Australia Eurovision 2010s

The 2020s are fast approaching. But when it comes to Eurovision the decade has already ended. It’s been ten years of change, with one of the biggest shakeups coming courtesy of Australia.

The Antipodeans had been watching the contest continuously since 1983 when they were given a special invite to take part in 2015. Their arrival coincided with Eurovision’s 60th-anniversary celebrations.

But the Aussies got on so well that they’ve yet to leave. In fact, their participation is secured up until at least 2023.

Australia’s qualification rate is 100%. With a record like that, it’s clear that the country has had plenty of hights. But which of its entries did best and which did worst? Wonder no more as we’ve compiled a definitive ranking of Australia’s Eurovision entries in the 2010s.

For the purposes of this ranking, we’re going off the percentage of maximum possible points which each entry received at Eurovision.

For example, a finalist in 2019 could only receive a maximum of 960 points i.e. 24 points from each of the other 40 countries voting. If an act finished with 200 points, they would have received 20.83% of the points available to them.

This is not to be confused with the percentage of all votes cast.

5. Jessica Mauboy “We Got Love” (2018)

Result: 20th in the grand final with 99 points — 9.82% of maximum possible points

Australia chose a returning name of sorts in 2018. Jessica Mauboy had previously performed “Sea Of Flags” during the semi-final two interval in 2014. Four years later, she was internally selected by SBS to experience the Eurovision madness all over again, but with an added competitive element. And “We Got Love” was among the early favourites. Alas, things didn’t quite come together in Lisbon. The entry finished last with televoters in the grand final and 20th overall — Australia’s worst placing to date.

4. Isaiah “Don’t Come Easy” (2017)

Result: 9th in the grand final with 173 points — 17.58% of maximum possible points

Australia typically tends to do better with the juries than with the public. And it was in 2017 that the difference became most pronounced. Teen X Factor winner Isaiah Firebrace was internally selected to sing “Don’t Come Easy” in Kyiv. And while the jury support came relatively easy, the same could not be said for the public. In the final he only received two points from viewers at home, compared to 171 points from the musical experts. In fact, if the power lay with televoters alone, Isaiah would have stayed in the semi-final. Nonetheless, Australia still managed to secure a third consecutive top ten finish.

3. Kate Miller-Heidke “Zero Gravity” (2019)

Result: 9th in the grand final with 284 points — 29.58% of maximum possible points

Australia came of age in 2019. For the first time, it did like many of its counterparts and held a national final. Eurovision – Australia Decides was a ten song spectacular, featuring acclaimed names like Sheppard, Courtney Act and Electric Fields. But it was Kate Miller-Heidke who emerged victorious with “Zero Gravity”. Combined with spectacular staging and pristine vocals, the autobiographical classical-pop crossover saw Australia return to the top ten once more — winning the first semi along the way.

2. Guy Sebastian “Tonight Again” (2015)

Result: 5th in the grand final with 196 points — 41.88% of maximum possible points

For its debut entry, Australia started as it meant to continue by selecting a current artist with a proven track record. And short of choosing someone like Kylie Minogue, it couldn’t have gone much bigger than Idol winner and X Factor judge Guy Sebastian. Thanks to its special guest status, Australia got to skip the semis completely. But the fast-track didn’t harm “Tonight Again” at all. The entry rode the funk-pop wave of the time all the way to the top five.

1. Dami Im “Sound Of Silence” (2016)

Result: 2nd in the grand final with 511 points — 51.93% of maximum possible points

Australia came painfully close to pulling a Ukraine and winning on its second attempt. Alas, it was Ukraine that stopped Dami Im from taking the Eurovision crown. Despite winning its semi, “Sound Of Silence” had to make do with silver. But Dami’s vocal prowess impressed the juries so much that they placed her first. Had the pre-2016 voting rules been in place, Australia would have won the contest.

Do you agree with the list? What are your rankings? Which is your favourite Australian entry of the 2010s? Let us know in the comments.

Read more Best of the 2010s content.

71 Comments
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Álex
Álex
1 year ago

Yes to the girls, big NO to the guys.

