Gidday mate! Australia will return to participate at Eurovision 2016. The EBU has today confirmed that following Guy Sebastian’s success in Vienna, SBS has again been invited to participate in Stockholm. But this time, they’ll be be going through the semi-finals like most other countries and will have to win over Europe to advance to the final.

Australia’s participation in Eurovision 2015 was said to be a one-off, as part of Eurovision’s 60th anniversary celebrations. But due to the positive reaction from both fans and media, Australia has again been invited back for another go. But the EBU is careful to note, “it is yet to be decided whether Australia will become a permanent participant in the contest.”

And if Jon Ola Sand’s comments are anything to go by, the EBU are thinking globally. He says, “We strongly believe the Eurovision Song Contest has the potential to evolve organically into a truly global event.” Worldvision, anyone?

Last week the EBU reported that at least 41 countries would be participating in Stockholm, leading to great speculation of who number 41 would be. Names like Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Slovakia, and even Morocco were thrown around, but in the end it was the thunder from down under that would be country 41.

Australia was allowed back thanks to a unanimous vote by the EBU Reference Group. And as with 2015, if Australia wins, SBS will co-host the show in Europe in association with another European broadcaster.

Very necessary

The decision won’t please everyone. While there are plenty of fans who are very happy to see Australia in the competition, there are others who argue that Australia should not be eligible as SBS is only an associate member of the EBU, and, well, Australia isn’t geographically part of Europe. But hey – Conchita says it’s necessary.

But there’s no doubt that SBS proved in Vienna that they could deliver a high quality song and performance, which must be hugely appealing to the EBU. It’s like having another Sweden in the show.

Despite one theory that the Eurovision rules had provision for Australia to be added to be Big Five, their return entry will require them to go through the semi-finals. There’s no doubt that the Aussies will love the challenge, but how will they fare with no geographic neighbours to count on? Or will they find support from countries with large diaspora communities in Australia? Or young Aussies backpacking around Europe?

Jessica, Guy, …?

Jessica Mauboy was the first Australian Eurovision performer when she sang in the interval show in Copenhagen, then Guy Sebastian came an impressive fifth place in Vienna with “Tonight Again”. But who will be waving the Australian flag in Stockholm?

SBS promised they’d go even bigger than Guy Sebastian. Check out our wishlist of 10 big Aussie names.

What do you think of Australia’s return to Eurovision? Should they get asked back every year? Who would you like to see represent Australia in Stockholm? Share your thoughts below!

For more Australia Eurovision news, click here

Our video wishlist of Australian acts for 2015

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Sarah
Sarah
5 years ago

My worry is that I KNOW the ebu will be biased with who they choice and it will be more western countries joining the problem is the ebu have opened padnoras box once you let one country in its unfair to decline another if they are willing to pay. My problem like someone side earlier is that watch eurovision for the different music especially balkan and ethno. And the thing is Australia brings in pop crap that is already provided by Scandinavia plus they made a whole big thing how they would be in for one time. How are people… Read more »

John
John
5 years ago

Last year i didn’t like the idea of a ”straight to the final”. Now I think it is fair enough. Welcome Australia!!!! But I thnik EBU shoyld invite countriew like China and South Korea

mawnck
mawnck
5 years ago

“This drama is like the scene in the 1992 film The Player where Cher wears a flamboyant red dress to a party with a strict “black and white” dress code.

The way some of y’all are acting, you’d turn Cher away at the door for breaking the rules.”

Contest rules are not dress codes. The party doesn’t have its credibility at stake. That being said … Yes, I would have turned Cher away at the door. You wouldn’t have? Why not? Because she’s Cher and she’s special?

(Hint: Cher = Australia)

LEO ESC AUT
LEO ESC AUT
5 years ago

-THE EBU – UNANIMOUSLEY VOTED FOR AUSTRALIA -RESULT = ANOTHER INVITATION FOR ESC 2016 -AUSTRALIA is an official associate member of the EBU and is invited again. -In compliance with all rules Hi to all and welcome back to our beloved ESC stage! Hello -EugeneESCUK-, hi my friend, how is life ? Hopefully you’re ready for our next ESC blog predictions, as I can’t wait to see your selections. The EBU Reference Group, the governing body of the Eurovision Song Contest, voted unanimously in favour of Australia’s participation. The group consists of three elected representatives from the participating broadcasters, the… Read more »

Comi
Comi
5 years ago

I’m starting to worry about eurovision becoming, as many call it these days, worldvision. Eurovision had it charm just because it was EURO, and many people, like me, started following it just because of music being different than american shitty music nowadays. Sad.

