Among reports and wild speculation that Australia would be returning to Eurovision using a new selection method, broadcaster SBS and producer Blink TV have officially announced they will be embarking on a national final titled Eurovision: Australia Decides.

The event will be hosted on the Gold Coast, Australia’s sixth largest city and recent host of the Australian television awards The Logies and the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The local competition will allow for any songwriter in Australia to enter, with the best songs shortlisted and paired with high-profile performers. Both published and non-pubished songwriters can submit entries, with submissions to be made to the SBS Eurovision website before November 4.

Entry rules are similar to the rules seen in most national finals across Europe, with songs not to exceed three minutes, to be an original composition and not have been made publicly available. Entry does, however, rule out the long-seen tradition of Swedish composers entering a foreign national final, as songwriters must hold an Australian citizenship or be an Australian Permanent Resident.

The winning song/singer combination will be determined by a mix of a jury and TV audience, with the jury casting their votes from each singer’s rehearsal performance on February 8. Television audiences will get their vote during the national final broadcast on February 9.

Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, host of Eurovision: Australia Decides

The event will be held at the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre, which has previously played host to the Gold Coast auditions for The X Factor Australia, as well as serving as the accredited media centre for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Only metres from Gold Coast’s stunning beaches, fans and performers will no doubt be able to soak up the sun and a mojito or two – a taste of what many Eurovision fans will be tasting at Eurovision next May in Tel Aviv.

Australian Head of Delegation and producer of of Blink TV Paul Clarke told Australia’s Fairfax Media that the change in tactic is hoping to uncover a new breed of songwriter:

“We’re hoping to uncover songwriters that have not yet found their way into the spotlight. We really want to champion songwriters and we’re very proud this is a competition which is about original songwriting.”

This marks a significant change from SBS’ previous internal selection process – with the network previously working exclusively with music label Sony BMG and, more recently, working with songwriters DNA Songs from 2016 to 2018.

Australian Eurovision commentators Joel Creasey and Myf Warhurst hosted an official announcement from a typically rainy Gold Coast, with Joel saying the national final is going “to be massive”. The pair will also host the televised event on February 9.

The pair were joined by 2016 Australian Eurovision representative Dami Im who performed an acoustic version of “Sound of Silence”. Dami, who hails from the state of Queensland, was “over the moon” that the national final would be held in her home state.

Will Australia’s change from an internal selection to national final guarantee Australia a better result at Eurovision in 2019? Who would you like to see enter the national final? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more Australia Eurovision news here

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MusicIstheKey
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MusicIstheKey

Great that that will have a national selection 🙂 Let’s hope for a final with many songs. And lots of musical diversity: rock, indie, metal, country, folk, jazz, electronica (as well as pop music)

Marie
Guest
Marie

I’m looking forward to watching this! I kind of like the idea of the artist singing their own song, just because it would be more personal, I suppose but this way is also a good way to recognise undiscovered song writers. I wonder if Dami would try for it again? Although, I feel like it maybe wouldn’t be much of a competition if she did ? as so many people wanted her to win. I wonder what this would mean for staging and preparation for the eurovision performance as well… I guess this year was a different creative interpretation (people… Read more »

Geo
Guest
Geo

Sounds exciting! And for 2019 Eurovision I hope they won’t use Sasha Jean Baptiste for Australia’s performance, as she didn’t do anything creative or memorable for both Isaiah and Jessica, by contrary….

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

It will be interesting to check how this will play out. Maybe it’s just what Australia needed to start thinking outside the box and send someting less predictable to the contest. And even if it doesn’t happen, it’s one more national final for us to follow!

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Is this because nobody actually good wanted to be selected internally this year?

Alex
Guest
Alex

That;s great, this is exactly what the BBC should be doing the past years. Internal selections of well known and young names with modern songs and big national final shows in arenas. I bet the show will be similar to the Scandinavian productions. I don’t expect big names but i do expect good modern songs. well done SBS this is a good move.

Azerbaijan
Guest
Azerbaijan

Cant wait to see a bunch of x factor and the voice rejects singing generic songs

James
Guest
James

A former X Factor alumae gave Australia its best result so that may not necessarily be a bad thing.

Dame Tu Conchita
Guest
Dame Tu Conchita

Hello Wiwibloggs. Will you make an article about Serebro’s Olga Seryabkina who have recently made her departure from her group? She announced it on her VK account a few days ago. She’s one of the three original members of Serebro who performed on the Eurovision stage in 2007.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Here’s just a few they could consider – Peking Duk – Sheppard – The Veronicas – Kate Miller Heidke – Empire of the Sun – Vance Joy – Amy Shark – Flume – Dean Lewis – Matt Corby – Ricki-lee Coulter – Troye Sivan – 5SOS – Gang of Youths – Hiltop Hoods – Anthony Callea – Delta Goodrem – Samantha Jade – Courtney Barnett – Conrad Sewell – SIA – In other words, there’s an endless supply?

Joe
Guest
Joe

Courtney Barnett at Eurovision would be the absolute confluence of everything I love.