Justice
Justice
1 year ago

I wanna add all the points of Australia 2017 to Kate’s score and leave that awful act with a big fat zero and that beautiful act with the victory.

MIKO?AJ
MIKO?AJ
1 year ago
Reply to  Justice

Kate still wouldn’t win even after bonus 173 points

TheDr Mistery
TheDr Mistery
1 year ago

Not that fan of Australia participating but it’s more to the fact that it opens the door for the likes of China, Japan, USA, South Africa or South Korea getting in and that’s not the contest it should be. As it is, Australia is usually greatly overrated by juries who show their snobbish side by voting for Australian entries like maniacs. Public view of Australian entries is more fair, even if still a little bit harsh. 5. 2017: Don’t Come Easy – way overrated by the juries. Placing ninth with just 2 points from televoters is very lame and that… Read more »

Azaad
Azaad
1 year ago
Reply to  TheDr Mistery

Australia have broadcasted the contest since the eighties and so have been involved in some way with it for a lot longer than other countries (the reason they were invited to compete) and retain closer cultural links to Europe via the monarchy and the European diasporas within Australia.

TheDr Mistery
TheDr Mistery
1 year ago
Reply to  Azaad

I know all of that, yet it still sets an example – if Australia was such a smash, why don’t we? We have money, bring us in.

Let’s hope not.

Azaad
Azaad
1 year ago
Reply to  TheDr Mistery

China, Japan, USA, South Africa and South Korea have little to no awareness of the contest outside of maybe more Euro-pop inclined music fans, certainly not at the national level that Australia has had since the 70s

Darren
Darren
1 year ago

It took me so long to finally accept Australia’s participation in ESC. It felt so random and unnecessary to me at the time, however, I have moved on, and it’s nice having them. If EASC takes off and becomes popular though I don’t see any reason why they would want to continue to take part in ESC and EASC at the same time, it would be pointless…however for now, it’s good having them, our cousins in the contest. 2015: I loved Guy Sebastien, great performer, great staging and catchy song, riding on the success of Uptown Funk etc I loved… Read more »

Joe
Joe
1 year ago

I love having Australia in the contest and seeing the respect and effort they put into their entries. That being said, there’s a big gap of quality between 2015, 16, and 19 and the other two entries.

Preuss
Preuss
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe

But does that mean that Isaiah and Jessica were genuinely bad as many people seem to believe? I’d say no, but I agree that when you compare their performances to Guy, Dami and Kate who in my opinion were out of this world and brilliant then sure Isaiah and Jessica were not as good because you keep comparing them to Guy, Dami and Kate. Personally I like Isaiah’s song because Sam Smith is like my favourite artist and I do like the staging. Jessica’s staging was a complete miss, sadly

Tibor
Tibor
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe

For me, Kate has the most original song, Dami’s and Isaiah’s songs were good (I don’t really get the complaints about Isaiah’s song) and Guy’s and Jessica’s songs were rather forgettable off the rack pieces of pop music. All were well performed except for Jessica’s song, but she seemed to have had problems with her vocal chords, that was more than just a tired voice, it sounded ill.

Preuss
Preuss
1 year ago
Reply to  Tibor

I think people find Isaiah’s song to be the weakest of the ones + not a very convincing performance which even though resulted in a 9th place. I disagree though, I didn’t envy anyone coming after Guy and Dami to bomb completely so I was very happy when he reached the top ten in the end

Tibor
Tibor
1 year ago
Reply to  Preuss

I know that people _think_ Isaiah’s song is the weakest. The question is: why. Granted, his vocals in the semi-final weren’t entirely convincing, but missing one note doesn’t invalidate a whole performance, the viewers are sometimes very harsh this way and on other occasions they let it slide, if a singer is off-key for half of the song. I’d say, Isaiah is a good vocalist with a very pleasant timbre who didn’t have his best moment on the night of the semi-final. But I’d like to know, how his song is supposed to be _so much worse_ than all the… Read more »

