Australia: SBS secures Eurovision participation for next 5 years

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 1,133 views

Let’s get the ball rolling as the Aussies are here to stay! Earlier today SBS, the Australian national broadcaster and production parter Blink TV Australia confirmed that Australia has secured its Eurovision participation until 2023.

The ultimate Aussie Eurovision dream saw the day of light back in 2015 when our neighbours down under were invited to partake in Europe’s favourite television show in Vienna. This year Australia held a full fledged national final in order to determine its Eurovision hopeful, thus celebrating its fifth consecutive Eurovision participation.

Until now SBS had to wait for an invite from the EBU and  host broadcaster in order to participate in our beloved song contest, on a year to year basis. This will no longer be necessary as SBS Australia and the EBU have sealed a five year deal enabling the country to compete in the song contest for the next five years.

The Eurovision Song Contest’s Reference Group (the governing body of the competition on behalf of the competing broadcasters) approved the decision to grant Australia and SBS the right to participate at the Eurovision Song Contest for the next five years.

Mr. Josh Martin (SBS Commissioning Editor) says:

SBS has been the home of the Eurovision Song Contest in Australia for 35 years and we’re thrilled at this invitation to become a more permanent member of the Eurovision Song Contest family.

We will continue to showcase Australia’s amazing talent and diversity to hundreds of millions of people across Europe and the world. It highlights the power of music to bring people together – even from polar opposite sides of the globe. Thank you Europe!

Mr.Paul Clarke ( Australian Head of Delegation/ Blink TV Director)  says:

This is a wonderful validation of what Australia has brought to Eurovision, and we say “Thank You Europe!” for their decision. It’s been 10 years since we first took a team to Eurovision, just Julia and Sam, myself and a cameraman.

Since then SBS’s coverage has grown, and the Australian music artists and industry have completely risen to the exciting challenge. Australians have really fallen in love with the joy, and Eurovision has become part of the Australian entertainment calendar. Europe knows it can always expect great music and passion from Australia.

 Mr. Jon Ola Sand ( Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor/EBU) says:

We are delighted that Australia has become a more permanent member of the Eurovision Song Contest Family. The Australians have long been huge fans of the event with a great number of loyal viewers year on year and when they were invited to participate in the 60th anniversary edition of the Contest, we couldn’t have imagined quite how popular their artists would become.

It was a natural progression for us to agree to their inclusion as a participant for the next five years as they bring so much to the table and we very much look forward to welcoming them to Tel Aviv to perform, alongside the 41 other exciting participants in what’s sure to be a fantastic celebration of music.

The Eurovision Song Contest is the world’s largest television music competition and in 2018, it attracted around 186 million viewers worldwide and reached more than 2.9 million Australians on SBS.

Australia’s love affair with Eurovision has been a passionate and enduring one and, this year, SBS and Blink TV launched the country’s first ever selection show Eurovision – Australia Decides to determine the artist and song to represent the country on the world’s biggest stage.

Australia in Eurovision

Australia debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2015 with flying colours when Guy Sebastian achieved an honorable 5th place in the grand final, the country has competed in our beloved competition four times till date.

The Aussies invited to compete at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, as a one off participation but the country embraced the competition with such enthusiasm that they have been invited to retun every year since.

Australia achieved its best result in the contest in 2016 when Dami Im nearly walked away with the coveted Eurovision trophy with her entry Sound of silence, placing 2nd in Stockholm.

Our neighbours down under have enjoyed much succcess in the contest having achieved three top 10 placings in their four year Eurovision history.

In 2018 SBS went internal for the fourth consecutive year and selected Jessica Mauboy to represent Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon with her entry We got love. Despite a magnificent performance Australia placed 20th in the Grand Final in Portugal.

This year the Aussies organized a national final for the very first time and selected Kate Miller-Heidke to fly the Australian flag at the forthcoming 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv.

Australia is set perform in the second half of the First Semi-final of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest on 16 May in Tel Aviv.