Racal
Racal
5 years ago

Btw, does anyone here remember that Australia cheated in 2015? “Australian juror Jake Stone appeared on Australia’s Today program and revealed that he is good friends with Katrina Noorbergen, one of the songwriters of “A Million Voices”. “We have an Australian writer on that song, and she’s actually friend of mine, Katrina Noorbergen,” he said. “She sang [backing vocals] as well, so we should be really proud.” This is in breach the official Eurovision 2015 jury rules, which state: No member of a national jury shall be connected in any way with any of the participating songs entered an/or artists… Read more »

@EugeneESCUK
5 years ago

DR :- I’m afraid if I have something to say, I will say it.

When someone is hell bent on something happening which does not sound right to the point that you break your own rules, something is SERIOUSLY wrong. (Think Qatar and FIFA.)

As for Ola Sand he deceived the public knowing full well what had been planned. So for me he has lost ALL credibility.

Perhaps you should base your arguments on fact not fiction.

DR
DR
5 years ago

@ Eugene I’m no longer going to try and argue with you. We’re at an impass. All you see is corruption. I just see an organisation changing its mind to include a loyal country in to the ranks of Eurovision. We both feel the other one is illogical, there is mothing we can do. However I’ve looked into people’s opinions of Australia taking part. The majority of everyday people like them to stay. Even Graham Norton relectantly said “as an experiement, it sort of worked.” You can’t just look at opinions of a small vocal sect of purist hard core… Read more »

DR
DR
5 years ago

CookyMonzta
I don’t believe chinabwill take part. They have no heritage with the show. Being a global show doesn’t mean the globe has to take part. The Super Bowl is a world event and only American take part.

Magpie
Magpie
5 years ago

I am probably one of the few rare Aussies to say this but WTF? That does not mean to say I am not happy with us participating but considering all the other media appearances and statements, the EBU had set a standard by saying that Australia’s participation was a one time event in which any campaign to participate again would be an excruciating challenge. However after this media release it is clear that they were easily bought with the promise that Australia’s participation will bring in such a considerable amount of revenue. This makes their words effectively worthless and it… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
5 years ago

Also, a large part of the fun (for me, at least) is speculating how the winner will stage the contest the next year, something which will never happen with Australia – and why should another country pay a fortune to host on behalf of somebody else?

Having said all that, when I think of the notoriously corrupt cheaters (and evil human-rights deniers) Azerbaijan, I do calm down a little bit. I would take ten Australias over one Azerbaijan.

Alex
Alex
5 years ago

I’m fully behind this move!

no
no
5 years ago

But they aren’t in the european broadcasting union area? I don’t like this, rules are rules and 2015 was supposed to be one off event? I just don’t like this, because there’s no good reason tot his, expect they like the contest?

I hope they will not be anymore after this year, sorry. Hate this, rules are rules.

Sarah
Sarah
5 years ago

The thing is what is going to happen is its not going to stop at Australia! NZ could join SA could join usa and Canada and you know what this will cause more diaspora voting and people voting on musical taste is based on what society you are in the western society have similar music so we will be keeping seeing generic teen pop crap win every year

mocosuburbian
mocosuburbian
5 years ago

also I call dibs for Washington DC hosting the 2024 edition
at which point I’m going to laugh at all of you when you whine that it’s being held in a place you have to take a 18 hour plane flight to get to and that the US isn’t sufficiently European for your contest
but of course at that point it’ll be Worldvision and then none of you will care at all about it so

mocosuburbian
mocosuburbian
5 years ago

also lmao at all the uneducated people using the ‘but muh azerbaijan’ arguments
this song contest is for the members of the EBU
the European Broadcasting Union
Australia is only an associate member
I would have no issue with Egypt joining the ESC because it’s actually in the range of the EBU
Australia on the other hand needs to take its kookaburras away from Stockholm and stay in the ABU

Sarah
Sarah
5 years ago

WHAT!!! OK FINE LETS INVITE SOUTH AFRICA AND CHINA MAYBE EVEN CANADA WHAT A FARCE!! THE EBU ARE COMPLETE JOKE!!! DISGRACE!!

@EugeneESCUK
5 years ago

DR :- We ARE on the slippery slope……………………..open your eyes.

I am glad so many have their eyes open!!

@EugeneESCUK
5 years ago

DR :- What a load of nonsense? So you have an A Level in Philosophy………………..AND? You have no idea what I have studied and I’m way way way past A Level stage!! It’s very simple……………………….some very controversial decisions have been made by Ola Sand and his team, just 7 people. He is in charge and he has to take the full responsibility………………..simple as. I can look at it from ANY angle I like, it’s my opinion,…………………….I choose to look at it from an angle that is honest, fair and transparent for all and for ALL countries…………that’s all. The ESC can… Read more »

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
5 years ago

@DR: Will you still believe that when Jon Ola invites China in 2017? I’ve got good horse money on it. 😛