Preuss
Preuss
1 year ago
Reply to  Tibor

Coming after Guy and Dami did him no favour, that’s for sure. How fans rank their songs will always be subjective, but it’s no doubt that I frequently see Guy, Dami and Kate mentioned while Isaiah’s last. I think people were/are so mad that he came ninth and qualified instead of the huge fan-favourite «Blackbird» and that people are bitter about it therefore constantly «bitching» on him. Semi-final performance was not great to be honest, but his grand final performance was great. Ninth place is a ninth place though and that’s something fans can’t take away from him

Tibor
Tibor
1 year ago
Reply to  Preuss

Of course, it’s subjective if you like a song or not, and perhaps I’m expecting a bit too much, but for me, liking a song or stating it’s bad is not the same thing, especially in a case like this, where the first Australian songs were all rather similar in genre and quality. But you’re probably right, Guy had the advantage of being the first, Dami was the one everybody was excited for, and when Isaiah hit the stage, the novelty factor had already worn off.

Jo.
Jo.
1 year ago

Good:
1. Tonight Again
2. Zero Gravity

ok
3. We Got Love

ok, but ridiculously overrated
4. Sound of Silence

meh
5. He came easy

Liam Lindsay
Liam Lindsay
1 year ago

I love the fact that Australia competes in the contest, it makes a change for a country that is so close to Britain to take the contest seriously and not see it as a joke. Australia thoroughly deserves to have full unconditional participation, they put in appropriate resources for their delegation to support their artist unlike the UK who just phones it in every year (or the majority of years) I would gladly have Australia in the Big 5 over the UK. Every entry Australia has sent to the contest, I have loved but compared to the UK entries I’m… Read more »

Nikki
Nikki
1 year ago

All good entries, I give you that one. But the only one I do actually like is Tonight Again.

AM2PM
AM2PM
1 year ago

When all factors are taken into consideration (song, vocals, dancing, costume, lighting, staging, costume) “We Got Love” is not only Australia’s worst but one of contest’s worst of the last decade. Complete car crash.

Preuss
Preuss
1 year ago
Reply to  AM2PM

It’s my favourite entry from down under <3

INAMOO
INAMOO
1 year ago

I still don’t get the hype of Tonight Again. Guy Sebastian is obviously a talented and wonderful singer but his song is too standard for me. Dami Im and Kate Miller-Heidke were great on the other hand.

Azaad
Azaad
1 year ago
Reply to  INAMOO

I think it was hyped because of the novelty of Australia’s debut, the fact that Guy is a mega star in Australia, and ultimately because 2015 was a rather ballad heavy and sombre year in terms of the tones of the songs competing in Vienna (they were mostly good but not really fun and upbeat for the most part), making an upbeat pop song like Tonight Again stand out.

Nicola
Nicola
1 year ago

As an Australian ESC fan (not being biased), I really like all our entries. We always deliver quality (even if the end results don’t reflect that), but that’s just my opinion. Thank you to those who have welcomed Australia into the ESC family. My personal ranking of Australia’s entries: 1. I’d say that ‘Sound of Silence and ‘Zero gravity’ are my equal favourite entries. But if I was to choose, ‘Zero Gravity’ would just edge out in front. 2. ‘We got Love’ 3. ‘Tonight Again’ 4. ‘Don’t come easy (definitely the weakest of the group, but still a decent song… Read more »

frysk
frysk
1 year ago

I hate sound of silence with a passion. Never heard any scream soloud about silence Awful!
And Isaiha singing about love in a way a 30 year old would do, he was barely out of his nappies…
Rest was all right, no winners but nice shows and songs, Guy Sebastian was the best for me…

TheDr Mistery
TheDr Mistery
1 year ago

If it was up to me, Australia wouldn’t participate. Not that I have anything serious against songs of performers. It just sets a precedence for the future participations of the likes of China, Japan, South Korea, USA, Mexico, Brasil or South Africa and that is not the contest I’d like to watch. If it stays like it is, then I can get behind it but I know it won’t and I hope Australia won’t win due to chaos that will errupt once it will. I think juries are overrating Australia like crazy maniacs, probably due to snob appeal which contribute… Read more »

