Last month, rumours emerged that Australia would be doing something to involve the public in its selection for Eurovision 2019. Now Australian media is reporting that this will involve a national final called Australia Decides.
The Courier Mail reports that Australia’s very first national final will be held in on the Gold Coast, Australia’s sixth largest city. The location was decided after a proposal from the Queensland Government and Gold Coast City Council was chosen over bids from Sydney and Melbourne.
The event will be held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre and the date for Australia Decides has been locked in for Saturday, February 9th.
The newspaper also has details about the format of the show. It says that broadcaster SBS and production company Blink TV will first select a shortlist of songs, and then match them with artists.
The acts will be voted on by an Australian jury and by the public televote. In Eurovision tradition, the jury will base their scoring on a rehearsal show the day before.
Blink TV director Paul Clarke commented on Australia Decides. He said the team have “great plans to make the Gold Coast Eurovision Central in February 2019”, but he also alluded to the dated, kitschy side of Eurovision, saying “spandex and sequins at the ready – it will be an awesome show”.
The Courier Mail also reports that SBS is now accepting song submissions from interested songwriters, with a deadline of November 4.
Australia’s four previous Eurovision acts have been internally selected. Australia’s best result was in 2016, when Dami Im placed second with “Sound of Silence”. Since then, Australia has struggled to pick up the European televote, picking up only two televote points in 2017 and was in last place with nine televote points in Lisbon.
Australia is the only country currently competing at the Eurovision Song Contest as an invited guest. As an EBU associate member, Australia must have their invitation approved by the Eurovision Reference Committee every year.
What do you think? What sort of songs would you like to hear in Australia Decides? Who would you like to see singing in the event? Sound off below!