Well, the classic “should non-European countries join Eurovision debate” just got one continent-sized complication:

Australia has confirmed that they will be participating as a contestant (and not just an interval act), and will automatically qualify for the Grand Final!

And so far there have been a whole lot of reactions raging from fangirling:

To confusion:

To plain disgust:

To raw anger:

And to general shade and judgement:

Point is, in a year full of returns (and a tragic withdrawal), this will be an interesting development considering that it is the 60th anniversary of the Contest.

In terms of selecting the song and artist, the method is unclear. Australia could choose to go all-out or stay within the confines of many Eurovision entries. So, we may get something effing fabulous,

Or just plain kooky,

Or for the worst result considering all this hype:

 

But since we’re all nice and wonderful and love new countries (and therefore more songs!), let’s welcome Australia for this experiment

(Let’s just hope the United States doesn’t join anytime soon. Please).

This is coming from an American, so douze points for self-awareness

What do all of you think about Australia’s participation? Are our GIFs spot-on? Let us know in the comments below, and remember to follow us on our social media accounts!

Follow all of our Australia Eurovision news here

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Ranting Ruby
Guest
Ranting Ruby

Thanks for the gifs, Francheska – brilliant work, as ever! I’m re-posting this to our Australian Eurovision Fan Club page!!!!

Robyn
Guest
Robyn

Count me among the American ESC fans who don’t want to compete, or even to vote… I just want the hosts to say hello to us and acknowledge that we’re here.

I’m happy for Australia, but also glad that this is a one-off thing.

Ian!
Guest

Super excited to see Australia participate. Judging by their feature in last year’s halftime show, there’s a ton of interest there and Aussies love Eurovision! I think it’s a cool new idea to try. As for an American entry…I don’t think it’ll ever happen. Hardly anyone here knows about this contest (aside from us awesome American ESC fans!). And plus, I don’t think it would appeal to a mass audience like it does in Europe. Many people don’t know where countries like Moldova, Latvia, Slovenia or Macedonia are – or that they even exist. So some Americans might see it… Read more »

Timselvision
Guest
Timselvision

@George: Australia would pick a free spot in the final away from another semi-country. Imagine Australia qualifying with just 5 points away from 11th place.

George
Guest

I can accept their participation but not the fact that they go straight to the final. I mean why? Have they ever contributed anything or it is just the EBU which considers Australia is a greater country than Eastern European or Balkan countries. ‘We are one?’ ‘Building bridges? ‘ I mean SERIOUSLY?

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@PP: I watched ‘World Idol’ at the end of 2003. I’m pretty sure the U.S. and probably the U.K. put a lot of money into making that competition happen, because they were pretty sure that either Kelly Clarkson or Will Young would win, and even some entertainment news shows in the U.S. were practically crowning Kelly C. Here in New York City, I laughed (and applauded) when it was announced that Kurt Nilsen from Norway won (9 out of 10 countries gave him the max. of 10 pts.), because it proved to the so-called U.S. mainstreamers that the world was… Read more »

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@Thiefo: Here’s a thought, which I have repeated elsewhere: If the Aussies win, will they petition the EBU to have next year’s SEMIFINALS held in Australia, while the top European finisher gets to host the Grand Final? It would most likely mean scheduling the semis for Monday and Wednesday, so that all the qualifiers will have time enough to fly to the European host country to be able to rehearse for the Saturday final.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@Nebi: Ditto. The Americas should have launched a contest long ago, modeled after Eurovision. The problem, though, I think, is that some countries can’t afford to host an event on the scale that many European countries host Eurovision. It would require other countries from North and South America to chip in for the cost, and I don’t know if they will go for that; and soon enough, we’d probably end up with the U.S. hosting most of the contests; maybe Canada, Mexico or Brazil.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

I can see the top of that can of worms slowly turning. If the EBU says this is a one-time event, let’s see if they stick to their word. But then again, as hard as it was for them to resist the temptation to let Australia in as a special invite, it is probably going to be problematic to resist inviting the top countries from the other 4 continents, because, you know, MONEY TALKS! If the U.S. or China should EVER entertain the idea of wanting a piece of the action here (win or lose), they’d be willing to pay… Read more »

Nebi
Guest
Nebi

Going off of the World Idol theme my dream is for the Americas (North and South combined) to launch their own contest and for Asia/Pacific and Middle East & Africa. Then the top seven finishers from each plus Eurovision come together for a Contest Grande giving us a smorgasbord of the best that the world has to offer. That would be incredible and far better than trying to fit them all into Eurovision.

LucyEAPercy
Guest

PP, don’t mess around calling Northern Ireland independent. My mum is northern Irish, if someone called her just Irish, she’d lose her mind. She’s British and very proud of it, as am I. Most N.Irish people love being British, and would refuse to be called Irish. Of course there are the Catholics around the country, but lets not even go there.

