As one of the last few countries to confirm for Tel Aviv, Australia had been leaving Europe wondering as to whether they would be invited back to compete for the fifth time at Eurovision in 2019.
Europe can now breath a sigh of relief, with broadcaster SBS confirming that Australia will return to Eurovision in 2019, before announcing a ‘shake up’ of the candidate selection process.
Outgoing SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid confirmed to Australian television blog TV Tonight that Australia has been invited back. He hinted however that the entry process is expected to change, moving away from the internal selection process that SBS have used since entering the contest back in 2015. Ebeid says:
“We’ve been doing it this way for 5 years and we’re looking at how we can up the ante and mix it up a little bit. It’s safe to say we will be announcing something in the next month or so. We’re putting some finishing touches on some plans at the moment.”
While Australia does go big and expensive at Eurovision, we should not be expecting a selection process as big as Sweden’s Melodifestivalen — with Ebeid confirming the selection process would focus rather on getting Australians to choose from an established range of artists:
“I would love to get Australians more involved in selecting our artist to represent us. We don’t have the money to do The Voice or Australia’s Got Talent, and it wouldn’t work with an emerging artist. But we are looking to do something a bit different with some experienced artists.”
Looking for an experienced singer would toe the line from recent years, with each previous entrant Guy Sebastian, Dami Im, Isaiah Firebrace and Jessica Mauboy all proving well experienced and signed with record label Sony BMG (despite all originally hailing from reality show competitions.). Ebeid concedes experience trumps novice:
“It’s a hell of a lot of pressure and we’ve seen a lot of people freeze on stage when they get up there. There’s 14,000 people in the auditorium and 200 million at home. So you need someone with the experience to get out there and own the stage, with a machine behind them of choreographers, set designers, costume and a record label.”
And while SBS has always chosen their artist from Sony BMG, Ebeid suggests that there is potential to move away from this association.
“Every year we absolutely scour all the record labels. We actually came very close to going with Universal last year. But at the end of the day what I look for is best artist possible, and not the record label. Sony has just happened each year to put forward the best person possible.”
Ebeid’s suggestion that SBS were close to signing with Universal in 2018 adds further fuel to the fire that Ricki-Lee Coulter was a potential candidate for Lisbon. The singer revealed her ambitions back in 2017, and tweeted of rumours just before Jessica Mauboy was announced as the candidate back in December.
If SBS choose to move to a selection process with Universal, we might see the likes of artists including previously wished-for artists including Tkay Maidza, Matt Corby or former The Voice Australia winner Alfie Arcuri.
Who would you like to see Australia send to Eurovision in 2019? Let us know in the comments below.
Cortney Act should go.
Waiting to see if they will manage to choose something worse than isaiah and jessica. I mean those were two deserving last places on televote (dodgy notes and weird staging…)
If they barely have the money to cover a national final, what funds could they possibly hope to contribute to the contest in the event of a win? I guess some generous European broadcaster will have to pick up the slack.
Dont you worry, Australia is a rich country, they could hold Eurovision Asianvision and The Pacificvision all at the same time if they really wanted to. But in all honesty, any country that holds Eurovision dont actually fund it all themselves.
When they came second with Dami Im with that super song i was IN with Australia in our ESC family 🙂
Why does the involvement of the audience have to be around the artist? Could he not be suggesting one artist sings a number of songs? A bit like the UK in the 90s?
A great idea!
For SBS to even suggest a show like Australia’s Got Talent or The Voice of Australia might be the way to go forward betrays their attitude to the whole contest – it’s not a talent show, you dolts, it’s a song contest.
Oh well, the attitude that Eurovision fans show Australia every year is still absolutely charming… Australia is part of Eurovision now! And I know you want them to be kicked out, but it doesn’t matter how hard you try to make it happen, it’s not gonna happen. I absolutely disliked every song they’ve sent after 2015, but I have no problem with them. I’m happy they’re taking part and Maybe this year we’re gonna get something else from the usual plastic pop stuff.
I would give everything I have to exchange Australia in Eurovision for Kosovo, Kazakhstan or Lebanon…
WE DONT WANT YOU AUSTRALIA
Inviting Australia is basically the best decision in ESC in recent years
What? You gotta be joking, it’s ruining the spirit of the contest
”fans” like you are ruining the spirit of the contest tbh.
The spirit of inclusion and fun?
Better late than never. We shall see if and how things are gonna be shaken up.
Oh gosh. If it’s a national final and you let the Australian public decide it will definitely be our first non qualification.
We always go for a sad story rather than talent
How is that?
AC/DC – real rock legends! Or Crowded House. A NF from Austrlia would be great! Let’s hope for a wide selection of music styles, and good bands.
They’ve been promising to shake up the process since 2016, is it going to happen this time?
“There’s 14,000 people in the auditorium”
Has the news not reached Australia yet?
So happy to see Australia back and that they’re really getting on board with Eurovision by creating their own national final (or whatever it turns out to be)
I’m so excited that Australia will be back for the fifth time however i’m also curious with the National final being just around the corner how the Australian public will vote prior to choosing an act and song for Eurovision. Yet, i’m interested to see what Australia will bring to Tel Aviv next year
Anja said she was offered to do it in 2015 for australia but it didnt work out and she’s with universal too, I think it’d be at least fair to give universal peeps a go
Hard to connect with their entries. I hope they move away from flat pop and go for something spicier. I’d pick something like Meg Mac’s “Never Be”.
Alright! I like the sound of this! See you in Tel Aviv, Australia!
Still unsure about Australian participation after like 4 years, but if they bring something good, I am willing to thaw. I will reserve judgement until I hear the song. In fact no, I’ll reserve judgement until May as I hated “We Got Love” so much until I saw Jess absolutely dazzle in the final in Lisbon and for the first time of the season I really enjoyed it. So we’ll see Australia…we’ll see. A national final or even some sort of online poll would be a nice change to select an entry for them.