In recent months the EBU and SBS have cast Australia’s Eurovision 2015 participation as a one-off — a special treat for our friends Down Under which coincides with the 60th anniversary of ESC. We’ve been told that Australia will only return in 2016 if they win in 2015, in which case they will co-host with a European broadcaster (which may or may not be Germany’s NDR). The messaging has been all, “Don’t worry! Australia isn’t here to stay.”
Well last Saturday, during the Eurovision in Concert welcome event, Guy Sebastian gave us reason to believe Australia has more long-term plans.
“I heard that if we win we take part every year,” he said. “There’s a lot of pressure but I don’t care about that. I think we’re just all gonna have fun and do the best we can.”
We don’t know who he heard this from, but we’re assuming it was the Australian delegation. They’ve defined the stakes and he is feeling the pressure. Given how hard Australia lobbied to get into the contest, it wouldn’t surprise us if they are running an ongoing campaign to become a permanent fixture at ESC.
It’s a divisive issue and we won’t re-hash all the arguments for and against Australia’s participation in this post. But needless to say the potential of Australia extending its stay at Eurovision has some folks uneasy.
Here’s how one wiwiblogger puts it: “The rules state that if Australia wins, they can defend their title next year and that’s it. SBS need to remember that they are a guest, and when guests overstay their welcome people get very angry.”
Guy’s statement gives credibility to the ongoing rumours that SBS want to compete at Eurovision from now until the end of time. Another wiwiblogger thinks this will play against them at Eurovision this year: “If there’s someone who wouldn’t mind Australia winning this year but doesn’t think they should compete every year, that rumour might be enough to stop them voting for Australia.”
Where do you stand?