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.

Jessica Mauboy made an impression in 2014
Jessica Mauboy made a good impression in 2014

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!

Follow all of our Australia Eurovision news here

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Roberto
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Roberto

Finally a time when Australia which is made up of a large influx of Europeans & Asians can showcase our Talent to the rest of the World. Back in 2013 Australia was captivated by Dami Im & her incredible Musical talents, having just Won Xfactor, everyone was asking the question:- Can this girl beat the rest of the Xfactor World contestants & whilst there was no such event at the time, Eurovision is the next best platform for Dami to show she’s as good as any Artist in the World.

ESCaddict
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ESCaddict

Seriously what is wrong with countries outside of Europe participating. It has been happening for years, did it kill Eurovision? If you think the answer is “yes” then Australia’s inclusion doesn’t matter. You shouldn’t even be following Eurovision now; time to move on. If a country has been broadcasting Eurovision for 30 years, it demonstrates they are into it. Remember not only the final is shown but both semi finals are shown in prime time. There isn’t the same level of interest in other external countries so Europe should not be concerned that the competition is swamped by foreigners. Even… Read more »

Erin
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Erin

Here is a news flash: The active EBU member states of North African and Middle Eastern descent refuse to enter the ESC year after year mainly because the contest is a blasphemy in their official statesmen eyes. It’s a threat to their tightly controlled grip on matters of morality and obscenity. The political issues are completely secondary: A country like Lebanon applies a sectarian system due to its religious and ethnic divisions and as long as there are archaic taboos and no-no’s held by one or two dominant militias or political parties in the coalition, the country as a whole… Read more »

mocosuburbian
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mocosuburbian

my only worry is that Australia’s not going to stop in 2016
which is very likely
even though it doesn’t belong in the contest
one year means one year. if Australia doesn’t like that and wants to lobby the EBU further, that’s ruining the idea of the contest. it already has the ABU TV Song Festival if its citizens care that much

Martin
Guest

hey,dami was posting. about Eurovision like.. she wants this but,is not about her os us(fans) is about SBS! maybe she is one of the artists to send! 😀

Isabel
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Isabel

GUY SEBASTIAN, please!!!

Nebi
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Nebi

I’m not too bothered with Australia participating if it is only one year. It is very clumsy having them go straight to the final with voting rights in both Semi’s where Russia with the population of the next three largest countries combined need to compete in the Semis, but whatever. My concern is that it won’t stop with one appearance. It never does in these sort of things. Just like it didn’t stop with the interval act last year I can easily see an announcement in June that the Australian entry was so well received that the decision has been… Read more »

Chiara
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Chiara

I’d love to see Troye Sivan competing for Australia… He has an amazing voice plus he’s famous thanks to his Youtube channel.

a
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a

well, clearly you don’t know what does the word “GUEST” mean. Tell me something, when you invite your friend over to your house do you ask them to bring their own food? Or do you serve them? Because metaphorically speaking this is the same. San Marino SHOULDN’T go straight to the Final, since it can participate every year until the end of the world. MEANWHILE, Australia might participate only once (well, twice, but chances are 1:27 so no). CAN’T YOU REALLY JUST CUT THEM SLACKS? Really! Be glad they aren’t taking anybody’s spot! Because even if you don’t like the… Read more »

PP
Guest
PP

elloa Israel first participation at Eurovision in 1973, many longer thant Australia brodcast Eurovision. a Better chance to see San Marino in final, is to EBU give them same privilege like Australia gets in Eurovision 2015. I suggets to EBU small changes to 27 place in final (straight to final) gets some small countries like San Marino, Andorra, Monaco, Luxembourg… or to get spacial wild card to go straight in final for one year , country who didn t get to final in past 5 years (All EBU members wili chose that country not EBU head delegation charge for Eurovision… Read more »

Random.sage2.0
Guest
Random.sage2.0

… It’s all in black & white, and there is no sunrise, when Eurovision dies…

Hur hur hur. Jk I’m excited. Send us Sia or Guy Sebastian! He’s won World Idol. And Sia. Is Sia! No explaining her.

Daniel
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Daniel

You go Australia!

a
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a

@PP so would you like for Australia to participate in Semi and take, i.e, San Marino’s spot in the final? LOGICAL……

elloa
Guest
elloa

besides, Australia has lot more in common with Europe than i.e Israel. Australia was a UK’s colony. They still recognize Elizabeth II as their queen. Their country is full of European immigrants (from Greece, England, Italy, Poland, The Netherlands, etc.). They have been broadcasting ESC for 30 years already. And their attitude towards the contest is 10 times better than some European countries’. They speak English too. The only thing not working for them is location. And what does Israel have in common? NOTHING. It’s just closer. Don’t get me wrong; I like Israel, but I just wanted to make… Read more »

a.
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a.

yeah just because one country far away from Europe that broadcasts ESC for 30 years will compete ONE TIME, on anniversary. grow up.

