Australian broadcaster SBS has confirmed reports that it is “exploring options” in regards to its participation at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. This follows claims that fellow public broadcaster the ABC is no longer involved as the host of Junior Eurovision in Australia.

While SBS is the home of Eurovision in Australia, since 2017 Junior Eurovision has moved to the children’s channel ABC ME. The channel was considered a better fit than the more mature SBS Viceland network that had previously screened Junior Eurovision.

However, it seems things have changed. Earlier this month, Spanish-language Eurovision blog Eurofestivales reported that the ABC was no longer involved with Junior Eurovision.

The blog also claimed that SBS was exploring options in regards to its future participation.

Wiwibloggs reached out to SBS for clarification. A spokesperson responded, saying:

“The [Eurofestivales] report (regarding SBS exploring options) is correct. We continue to explore options regarding participation however have nothing further to add at this time.”

Will the COVID-19 pandemic affect Australia at Junior Eurovision?

While Australia has been a regular participant at Junior Eurovision since its debut in 2015, SBS is yet to RSVP for Junior Eurovision 2020.

This has led some to speculate whether the COVID-19 pandemic may have posed some challenges for the Australian delegation.

Australia currently has strong restrictions around its border. Australian citizens are unable to leave Australia and travel overseas, with border restrictions not expected to be lifted this year. However, exemptions are possible. If Australia’s Junior Eurovision act was able to prove that their “travel is in the national interest”, then an exemption could potentially be granted.

And while SBS could potentially take a year off from Junior Eurovision, it is possible that they may instead look at ways to participate remotely. This could allow the team to stay in Australia rather than risk travelling to Poland in the midst of a pandemic.

Australia has already made changes to its selection process for Eurovision 2021. Rather than using national final Australia Decides, 2020 winner Montaigne has been internally selected for 2021. There’s no word on how her song for Rotterdam will be selected.

In addition, Australia has a new Eurovision Head of Delegation. Earlier this year, Josh Martin was confirmed as the new HoD, replacing Paul Clarke who will remain as Creative Director.

Junior Eurovision 2020 is due to take place in Warsaw, Poland on 29 November. The event will be held at a large television studio, rather than a usual arena-type venue.

What do you think? Would you like to see Australia at Junior Eurovision 2020? Should they participate remotely? Tell us your thoughts below!

Read more Australia Eurovision news here

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Tajikistan
Tajikistan
3 months ago

I don’t imagine the Australian government will consider sending a teenager to Poland to sing for a week as essential travel so I really don’t imagine we will see Australia in Warsaw

Kim
Kim
3 months ago

Unfortunately we have a second wave of covid starting here . The politicians here are saying that overseas travel will probably not restart until 2021 and people are getting knocked back for special permission to leave Oz and visit sick and dying relatives overseas so to allow people to go to a music contest it’s not going to happen.

mr 305 # dale
mr 305 # dale
3 months ago

Another note for everyone- the current conservative Australian government is really fickle and keeps cutting the funding to the public broadcaster, ABC Me which is the kids channel actually had to sack Pip (who was the Australian commentator and went to Georgia to film videos etc) and other presenters in Melbourne because they don’t want to spend money so that’s probably a reason

Joe
Joe
3 months ago

My thoughts overall on who’s in, who might be in, and who’s out:

Definitely in: France, Georgia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, Ukraine
Probably in: Armenia, Belarus, Malta, Serbia
Call it in the air: Albania, Australia, North Macedonia, Wales
Not confident: Portugal

Joe
Joe
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe

We can now turn Belarus and Serbia into “definitely”s and sadly bid farewell to Wales for 2020.

Ria van de Velde -NL
Ria van de Velde -NL
3 months ago

Yes !!! I hope to see Australia at Junior Eurovision 2020

Amadeus
Amadeus
3 months ago

No. First let Kazakhstan (a country with territory that actually lies in Europe) compete in the real Eurovision before you let Australia into JESC.

Joe
Joe
3 months ago
Reply to  Amadeus

But…like…they do. They’ve competed in JESC for the last five years. Their EBU status is exactly the same as Kazakhstan.

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Technically, yes. In practice – no.

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  Amadeus

Australia and Kazakhstan should absolutely be treated equally, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they should both compete in the “real” Eurovision…maybe one “guest” slot each year for associate members with a pre-qualification round (like 1993) to determine who gets in. To kick in when Australia’s current 5-year invitation expires. As for the Junior, well, they’re only there to make up the numbers it seems to me.