Sabrina
Sabrina
1 year ago

“Zero Gravity” is by far my favorite Australian entry so far. Creative, out of the box and with a perfect final performance. But “Sound of Silence” deserved all its success. ” On the other hand, Jessica and Isaiah are lovely people, but their entries were too safe and bland for me. Right in the middle, there’s “Tonight Again”, that doesn’t have the quality of the first 2, but it was much more entertaining to me than the last 2. Australia had one of the most interesting national finals this year, I’m excited to check what they’ll bring in the near… Read more »

Katariina
Katariina
1 year ago

Probably my least favourite country in Eurovision. The only entry I have not hated from them was 2016, although I still think it was overrated in the end. Until 2019, every song was generally generic pop that was so favoured by juries it looked suspicious. There was no stopping 2018 from being their worst entry though, everything about that was just horrible and it should not have qualified.

Oshi
Oshi
1 year ago

Dami & Kate were the two Australia treasures in Eurovision. The only two acts had my wigs snatched. Both of them are just amazing.

Polegend Godgarina
1 year ago

it bothers me so much that kate miller-heidke ended in the same position as isaiah

Preuss
Preuss
1 year ago

In 2017 the discrepancies between the acts were huge which influenced Isaiah’s 9th place despite the televote score. Kate got 100 points more than Isaiah and still ended ninth, so. Kate deserved better, but I knew it would be hard to get the much wanted top five which I personally hoped for and they aussie delegation obviously wanted after the jury-vote with Switzerland and Russia close by. Considering Australia’s televote scores, I was actually kinda relieved that she got above 100 points but now in hindsight that televote score is just in my opinion very underwhelming.

Krzysztof
Krzysztof
1 year ago

Yup, that’s exactly what my personal ranking for these entries looks like, too.

Minerva
Minerva
1 year ago

I’m not super excited about any of Australia’s songs, except ‘Gravity’ as I like opera. Maybe it’s because their songs (before this year) were quite standard pop songs and they did unreasonably well. I hope Australia risks a bit more for next year and sends something different.

Polegend Godgarina
1 year ago
Reply to  Minerva

i think now that they have a televised selection, the people will be more inclined to vote for interesting acts. this year the only two non-generic songs ended first and second

Africavision
Africavision
1 year ago

As a South African, Australia is generally our nemesis in sport (particularly cricket and rugby), so I must admit that I was annoyed when they were first invited to join Eurovision, but after giving us the two bangers in the previous two Eurovision Song Contests (i.e., ‘we got love’ and ‘zero gravity’), even I can’t help but chant “Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi”! 🙂

Kris
Kris
1 year ago

My order would be : in terms of song
1)2019
2)2018
3)2016
4)2015
5)2017

In terms of performance
1)2019
2)2016
3)2015
4)2017
5)2018

Idan Cohen
Idan Cohen
1 year ago

“We got love” is the paragon of cheesy-eurovision song.
Even if the vocals and the staging had been perfect, this song would still have gotten a low ranking.

Eurovision doesn’t need yet-another cheesy-generic-self-empowerment-pop-song.

KYLLITO
KYLLITO
1 year ago

The way you have been calculating your percentages is incorrect. For example in 2019, between the top two vote getters The Netherlands and Italy, they received 970 points. So there were way more than the 940 points available to contestants. At least for the finalists, You need to add up all of the points given to all of the contestants and use that as the denominator for your percentage calculation. It makes way more sense.

Padraig Muldoon
Padraig Muldoon
1 year ago
Reply to  KYLLITO

No, because it’s not possible for one act to get *ALL* those points. The absolute most an act could get in theory is all the 12s from every other country’s televote and jury. They can’t get all the 10s and 8s and so on too.

Kris
Kris
1 year ago
Reply to  KYLLITO

The thing is Greece can’t give Cyprus it’s 10 , 8 , 7 , 6 , 5. 4 , 3 , 2 , 1 points after it has given its 12 to them . So they can it get a maximum of 12 points from them in both televote and jury , so total a maximum of 24 points. Though Greece gives away 116 points .

