Entertainment Music The reason why Australia can compete in the Eurovision Song Contest

The reason why Australia can compete in the Eurovision Song Contest

Guy Sebastian was the first Aussie to represent Australia in the Eurovision contest in 2015.
Guy Sebastian was the first Aussie to represent Australia in the Eurovision contest in 2015. Photo: Getty
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Australians have been watching Eurovision for more than thirty years.

This year, Jessica Mauboy has qualified for a spot in the Eurovision grand final representing Australia.

The 28-year-old sang We Got Love at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal, in front of a global TV audience of  200 million.

She is the fourth Australian to compete in the contest.

Why has Eurovision been so popular in Australia?

SBS first broadcast the contest in 1983 and it has attracted a strong viewing ever since.

This is mainly due to Australia’s political ties with the European Union in the United Kingdom.

Australians’ interest in Eurovision grew in 1974 when Swedish pop group ABBA won the contest. They are the most successful group to have taken part in it.

In 2010–2014, Australian viewers were able to participate in voting for the grand final but they were not counted in the final decision.

ABBA won Eurovision in 1974 with the song 'Waterloo'.
ABBA won Eurovision in 1974 with the song ‘Waterloo’. Photo: Getty

Why is Australia in Eurovision?

The contest is organised by the European Broadcasting Union which is made up of various broadcasters across the world, including the BBC.

There are 73 members from more than 56 countries. This is why you will see competitors from other countries outside of Europe.

In a one-off special during the 60th anniversary, Australia was given a chance to perform and compete for the 2015 title.

This was a result of SBS wanting to increase the country’s presence in the contest.

Guy Sebastian represented Australia singing Tonight Again and placed fifth.

This broadcast Australian music and diversity on an international scale and allowed us to return to the contest in the following years.

What happens if Australia wins the contest?

If Australia wins the contest, they must nominate a European co-host who will stage the competition in their country.

Which Aussies have competed in Eurovision?

  • Guy Sebastian, 2015
  • Dami Im, 2016
  • Isaiah Firebrace, 2017
  • Jessica Mauboy, 2018