Joe
Joe
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

I really hate to say it, but I kinda get why Australia get preferential treatment. Don’t get me wrong, I think Kazakhstan would be great at Eurovision, and yes, geographically they’re closer to Europe. But Australia have broadcast it for longer, have a bigger built-in audience, and have already racked up some strong results. Kazakhstan’s Eurovision involvement mostly seems to be the TV station pushing it like crazy, but I haven’t heard the stats of their viewing numbers since they started showing it, so I have no idea how high the average Kazakh person prioritizes being in Eurovision. It could… Read more »

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe

The popularity of the contest in Australia has been hyped beyond reality. It’s not even the most watched show of the night, never mind week or year. Last year, it got about 240,000. The Voice of Australia, on the same night, got over a million viewers. This is mostly because it’s on a minority channel, and beyond a devoted few, most Australians are completely unfamiliar with the history of the contest. SBS in Australia is like PBS in America. There’s no such thing as a ratings hit. Source: https://www.mediaweek.com.au/tv-ratings-may-19-the-voice-launches-with-1-01m/

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe

My comment’s awaiting approval, oh well. Maybe because I included a link to the ratings of last year’s contest. SBS is a minority channel, the popularity of the contest is over-hyped. Kazakhstan do not deserve lesser treatment.

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe

I’ve tried to respond twice, but the moderation system doesn’t seem to like me. Check back later, I know everybody loves to hear my thoughts on every subject! 🙂

Joe
Joe
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Hey, I like the fact that we can respectfully disagree on a fair few things! I’d rather have a pleasant disagreement than a giant fight.

Jonas
Jonas
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Well my comments never showed up. All I was saying is that the contest got 240,000 viewers last year on SBS for the Sunday night broadcast. The contest goes out live at 05.00, so that isn’t going to get millions either. The Voice got over a million on the very same night. Its popularity is over-hyped.

Will this be the third comment to disappear? One click and I’ll know.

Joe
Joe
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Fair enough. It seems to have a fanbase roughly on par with the UK (big enough to be a real thing, not big enough to be really mainstream)

Joe
Joe
3 months ago

The real beauty(?) of JESC is that the lineup is pretty unstable save for a handful of Eastern European countries and the recent (mostly successful) additions. Except for the Netherlands, it feels like there are always at least a couple of countries coming and going every year. Australia’s done very well, but given how much of a hassle it’d be, I’d understand if they took a year off, and it’s probably why the likelihood of Israel returning is slim (which stinks, since Israel are always a welcome presence at EBU events – heck, I was very disappointed when I saw… Read more »

Joe
Joe
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe

I’m also interested in what’ll happen with Eurovision Choir, since a number of countries have great choirs that have yet to participate (off the top of my head: Ireland, Spain, Serbia, Portugal, Lithuania, Russia, Iceland, Israel, Greece, Poland, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Finland…)

Roelof Meesters
Roelof Meesters
3 months ago

I hope, hope, hope that they’ll be there, but it’s completely understandable if they choose to sit out in 2020. I’m already happy enough that Germany will be there this year, and hopefully other countries will debut/return, but having 19 countries again would be great as well.

IHPIESC
IHPIESC
3 months ago

Well, situation with this coronash*t is stabilizing in Poland. If there will not be second wave, pandemic will end by the end of summer or early Autumn. But nobody knows what will happen. We must think positively…

Darren
Darren
3 months ago

I really will be surprised if they do participate in jesc this year. I doubt they would be willing to travel all the way to Warsaw, in these crazy pandemic times. Then quarantine on their return. It will just be too costly and troublesome. Atleast for the other JESC participants, they are not travelling too far to be there, 2-4 hours max and these countries have abolished quarantine so it’s much more possible for them. I think Australia will sit out JESC this year and it’s probably the right thing to do. Come back next year when it’s hopefully safe… Read more »

Esc2021rotterdam
Esc2021rotterdam
3 months ago

I really hope that the Australian government will let them go to Poland. After all, the goal of the eurovision is to unite the countries on one stage even in the darker times like now

Ashton
Ashton
3 months ago

I hope Australia continues in JESC.

Nicola
Nicola
3 months ago

Very out of the blue to hear that ABC ME is no longer JESC. I never saw an article posted about it on any ESC related website. I wonder what ended up changing? I really hope that Australia does find a way to participate as we show lots of support for our entrant, plus we need more countries at Junior Eurovision to build up hype (its really good that Germany was decided to join the contest. More viewers and new debut to look forward to). In regard to the new venue, could it possibly be similar to the studio they… Read more »

James
James
3 months ago
Reply to  Nicola

Reports say that TVP might use one of their studios in Warsaw to host the contest. The one in 2016 was a convention center which was pretty small although the stage looked great.

James
James
3 months ago

Australia participating seems unlikely. Over 5 million people are again in full lockdown in and around Melbourne for the next six weeks after a resurgence in cases and the rest of Australia is taking the necessary precautions to ensure it doesn’t spread to other states.

HBau
HBau
3 months ago

The likelihood of an Australian delegation flying to Europe (and back) before November is nil, but at the end of November… maybe. Highly unlikely, but not a definite no. Disappointing that ABCME has ended their involvement, they were a much better fit than SBS (Viceland or main channel).

Kim
Kim
3 months ago

It’s not going to happen . A second wave has hit Victoria and they are banned from travelling into every other state in Oz . They are halving the number of returning international flights for expats returning to Oz because it’s those travelling back from overseas that are transmitting it to the community . The Australian government won’t let them travel for a song contest, it has to be extenuating circumstances or a family emergency and to get permission to go is hard.