ESCFan2009
ESCFan2009
1 year ago

My Top:
5. Jessica Mauboy (2018) 6/10
4. Isaiah Firebrace (2017) 7/10
3. Guy Sebastian (2015) 8/10
2. Dami Im (2016) 9/10
1. Kate Miller-Heidke (2019) 10/10

Kris
Kris
1 year ago
Reply to  ESCFan2009

Lol , same order

KESC
KESC
1 year ago

Best Australian Staging: Zero Gravity
Best Australian Song: Sound of Silence

Overall:
1. Dami Im – Sound of Silence 2016
2. Kate Miller Heidke – Zero Gravity 2019
3. Guy Sebastian – Tonight Again 2015
4. Jessica Mauboy – We Got Love 2018
5. Isaiah – Don’t Come Easy 2019

Actually I like Tonight Again and We Got Love equally.

KESC
KESC
1 year ago
Reply to  KESC

*Don’t Come Easy should be 2017 of course. 😉

ESCFan2009
ESCFan2009
1 year ago
Reply to  KESC

Well, it “didn’t come easy” for you to write the correct date 😀 (Sorry, that’s a bit childish, but it fits so good I couldn’t ignore that word play haha)

Fatima
Fatima
1 year ago

“Tonight Again” was such a brilliant moment as it seemed to be about the contest itself. I get goose pimples every time I hear it.

Kredential
Kredential
1 year ago

Honestly, in retrospect Australia’s entries aren’t even that good. Just like Sweden and Malta, they’re overrated by the juries which explains their string of good results. Nevertheless, 2015 was alright, 2016 was superb vocally and 2019 had the best staging of the year. Waiting for the year Australia doesn’t play it safe (like this year) and delivers an absolute banger.

Preuss
Preuss
1 year ago
Reply to  Kredential

I mean, we might have different perceptions of “safe” but I’m pretty sure that this year Australia didn’t play it safe at all when they picked “Zero Gravity” to represent them in Tel Aviv. Guy, Dami and Kate were top ten with the televoters though.

Kredential
Kredential
1 year ago
Reply to  Preuss

Ok I could have phrased my sentence a little better, I do consider this year to not be safe but it didn’t tick the box of being a good song imo, so 1/2 is what I was meaning to say.

Azaad
Azaad
1 year ago
Reply to  Kredential

I think Australia, like Sweden, benefit from being home to an internationally renowned music industry, so jurors are never embarrassed to vote for them- as William has often mentioned. I would say that this jury advantage is offset by a televoting disadvantage, as they lack both regional support and a diaspora (in fact, they provide other countries with diasporas further disadvantaging them in that regard- although those diasporas from Europe were the reason for our admittance in the contest in the first place). Overall the Australian acts are quite polished and well put together with effort and thought behind them,… Read more »

Preuss
Preuss
1 year ago
Reply to  Azaad

I respectfully disagree – I believe that as long as you send a good song along with a good package then you’ll do well. Sweden and Australia are music industries yes, but so is the United Kingdom and Germany. I don’t think people are embarassed to put their names behind a certain country as long as they find the entry good. Whether it’s easier to put your name behind Sweden and Australia is another question, but there’s always jury members every year who don’t rank them very high

Nathan Anthony Pace
Nathan Anthony Pace
1 year ago

Australia is my favourite country in Eurovision. All of their entries except Guy’s deserved a better result. Dami was grievously robbed of winning, Isaiah deserved more with the televote, Jessica deserved more overall, and Kate was robbed of second place (I’m very happy with Duncan winning, but I wouldn’t mind if Kate had won either). I really want them to win in the near future with a strong entry that I’ll love.

Roelof Meesters
Roelof Meesters
1 year ago

Australia’s record in the contest speaks for itself and is the #1 thing to refer to if anyone questions whether Australia should be in ESC or not. They take the contest VERY seriously, sending either a quality song, singer, performance (or all 3!) to the contest each year. Heck- they even managed to win 2 of the 4 semi- finals they competed in! I also think that 2015, 2017 and 2019 prove that Australia can gather enough televoting points to win in the next decade.

Preuss
Preuss
1 year ago

Personally, I thought Dami deserved at least enough points in order to win and Kate to end up higher than “only” 9th. They have no allies in this contest and I think they’ll have to crack the 200-points mark in the televote if they’re gonna win one day in the future!

