While Australian broadcaster SBS are busy at work preparing for their inaugural national final next February, rumours have erupted online of a potential announcement for the first Eurovision Asia Contest.
Our team has reached out to the producer of the Eurovision Asia Contest and Australian Head of Delegation, Blink TV’s Paul Clarke, who has shut down the rumours – telling wiwibloggs that there is “nothing to say at this stage” regarding ESC Asia, and that their focus is currently on producing an outstanding national contest in Eurovision: Australia Decides – which we are no doubt looking incredibly forward to!
Paul’s statement follows a claim from an Australian journalist for Nine News that the first Eurovision Asia Contest, which has been in planning since 2016, will take place on the Gold Coast in Australia – the same location that the Australian national final is held.
The journalist has released a supposed City of Gold Coast report which specifies the contest to be held with 16 countries over 8 days, and is to mimic the European version of the event – with red carpet arrivals, press meet and greets, rehearsal shows, and a Saturday night grand final.
— Brendon Wolf (@BrendonWolf9) October 31, 2018
The report also shows a tentative date for the grand final of Saturday, 7 December 2019, with a Eurovision-style schedule of rehearsals and press conferences taking place in the week prior. However, it’s important to note that this date has not been confirmed by any parties involved — so don’t go booking non-refundable travel!
Paul’s statement follows that of former SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid made earlier this month that organising the Asian contest is proving “too geo-politically difficult”, with the broadcaster in charge of organising the inaugural event putting the idea on the back-burner.
“(Eurovision Asia has) probably been my one disappointment. I would have liked to have made more progress on that. It’s just proven too geo-politically difficult. We are still talking to a few of the countries but we have put all our energy into this other idea we’re planning to announce soon. It’s more in our control and continent, whereas trying to get 10 Asian countries to agree has proven really difficult.”
The EBU announced back in July this year that plans for the Eurovision Asia Song Contest were still “early”, casting doubt on whether the planned 2018 debut would eventuate. Back in July an EBU spokesperson issued the following statement:
“Work on bringing the Eurovision Song Contest to Asia is still ongoing and EBU are working closely with the organisers to help them bring it to fruition. It’s still early in the development process but once the team are at the point they are able to talk about timings we will be sure to make an announcement.”
And with less than one week until entries close for Australia‘s brand new national final, broadcaster SBS has issued a reminder, urging Australia’s songwriters to get their entries in. The broadcaster has also confirmed details of the three shows that will make up the national final.
Entries for Eurovision: Australia Decides close this Sunday, 4 November. Entries have already been coming in to SBS. Commissioning Editor of Entertainment Josh Martin said, “Hundreds of songwriters across Australia have already submitted a diverse mix of songs – from pop to country, ballad to thrash metal, novelty to opera and everything in between.” Paul Clarke also exclusively told us we have a lot to look forward to, with already submitted entries uncovering great Australian talent.