Damon
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Damon

This is not Eurovision anylonger! Call it Worldvision! Eurovision is dead! So sorry for that!

Damon
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Damon

This is not Eurovision any longer! Call ot Worldvision from now! Eurovision is dead! So sorry!

matt
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matt

Honestly i find more european Australia than nowadays Russia or Azerbaijan… just sayin’

PP
Guest
PP

YoungsterJoey

Morocco, Lebanon is full member of EBU , Australia is not member of EBU they are Associate members to EBU like so many countries from world from all continents. Also Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Jordan can go to Eurovision because their also full members of EBU.

PP
Guest
PP

Thiefo We all know that Australia wili be participate no one or two times if they win in first aperance. And Australia is not member of EBU , and why they go to straight to final , EBU wili do the same thing like UEFA with Champions League ( in past in 60 to 80 ties we have 1 club from 1 country now we have qualification for poor countries and their clubs, and reach countries can have 2,3 clubs in same competition, and their best clubs don t go to any qualification rounds. I think EBU want rich countries… Read more »

Thiefo
Guest

To PP and all the people who think negatively about this… How can the inclusion of ONE country “kill” Eurovision? When the purpose of ESC is supposed to unite nations through music, so the invitation of Australia won’t kill the contest, what kills the contest is the attitude of the people who won’t accept the participation of ONE country for only ONE time. And let’s be realistic, even if Australia wins this year, it is highly unlikely it will win again in 2016, and once Australia is out, it won’t come back, so you can rest assure, the contest will… Read more »

EUROFAN MEXICO
Guest

HAGAMOS EL AMOR Y NO LA GUERRA, LOS PROYECTOS DEBEN CRECER AL CERRARSE ES CUANDO MUEREN LAS COSAS, SI EUROPA NO PUEDE ACEPTAR QUE LA MUSICA ES UN LENGUAJE UNIVERSAL, ENTONCES POR QUE SHAKIRA, RICKY MARTIN, PAULINA RUBIO, RHIANA, BEYONCE, JUSTIN BIEBER, MAROON 5 Y TANTOS MAS TINENE EXITO MUNDIAL LIVE LOVE NOT WAR

YoungsterJoey
Guest
YoungsterJoey

Can people stop trying to use the phrase “When the Music Dies/When Eurovision Dies” (as a pun to Azerbaijan’s 2012 song). It isn’t original and has been used several times since Australia’s announcement. Who cares, let Australia participate. I’m curious to know people’s reaction when Morocco was first announced to compete in the 70s or when Lebanon first confirmed its participation (then later its withdrawal). Yes, it is weird to have Australia in the contest but it is fitting for the 60th anniversary show especially w/ the Building Bridges theme. Australia has lots of connections w/ Europe too. Don’t compare… Read more »

Liam Thorne
Guest
Liam Thorne

I don’t like Guy Sebastian, so I’ll be disappointed if SBS chooses him to represent Australia. In my opinion we should enter Dami I’m, Samantha Jade, Karise Eden or Anja Nissen.

Calvin
Guest
Calvin

@Just being honest – relieved to hear that it has a not-great reputation and that Kylie may not have been so flip about it. I guess I just can’t get the possibility out of my head!

Mei International
Guest
Mei International

I thought about how I felt about this for a while and I can all but guarantee Australia is fully equipped to send a legit act, with fair and thorough voting…which several European countries can’t even guarantee

Just being honest
Guest
Just being honest

@Calvin DM can be very speculative. I think her reaction was due to Australia competing at ESC despite not being within Europe zone..I mean who wouldn’t be surprised by this? Lol

Just being honest
Guest
Just being honest

If not Kylie then get Guy Sebastion!! This man also happens to be a talented composer. Would be even cooler if it was a duet with Jessica Mauboy!

Titaniumsparrow
Guest
Titaniumsparrow

I’m from Australia and I’m so sick of hearing about this. Eurovision is the highlight of my year but this year has such a dark cloud hovering over it. An interval act is one thing, competing in the competition is a totally different thing. Which of course we will end up with a good result just because is our debut. As for Kylie being considered. I didn’t spend 15 years studying music to not know the difference between real music and her over produced GENERIC crap. She would be my (and many people I know) last choice to represent us.… Read more »

PP
Guest
PP

If Australia win, or get another invitation for 2016, 2017 … that wili ruin Eurovision. When I hear and read that Australia compete and have privilege to go straight to final and vote in both semifnal for me Eurovision don’t have same feeling like in past. Many can sing after that news Azerbaijan song from 2012 with different lyricks no When the music dies, instead of that can sing When the Eurovision dies, Eurovision dies when we read that Australia is invite by EBU to Eurovision 2015.

Calvin
Guest
Calvin

I know I was an early proponent of hers, but I’ve done a 180 on having Kylie there. Looking at the Mail on Sunday article, if that’s how Kylie is going to respond when asked about Eurovision, I don’t really want her there. In fact, she kind of ruined herself as an artist for me.