment of time, which narrows down the field. The article goes on to explain the process which followed.
They had meetings with representatives of all major record companies and then met with those of independent labels, looking to see who had the available time.
We spoke with Kylie Minogue and many others. Guy had already been signed by Sony Germany for a song and will try to use the contest as a springboard for a career in Europe.
The only thing concerning the singer, was last place.
To close the article the Head of the Australian Delegation said that the whole team is looking forward Vienna.
What a beautiful city, what a wonderful place. The country is very different from Australia, although the country names differ only by two letters.