Australia will return to the Eurovision Song Contest
In spite of advertising the debut of Australia in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest as a “60th celebration one-off,” the EBU has announced that the country will return to the contest next year!
Australia will also debut at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest this Saturday.
Based on feedback
Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, Jon Ola Sand, stated to Eurovision.tv that feedback from viewers, fans, press, and broadcasters lead to the decision to invite Australia back to the contest.The reference group, which governs the contest, voted unanimously in favor. Guy Sebastian, who represented Australia in Vienna, came in fifth place in Vienna.
Australia began prominently appearing in the contest in 2013, when a postcard from down under was aired, showing the Australians celebrate the contest. The following year, SBS got to produce the interval act of the second semi-final in Copenhagen, with Jessica Mauboy performing. Finally, this year in Vienna, the Australians got to vote and be represented on the Eurovision stage.
The Australians are naturally excited about their return. “SBS is thrilled to have secured this opportunity for Australia to compete at Stockholm in 2016 and thank the European Broadcasting Union for their invitation. The Eurovision Song Contest is a wonderful example of cultural diversity and social inclusion and our continued participation offers a fantastic opportunity to showcase Australian musical talent in a truly international multicultural celebration. Production partner Blink TV have been integral in supporting our ambition to build Australia’s presence on the world’s biggest stage and together we look forward to again bringing the Eurovision experience to our screens,” said the Managing Director of SBS, Michael Ebeid, to Eurovision.tv.
First stop: The semi-final
Australia will not have it as easy this time around, as they will have to participate in a semi-final with the other countries, no longer in company with the Big 5 and last year’s winner.
Like this year, should Australia win the contest, the following contest will be hosted by SBS in cooperation with a European broadcaster, in a city in Europe.
A global vision for the contest
The announcement also unveils a global vision for the contest by the the Executive Supervisor, stating that Australia’s continued participation is an exciting step towards the contest evolving into a truly global event. Australia’s return is thus not all feedback related.
If that means inviting other non-European countries to participate, like China, remains to be seen, but it is a significant change of tone compared to earlier.