Australia might be the newest addition to the Eurovision lineup (and not even a permanent one at that) but in four short years, they have made quite an impact. We look at Australia’s time at Eurovision (it goes back much further than 2014!) and give 10 reasons why we love Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest.
1. Australians have been participating in Eurovision since 1972
The UK has usually been the recipient of Australia’s talent. It started with some Aussie members of the New Seekers who performed “Beg, Steal or Borrow” in 1972, but the down under roll call also includes Olivia Newton-John, “Mr Eurovision” Johnny Logan and more recently Anja Nissen.
2. Dami Im came this close to winning
At the nail-biting points reveal of 2016, it came down to the wire when Australia had won the jury vote. Could Dami Im also do well enough in the televote? Sadly Australia’s fourth placing in the televote was good but not good enough. But their second placing overall was a well-deserved silver medal.
3. They embrace modern, multicultural Australia
Australia isn’t just the sun-kissed cast of soaps such as Neighbours and Home and Away. It has a diverse culture, made up of many different ethnic and cultural groups, including European migrant communities. SBS’s choices for Eurovision have highlighted this diversity. #allaboard
4. They’ve been broadcasting Eurovision for 35 years
They didn’t just casually come across Eurovision while channel surfing in 2014 and think “Oh, that’d be fun.” SBS has been broadcasting Eurovision since 1983 and have sent their own commentary team since 2009. It’s become essential family viewing.
5. Ooh ah, just a little bit, ooh ah, a little bit more
In 1996, Aussie songstress Gina G delivered the explosive “Ooh Aah… Just a Little Bit” as the UK’s entry. It didn’t win Eurovision but it is one of the greatest Eurovision entries ever, it hit number one in the UK and even reached number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100.
6. They had their Eurovision fanboy dream come true
Australia loved Eurovision! They dreamed of participating! They got to perform as an interval act And finally in 2015 the EBU was like “Oh, ok — I guess you can come and #joinus.”
7. All that was going on with the interval act in 2014
It started with a skit showing Julia Zamiro airlifting Australia to Europe. Meanwhile in Copenhagen, a flurry of dancers took to the stage. It was like a comedy lip sync challenge from RuPaul’s Drag Race — a humorous song accompanied by dancers frolicking with giant beers, koala heads, surfboards and other items of Australiana. That didn’t last long and soon enough Jessica Mauboy took to the stage. She sounded a little shaky but proved that Australia could deliver a Eurovision-quality entry.
8. Guy Sebastian brought his own street lights
Some travellers bring converters to make sure they can plug into local sockets. Guy Sebastian brought his own street lights for the “Tonight Again” staging.
9. They are loved by the juries
How can we put this delicately? Sometimes the Australian performance hasn’t been as strong at the grand final but they’ve been rescued by a more sympathetic jury vote. Juries have saved Australia’s bacon for the past two years and the Aussies must be feeling relieved. We just hope they don’t make a habit out of it.
10. If they win, they won’t make us watch Eurovision at 3am
Word is that if Australia were to ever win Eurovision, it wouldn’t be hosted there. SBS would kindly co-host in Europe with a local broadcaster (possibly in Germany) and save fans exorbitant airfares, jetlag or just having to get up at 3am to watch the show.
Bonus: The legendary Lee Lin Chin
For the first three years, SBS newscaster Lee Lin Chin read Australia’s points. She introduced Europe to her dry wit and iconic sense of style. Can she be enticed out of retirement to deliver the points once more?
What are you favourites moments from Australia at Eurovision? Sound off below!