Earlier this month when the EBU announced that Australia would be competing in Eurovision for the first time, it was tempting to think that this was something hastily organised. Perhaps, wanting to ensure there were an even 40 entering this year, Jon Ola Sand had fired off an email to Aussie broadcasters SBS wondering if they were doing anything in May. This couldn’t be further from the truth. As it happens, Australia’s plan to compete in Eurovision started way back in Moscow in 2009.
News.com.au has a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the three years of lobbying from Australia that it took for them to finally be invited to compete in the competition.
The idea was sparked when SBS first sent their own commentary team to Europe. Director Paul Clarke was so impressed by the spectacle that, “I thought that day I just had to be a part of it.” And for the past three years, SBS have lobbied the EBU to get Australia more involved.
The lobbying paid off, first in 2013 when Sweden invited Australia to send a short video celebrating the love of Eurovision down under:
And in 2014, Denmark invited Australia to provide the half-time entertainment, featuring a performance from Jessica Mauboy. This proved that Australia could deliver the goods and were ready to enter the competition for real:
The article also reveals more about SBS’s search for their premiere act. SBS have been meeting with major record labels to see which suitable songs and artists might be available. More intriguingly, Paul Clarke also revealed that he has been contacted directly by “major major” artists who are interested in representing their country. SBS also confirmed that high-profile artists such as Kylie Minogue and Guy Sebastian are even being considered – though the Mail On Sunday are claiming that Kylie just ain’t interested.
And is Australia taking this seriously? They sure are. As Clarke says, “We want to win this. It’s on.”
Who do you think should represent Australia? Vote for your favourite down under diva!