It looks like Jessica Mauboy was only a taste of things to come. Early this morning sources close to ORF told wiwibloggs that the Austrian broadcaster and the EBU would announce that Australia will take part in Eurovision 2015 as a competing country. Understandably, many of you asked us if this was an April Fool’s Joke.
Well, a few hours have passed, and this has now been confirmed, bringing the total number of countries competing in Vienna to 40. Australia will qualify to the final automatically and therefore 27 will be competing in the grand final.
Despite the time difference, Australia will also vote in both semifinals. Australia’s participation will be a one-off initiative and it’s up to Australian broadcaster SBS to decide how they will select their entry.
The EBU has clarified that in the event Australia wins, we will not be packing our bags and heading Down Under. In that scenario, “SBS will co-host the Eurovision Song Contest in a European city, together with an EBU Member Broadcaster. Their participation is intended as a one-off, but in case of a victory, Australia will be allowed send a participant to the Eurovision Song Contest next year.”
Our sources tell us that this would most likely be Germany. Germany is traditionally put on standby as a back-up host because of its location in the center of Europe and its high-quality facilities.
Last year Jessica Mauboy sang for Australia as a part of a very Australian interval act.
wiwiblogger Deban had also a chance to speak with Jessica in Copenhagen. Watch our interview with her down below.
Reactions to Australia at Eurovision 2015
Australia at Eurovision before 2015
Australians have, of course, competed at Eurovision before albeit for other countries. Here is a taste of their greatness.
It all started in 1974, when British-Australian superstar Olivia Newton-John competed for the United Kingdom with the song, ‘Long Live Love’. She placed a respectable fourth place, losing out to ABBA’s ‘Waterloo’. Since Eurovision, Olivia has had an enormous film and television career, and is perhaps best-known for ‘Grease’ and ‘Xanadu’. She recently opened the ‘Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre’ at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne, Australia.
Then came, arguably, the most successful man in Eurovision history — Johnny Logan. Not many people realise that Mr Eurovision was born in Melbourne. He represented Ireland twice as a singer, in 1980 and 1987, and won both times. He also composed Linda Martin’s entries for Ireland in 1984 and 1992, and came second and first respectively.
The use of Australian artists went a little quiet for a few years, until the United Kingdom chose Brisbane-born Gina G to represent the country in 1996 with the upbeat dance track (and my personal favourite), “Ooh Ahh… Just a Little Bit”. The song finished eighth, losing out to Ireland. The song went on to have huge commercial success throughout Europe, Australia and the USA, and was even nominated for a Grammy in 1998 for Best Dance Track! YAAASSS!