Thiefo
Guest

I think nobody in the 60’s and 70’s ever imagined that one day, more than 40 countries would participate in the contest and that the introduction of semi finals would be necessary, that 4 countries could tie up in first place or that a rock song such as Hard Rock Hallelujah would ever win. Eurovision has proven to break boundaries and set new standards in its 60 years of life, so Australia’s inclusion is just a reminder that ANYTHING can happen. It’s what maintains the contest fresh and unpredictable, and I love that!

Timselvision
Guest
Timselvision

Kosovo is an independent country which is recognised by almost all European nations.

I don’t get the drama. All countries were invited. So were Bosnia, Turkey, Slovakia etc. They choose not to participate and Australia got a special offer to participate for once and they accepted since a) they like ESC b) 60-70% whatever of the people there has European roots.

Also, I personaly don’t care but why complaining about Australia when Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia and Israel participate seriously XD

Anyway, if they have a good song, I won’t be sad if they do well.

PP
Guest
PP

Kosovo is independet countris like Abhazia, South Osetia, Northern Cyprus, Krimea… if we see Kosovo , we must see at Eurovision Northern Cyprus, Abhazia….

PP
Guest
PP

Do you rememered first and only World Idol song contest. USA represent Kelly Clarskson, UK Wili Young…. If they won , I think we maybe have World Idol song contest next year…. but Norway win contest and contest is finished.

Deven O'Kearney
Guest
Deven O'Kearney

PP

Kosovo IS an independent country. Republic of Srpska and Northern Ireland are not.

PP
Guest
PP

YIANNIS MOSCHIDIS

Why suport , maybe because we know that 12 points in first semi final go to Greece, and maybe 8 to 12 points in final.

PP
Guest
PP

Deven O’Kearney

Why Kosovo, why not Northern Ireland, Republic of Srpska…..

Deven O'Kearney
Guest
Deven O'Kearney

By the way lads, I don’t get why you’re moaning. Australia is a country that LOVES Eurovision. I mean, let’s be honest, not many people will get up at 5am to watch Eurovision here in Europe. Not to mention in the midst of Australian winter, where it will be pretty cold at 5am. Besides, it’s only for a year anyway. Next year it will be back to normal.

If they have another guest next year, I hope it will be Kosovo.

YoungsterJoey
Guest
YoungsterJoey

I was expecting more GIFS. more!

Deven O'Kearney
Guest
Deven O'Kearney

This is a HUGE leap of faith for the Eurovision Song Contest and I think it could go down very well.

YIANNIS MOSCHIDIS
Guest
YIANNIS MOSCHIDIS

I fully support EBU Australia’s welcoming!!!

David Thielen
Member

I’m all in favor of another quality song from a country that clearly loves Eurovision. Kudos to the EBU for trying something very different.

And as an American I’m also of the view of never let America in – we’d ruin it.

Stu
Guest
Stu

I can’t imagine that this will go very well. What with cultural differences and all, I bet the only votes we pick up will be throwaways, and surely the juries won’t have a bar of it. So sorry Germany, looks like you’re on your own. That said, I bet the Netherlands will benefit from our vote.

MTD
Guest
MTD

One legitimate concern, even though I am open for trying new things as the Australian entrance, but in terms of voting – many among the televoters may feel awkward and has the argument of EURO contest close by heart so probably there may not be votes going Sydney way (or Melburn, or Perth, or Canberra… 😛 ) but I have a feeling that the juries will help Aussies entry quite a lot in order this participation to be presented as a success. More like Italy 2011. Food for thought.

Artie
Guest
Artie

And what about Latin American countries? They are also European descent and also follow the festival … Next year could be a third semifinal with non-European countries, would be fairer to give direct entry to a country to the final …

R
Guest
R

It MAKES SENSE when Australia joins, because let’s face it, we have millions of people watching every year and there are lots of strong cultural ties to nations all over Europe for those of European descent. We have Eurovision parties, games, reruns… We just friggin love it and Europe knows it. It’s only for a year anyways!

It makes NO sense when the USA joins because they don’t even know what Eurovision is!

D
Guest
D

Kinda annoyed Australia gets to participate. I mean the EBU kinda threw all the rules out the window that previously stopped countries like Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Qatar, and Liechtenstein from participating. With all this momentum I wouldn’t be surprised if Australia won and I’d absolutely hate that.

PP
Guest
PP

Azerbaijan had song at Eurovision 2012, When the music dies. From the last night we can sing When the Eurovision dies. Eurovision will dies on 23.may on 60 th aniversary contest, when Australia sing their song.

Nick P.
Guest
Nick P.

Eh, I’m past the raging stage and I just hope nothing negative comes from this.

Also, fellow American, I think I’d walk away from ESC if the U.S. entered. Like, I’m dead serious. That’s be the death of the contest, in my eyes.