It’s the newcomer from down under who has fast become established as a Eurovision power player. But the dream of a national final for Australia has ended — this year, at least. Broadcaster SBS has confirmed they will use internal selection to choose their act for Lisbon.
The broadcaster confirmed the news to ESCToday. SBS confirmed that the selection process is currently underway. The broadcaster and regular production company Blink TV are in the midst of finding potential candidates.
In previous years, they have approached Australian record companies, looking for suitable artists who would be happy to do Eurovision.
It’s a system that’s brought good results for Australia. In the three years that they have competed, Australia has never placed outside the top ten.
The news of internal selection comes as a disappointment to fans who were hoping for some sort of Australian national final to be introduced.
Earlier in the year, ESC Daily quoted Head of Delegation Paul Clarke speaking about his wish for an Australian national final. He told the blog, “We want our own national final, our own competition that can lead up to a winner for Eurovision.”
Clarke also mentioned that they had spoken with schlagermaster general Christer Björkman about sharing his Melodifestivalen expertise with Australia. Clarke said, “We talked to Christer Bjorkman about coming to Australia.” He explained that Australia wanted Björkman to help them set up a national final.
No explanation has been given why the national final plans have been scrapped. Fans have pointed out that while most European countries have only one time zone, Australia has five. When it’s 8pm in Sydney, it will only be 5pm in Perth — which would prove challenging for a live voting show.
2018 will be a busy year for Australia. As well as organising their act for Lisbon, SBS will also put together the very first Eurovision Asia Song Contest. The broadcaster may have chosen to put their resources towards Eurovision Asia, rather than organising a national final.
But regardless of the method of selection, rumours and speculation has already started. Australian Idol alum Ricki-Lee recently revealed she’d love to do Eurovision. During a recent live chat, she told her fans, “Let me at it, is all I say. Let me at it!”.
SBS has given no timeline for the announcement of Australia’s act for Lisbon. However, based on previous years, we should expect an announcement to be made in early March.
What do you think? Should Australia use internal selection again? Who would you like to see represent the land down under in Lisbon? Share your thoughts below!