Viva Australia! To celebrate this year’s 60th anniversary of the iconic Eurovision Song Contest, Australia has been invited to compete in the Grand Final.
Host broadcaster ORF extended the invitation to our humble country after much pleading and an impressive half-time performance from our very own Jessica Mauboy at last year’s event, bringing the 2015 country tally up to 40.
The Australian public, which has increasingly taken the show to heart, will be allowed to vote in both Semi-Finals, as well as the Grand Final (though, not for ourselves).
“It’s a daring and at the same time incredibly exciting move. It is our way of saying; let’s celebrate this party together!” said Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the contest on behalf of the EBU. Michael Ebeid, Managing Director of broadcaster SBS, 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.”
ORF Director General Dr. Alexander Wrabetz says: “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.”
The big question now is, who will represent us? Speculation has been rife since the news dropped two days ago, with many hoping for the likes of Olivia Newton John, Kylie Minogue, Midnight Oil, John Farnham or indeed Mauboy to fly the flag.
Although the invite is a coo for the country, it has been made clear that the performance will be a “one-off” for the anniversary special, and that even if we win the event, it is unlikely we would be able to host the next competition in 2016.
The Eurovision Song Contest for 2015 will take place on the 19th, 21rd and 23rd of May in Vienna, Austria, and will be broadcast here at home on SBS.
Eurovision enthusiasts Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang will host the coverage.