Jonas
Jonas
5 years ago

I am not happy about this news. Like a fool, I believed the EBU’s lies about it being a “one-off”. The magic of the Eurovision rests on a very specific recipe and if you add too many ingredients it will be gone, perhaps forever. Why are they so obsessed with expansion? There are already too many countries in the competition as it it. Is this just a big ego-boost? Or insecurity? Why do they need the pat on the head from other non-Europe countries? Stop pandering to to the rest of the world. Yes, the most worrisome part is that… Read more »

The Blogging DJ
5 years ago

I don’t mind them being in the contest again but I think that maybe they should have waited a few years after their “guest” appearance.
I just hope that the EBU don’t give them any special treatment in the contest next year, they should only be able to vote in one semi-final and potentially shouldn’t be an automatic qualifier to the final, but I honestly doubt that either of these will happen.

mawnck
mawnck
5 years ago

“It is a philosophical fallacy. It has no grounding as a theory, and has been disproved.” Like last year, when all of us “fallacious logicians” were predicting Australia would be asked back, even though the EBU swore that would never happen. And yet, here they are. There’s nothing irrational about predicting that an organization will continue acting in the exact same manor they’ve acted in the past. Particularly when they start making statements like “We strongly believe the Eurovision Song Contest has the potential to evolve organically into a truly global event.” How can you say there’s not a slippery… Read more »

Darren
Darren
5 years ago

Goodbye my dear Eurovision. I cannot believe people are actually in agreement with this?? People need a geography lesson. And before everybody starts the old “Theyre culturally European” statement let me tell you that half of the world was once colonized by European powers so if we were to take that into consideration when talking about Eurovision, then USA, Canada, Mexico and all of Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa would be able to take part also. Australia is NOT Europe. Its clearly about the money only you are all too gullible to see this. Australia isn’t even a part… Read more »

DR
DR
5 years ago

Can everyone just stop using the slippery slope argument. It is a philosophical fallacy. It has no grounding as a theory, and has been disproved. It is not going to be the World – vision. It is just Eurovision and cousin. Stop complaining and enjoy the music.

bastian
bastian
5 years ago

Goodbye my dear Eurovision… 🙁 welcome, Worldvision 🙂

Alison
Alison
5 years ago

Ugh. Well at least they’re not going straight to the final.

mawnck
mawnck
5 years ago

“Lads, stop fixating so much on the EURO in Eurovision.” I’m fixated on the “Eurovision” in “Eurovision”. “Eurovision” is the name of an international television network, a program exchange among its Active Member networks, all of whom have to meet certain political and geographic requirements. Australia is not an active member, and they aren’t eligible to become one. All the other countries you mention, are. The EBU has the right to invite whoever they want, and break all the rules they want, as long as the member networks allow them to get away with it. But we sure don’t have… Read more »

Deven O'Kearney
Deven O'Kearney
5 years ago

Lads, stop fixating so much on the EURO in Eurovision.

Georgia
Armenia
Azerbaijan
Cyprus
Israel
Australia

All associate themselves withb Asia. But I don’t care, any country that is partially in Europe or has close cultural and political ties should take part. We should also allow Kosovo and Kazakhstan into ESC. They are part of Europe and closely linked to the continent.

DR
DR
5 years ago

@Eugene Get off your high horse for a minute and just think about it. All you seem to think is that the EBU is breaking rules and messing around with things. Now, I can sought of understand your feeling about it breaking the rules, but what I don’t understand is why you are so adamant about ripping Jan Ola Sand’s integrity. You are looking at it at the wrong angle. You are just thinking of this as some corporate meeting where they just want to line their pockets, by using Australia’s entry fee. Have you not looked at what Australia… Read more »

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
5 years ago

@Maxim: When he invited Australia to compete in the JESC, you had to recognize that his “promise” would surely go out window and they would be invited indefinitely.

I have no problem with this. They have the biggest economy and population in their region (Oceania), and they will compete in the semis from this point on.

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
5 years ago

No surprise here. Fortunately they were pushed to the 1st or 2nd round. Lay your horse money on Jon Ola Sand not stopping there. How soon before he invites another one of the biggest continental countries (China, U.S., Nigeria, Brazil)? Could be this coming winter, could be 2017, knowing short a time (a matter of months, probably starting with the run-up to the 2013 contest) it took him to plan Australia’s full participation. Had they finished outside the top 10, it might have been a different story. When he starts inviting SMALLER countries from outside the European realm, only then… Read more »

Daniel
Daniel
5 years ago

Who cares if Australia doesn’t come from Europe. We know that they are going to contribute good songs with good singers to every contest!