BiAlex
BiAlex
1 year ago

Don’t you mean 2016?

Jenny
Jenny
1 year ago

They came last with televoters in 2017? I think you mean 2016

Roelof Meesters
Roelof Meesters
1 year ago
Reply to  Jenny

Yes I meant 2016- Idk why I made that mistake XD.

Travis
Travis
1 year ago

How can Dami have over 50% of available Points? and only be 2nd? How did he calculate it?

Padraig Muldoon
Padraig Muldoon
1 year ago
Reply to  Travis

As written at the start:

“For the purposes of this ranking, we’re going off the percentage of available points that each entry received at Eurovision. For example, a finalist in 2019 could only receive a maximum of 960 points i.e. 24 points from each of the other 40 countries voting. If an act finished with 200 points, they would have received 20.83% of the points available to them.”

This doesn’t include the 10s, 8s etc, because if a country got all the 12s on offer they can’t get those points too. You understand?

KYLLITO
KYLLITO
1 year ago

I get this @Padraig, but it still doesn’t make sense. When using percentages, you should be able to add up all of the percentages in a particular year for finalists and they should add up to 100%. These clearly don’t. I’ll try to ignore percentages in the next 40 ranking articles you do. I do enjoy seeing who the top ten are and reading about them.

KYLLITO
KYLLITO
1 year ago

In other words, the numerator doesn’t correlate to the denominator so the percentages you calculate are meaningless. Don’t use them.

Kris
Kris
1 year ago
Reply to  KYLLITO

Well the numerator does correlate to the denominator , if you add all the percentages from a year you will get 483.33% which is the total points awarded by a country to all countries divided by the maximum points it can award to one country

esc26
esc26
1 year ago

I used to be highly against Australia’s participation, but I’m used to it now. I’m fine with Australia, but I don’t want the contest to expand to Worldvision. Australia is enough. My top 3 Australian entries are Dami, Guy and Kate. Sound of Silence was the best entry of Eurovision 2016. It was not my favorite, but if we look at the qualities that the juries are (in theory) supposed to vote for (vocal capacity, stage performance, the song’s composition and originality, and the overall impression), it was the best. It’s even a bit too perfect to be my winner.… Read more »

Tibor
Tibor
1 year ago

I also think that Australia is a great addition to Eurovision and hope, they will never leave again. Their national final was not only a great idea, but also well executed, and “Zero Gravity” is my personal favorite Australian entry so far. I also more or less agree with the rest of the results, although “Tonight Again” placed perhaps a bit too high due to the charm of novelty.

kop
kop
1 year ago
Preuss
Preuss
1 year ago

I think everyone who knows who I am either if it’s in the Eurovision community or in real life, know that I’m a big fan of Australia in this competition although I started out to be sceptical. The thing I love the most with Australia is the passion and effort they’ve put into their entries and the multicultural diversity they’ve presented us in the contest with Guy having roots from Malaysia and Sri Lanka, Dami’s Korean-born, Isaiah is aboriginal and Jess has Indonesian roots. «Australia Decides» this year was ridiculously amazing and the NF this year where I liked the… Read more »

Azaad
Azaad
1 year ago
Reply to  Preuss

Yes. They always send quality acts with effort put in them.

Loin dici
Loin dici
1 year ago
Reply to  Preuss

Hey, Preuss is here!

I would always get excited for Australia. They brought multicultural diversity to the lever no other broadcaster would ever do in the span of only five years. Adding to the list, their national final is also multicultural like no other: Kate has German roots, Zaachariaha of Electric Fields is aboriginal, Tania Doko is Albanian, Aydan and Alfie has Italian roots, and Leea Nanos has Greek roots.

Azaad
Azaad
1 year ago
Reply to  Loin dici

SBS is a public broadcaster and was set up to cater to non Anglo Australians in terms of content because of minority communities not being prominently featured on the ABC or private broadcasters, which explains the greater diversity of Australia’s Eurovision participants (as well as the fact it’s a very multicultural country to begin with)

Azaad
Azaad
1 year ago

Such a wonderful edition to the Eurovision family.