Christmas island
Guest
Christmas island

Well considering sia makes like 20 songs a year, i think she could definitely take part as atleast a songwriter.

MsBurns
Guest
MsBurns

Imagine if either Sia or Kevin Parker (Tame Impala) got involved… I’d be happy. Also, The Presets seemed interested in 2015, we should get them to join in.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Ahh I forgot the Presets and Tame Impala. We could add a couple more in there like The Temper Trap and PNAU as well.

MsBurns
Guest
MsBurns

Ohohohoh! Tash Sultana! I’d like one guitar solo please!

Mark
Guest
Mark

I think the fact that the producers are in charge of the songs and who sings them will detour singer-songwriters.

James
Guest
James

All of them except Sia and Troye Sivan are good guesses! I would love to see Vera Blue in the selection too and she has teased new music so this could be a way of promoting her new album. I’m excited to see further announcements

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

I’m a bit sceptical, but I’m looking forward to it! The national final season is always super exciting and most importantly far more exciting than an internal selection. I just hope that the People who choose the ,,best songs” are brave enough to try something new and put some risky songs in there… They’ve been playing it very, very safe the last years and I hope they don’t stick to that because that’s not at all how you score with the televoters at home. Anyways, good luck Australia, I’m definitly gonna watch it! <3

Mark
Guest
Mark

What the producers should focus on is making the show interesting by having a diverse mix of songs, styles and genres; rather than finding ‘Eurovision Songs’.

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

Yeah, I completely agree.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Okay, so that already rules out the usual suspects of foreign song peddlers which is a great thing.

Mark
Guest
Mark

So, you’re saying you don’t want JOWST to submit a song for Australia?

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

They already got Flume, though.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Is Flume too big for Eurovision?

yom124
Guest
yom124

This is awesome, Im gonna try submit a song its amazing we have the opportunity now. Aussie Aussie Aussie.
Oi Oi Oi.

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Hopefully, we’ll get some great songs and a different kind of entry than last years, I want something special this time 🙂
Good luck Australia <3

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Oh wow so it’s happening! Their last two entries have been lackluster so it’s time to let the GP decide.

James
Guest
James

“Live from the Gold Coast, here’s Gretel Kaleen!”

Mark
Guest
Mark

I would rather Gretel host rather than Myf and Joel.

They’ll probably use the same stage that Big Brother used.

EurovisionBenny_AUT
Guest
EurovisionBenny_AUT

To my mind, Australia made a great decision by only letting Australian songwriters submit a song for their national selection! I hope that countries like Cyprus, and particularly Azerbaijan, take inspiration from this, in the sense that they let dominantly local songwriters write their Eurovision Songs in the future. I bet that there are many talented songwriters in these countries that are willing to write songs for their countries in Eurovision, but are unfortunately rejected… Personally, I would like a rule in Eurovision that allows only songwriters that have local Citizenship to submit a song for Eurovision to be invented… Read more »

EurovisionBenny_AUT
Guest
EurovisionBenny_AUT

Go Australia!

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Bring the heat!!!

EscAU
Guest
EscAU

sooo excited for my country 🙂 can’t wait for our national final

Meeh
Guest
Meeh

Can’t wait?

dave
Guest
dave

what copy of united kingdom you Decide shame on Australia but person Australia no right taken part in contest in first place
well done the Ebu destroying a wonderful contest all abouth money nothing more

Malma
Guest
Malma

Outdated and prejudiced opinions like yours is what is ruining the contest, not Australia hun x

James
Guest
James

Considering the other choices:
“Eurovision Song Contest” in its various localized variations – Eurovizija Atranka, Beovizija, Montevizija, MESC, Objectivo Eurovision, Destination Eurovision etc
“Song Contest” – Melodifestivalen, Melodi Grand Prix, Festival da Cancao
“National Selection” – Selectia Nationala, Vidbir, Krajowe Eliminacije
“A Song For Europe” – O Melodie Pentru Europa, Unser Song (insert name of host city)

Eastman
Guest
Eastman

Would you be happier if it was called “O melodi pentru Aussie” and had wobbly sets, screeching divas and a weird goth guy singing about teenage girls?

Fredrik
Guest
Fredrik

Dave your opinion is from the stone ages. Do you want it back again?

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

I doubt they will copy and paste that failed nf.

Mark
Guest
Mark

They’re more interested in copy pasting Melodifestivalen.

Mark
Guest
Mark

You are aware that Eurovision is more popular in Australia than it is in most European countries?

James
Guest
James

old mate davo has had one too many fosters, am i right boys?

ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)
Guest
ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)

For real Eurovision fans, every national final is gold, especially as a conterpart to those many new internal selections like in Switzerland. Exciting news 🙂

Christmas island
Guest
Christmas island

??? Switzerland doesn’t have an internal selection.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Switzerland will have an internal selection this year as they have cancelled their national final due to low ratings.

Christopher
Guest
Christopher

Love the idea! So much looking forward to it!