I do think Lebanon is the 41st country the EBU were talking about, and if it is, I have many faces to point and laugh in after this confirmation. 🙂

Alvaro
Alvaro
5 years ago

Bring back Portugal Turkey, Luxembourg, Monaco, Andorra, Croatia, Bosnia, Slovakia and allow Kosovo and Liechstein to enter. Keep the Eurovision european

Laila
Laila
5 years ago

Idk what I think about Australia in Eurovision but jeez guys both sides of the arguments need to calm their tittes

Matthew
Matthew
5 years ago

I am outraged by this decision and also the suggestion that the contest may expand globally even further. This is EUROvision not WORLDvision and is one of the few times European countries come together to celebrate Europeaness and Europe itself!

Herl
Herl
5 years ago

Well if Australia can compete in Eurovision, then EBU must change their rules to allow the EBU Associated Members to allow China, USA, Canada and others countries more in Eurovision with European Hereditage, as could be a fair play of their part too 😉

PD.. Australia isn’t the only country composed by a strong European Diaspora! Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and my country Venezuela we have strong European connections with Spain, Italy, Portugal and France and this will give us the opportunity to participate in the future, unless the European people are racist.

cheesecake
cheesecake
5 years ago

Ugh. Okay. Expected it anyway…
Way more shocking are the following words by Jon Ola Sand: “We strongly believe the Eurovision Song Contest has the potential to evolve organically into a truly global event. It remains to be seen what such an event may look like in the long run.”
This man is destroying the Song Contest!

Maxim
Maxim
5 years ago

No!! Jon Ola Sand, a promis is a promis! You have said that Australia can participate ONLY for the 60th anniversary! Except if they would have won in 2015, which is not the case. I’m really dissapointed!

Callum Nowacki
Callum Nowacki
5 years ago

Jessica Mauboy to return with “This Ain’t Love” please!

In all honesty, they have to go through the semi-finals so it’s as fair as it will get (let’s be honest, guys, we knew this was going to happen).

Rock Me
Rock Me
5 years ago

I also believe that the EBU has already decided that Australia is going to become a permanent member next year.China is next, then maybe America…It’s just a matter of time until ESC becomes WSC or smth like that. The reputation of ESC as a song contest has been gradually decreasing over the years and instead of working on getting more european countries in, changing the voting system, improving the show quality etc. they are making it global and taking it away from europe. P.S. I love Australia as a country.They’re talented and nice people, but I’m also a fan of… Read more »

Racal
Racal
5 years ago

@Denis: “It’s about gathering together through music, to show that music has no borders or barriers. Isn’t that what the ESC stands for?”

No, Denis, this is not what the ESC stands for. The €SC managed by Jan Ola $and only stands for money, this is the only reason they are inviting Australia. Don’t think that their intent is pure…

@EugeneESCUK
5 years ago

mawnck :- The reason why they did not change the rules is because THAT would really open the door to EVERY country wanting to enter. Australia is “special” for now, but it seems Ola Sand is not going to stop at Australia. Like you I have not heard any sensible argument as to why Australia should be allowed entry. You have to ask yourself why is Ola Sand so dead set on this happening? I think we know!! Of course next year it will be announced that Australia will be a permanent fixture, it’s already been decided. Basically Australia are… Read more »

Mar
Mar
5 years ago

“All broadcasters are equal, but some are more equal than others”

Orwell said it first folks, and he is still right to this day.

Denis
Denis
5 years ago

I thought ESC was meant to be inclusive, open and welcome to all ,not shut-down or limited to only a few lucky select. It’s about gathering together through music, to show that music has no borders or barriers. Isn’t that what the ESC stands for? Do we really need to discuss where that music comes from? As for necessity, of course it’s not necessarily. But then again apart from the big 5 countries there isn’t really any necessity or need for any other country to take part either. And as these last years have shown some countries indeed don’t feel… Read more »

mawnck
mawnck
5 years ago

Well well well well well well. Seems like just the other day (specifically, October 28) that the EBU released a PDF document called the “Public Rules of the 61st Eurovision Song Contest”. The SECOND SENTENCE in this document is this: “A maximum of 46 Active EBU Members shall be allowed to participate (the “Participating Broadcasters”).” Folks, whether or not Australia is European enough, whether or not they are enthusiastic fans, whether or not they are going to send the greatest song since “Boum Badaboum”, there is one basic fact that you can’t argue with. SBS is not an Active EBU… Read more »

YoungsterJoey
YoungsterJoey
5 years ago

EBU:
“It’s all about the money! It’s ALL about the money!”

Aari
Aari
5 years ago

not happy about this, yes we understand that many australians like eurovision but it’s called EUROvision for a reason, and Australia will completely take away small countries chances of ever winning Eurovision

Rock Me
Rock Me
5 years ago

So many european countries have never won the contest, and EBU is not only taking their chances away but also taking away the sense of community in Europe.
In a few years, when America enters Worldvision (once known as ESC) those countries that never won (such as Portugal) won’t stand a chance.
I’d prefer if they took China for a ONE TIME THING this year and left Australia alone or as an interval act.