Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest
|National selection events||Internal selection|
|Appearances||2 (2 finals)|
|Best result||2nd: 2016|
|Worst result||5th: 2015|
|Australia's page at Eurovision.tv|
Australia participated in the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 in Vienna, Austria, in which they finished 5th with a total of 196 points at the grand final of the 2015 contest. Although Australia's participation in that contest was set to be a one-off event, the plan being only to perform again the following year had they won the contest, it was confirmed in November 2015 by SVT that Australia would participate in the 2016 contest. Australia is the first country from the Oceania region (and the second country outside Eurasia overall after Morocco in 1980) to participate in the contest.
Australian broadcaster Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) first broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest in 1983 and has continued to do so every year since. The contest has attracted a viewing audience in Australia, primarily because of the country's political and cultural ties with Europe, particularly with the United Kingdom. Early broadcasts of the contest in Australia either featured no commentary or used the United Kingdom's commentary as transmitted by the BBC. In 2001, actress and comedian Mary Coustas provided commentary for the contest performing as her comedic character Effie. Between 2002 and 2003, SBS presenter Des Mangan provided commentary for the Australian audience. Since 2009, Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang have been assigned as commentators for the competition by SBS. In addition to broadcasting the contest, SBS has also broadcast the 50th and 60th anniversary programmes.
From 2010 to 2014, SBS allowed Australian viewers to participate in their own televote for the Grand Finals. However, these votes were not counted at the actual contest and did not affect the overall result. The SBS commentary team and Australian delegation were awarded a commentary booth of their own at the 2012 contest in Baku. They have been allocated a commentary booth every year since.
Although not actively participating at the Eurovision Song Contest prior to the 2013 semi final interval presentation, Australia has appeared in the contest incidentally in a number of ways:
- Peter Doyle and Marty Kristian, both Australians, represented the United Kingdom as part of The New Seekers, who performed "Beg, Steal or Borrow" at the 1972 contest in Edinburgh. The song, co-written by Australian Tony Cole, finished second with 114 points.
- English-born Australian singer-songwriter, Olivia Newton-John, represented the United Kingdom in 1974 (prior to Australian broadcast of the contest) in Brighton with the song "Long Live Love", finishing in 4th place with 14 points.
- John Farrar, who was born in Melbourne, performed as part of The Shadows for the United Kingdom at the 1975 contest.
- Martin Lee, singer in Brotherhood of Man, which won the 1976 contest, spent several years of his childhood in Australia.
- Austria paid tribute to Australia in 1977 in London with their entry "Boom Boom Boomerang" performed by Schmetterlinge. The song was considered controversial at the time due to being the first song to openly mock the contest itself.
- Johnny Logan, winner of the contest in 1980 and 1987 for Ireland (and writer of the winning song for Ireland at the 1992 contest), was born in Frankston, Victoria in 1954, but moved with his family back to Ireland in 1957 aged 3.
- In 1996 in Oslo, Norway, Australian singer Gina G represented the United Kingdom with her performance of "Ooh Aah... Just a Little Bit".
- Jane Comerford, who was born in Newcastle, New South Wales, performed in the 2006 contest for Germany as a part of Texas Lightning with the song "No No Never", which took 14th place and 36 points.
- Australians Craig Porteils and Cameron Giles-Webb co-wrote the song "This Is Our Night" which was performed by Sakis Rouvas for Greece at the 2009 contest.
- Katrina Noorbergen, an Australian living in Berlin, co-wrote the song "A Million Voices" which was performed by Polina Gagarina for Russia at the 2015 contest. She also performed as one of Gagarina's backing singers in the contest.
- Tonino Speciale, who grew up in Western Sydney, co-wrote the song "Black Smoke" which was performed by Ann Sophie for Germany at the 2015 contest.
- Mary-Jean O'Doherty, an American-born and half-Australian opera singer, performed as part of the group Genealogy for Armenia at the 2015 contest.
2013 pre-recorded presentation
Australia's first appearance in the international broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest occurred on 14 May 2013 during the first semi-final in Malmö, Sweden. A short pre-recorded video titled Greetings from Australia (also referred to as Why Australia Loves Eurovision), submitted by SBS and hosted by Julia Zemiro, was broadcast during the interval acts. This presentation marked 30 years of broadcasting the Eurovision Song Contest in Australia, and was preceded the week leading up to the contest by a locally broadcast documentary, also hosted by Zemiro, titled Road to Eurovision
2014 interval act
On 24 March 2014, the Danish broadcaster DR gave permission to SBS to perform as an interval act in the second semi-final of Eurovision Song Contest 2014. One day later, on 25 March, Jessica Mauboy was internally selected to perform. On 8 May 2014, Mauboy sang her song "Sea of Flags" in the second semi-final.
SBS made the country's debut at the 2015 Contest with the song "Tonight Again" a song written and performed by Guy Sebastian. Although Australia is outside the European Broadcasting Area, the European Broadcasting Union and Austrian host broadcaster ORF decided to permit an Australian entry to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Contest. The special circumstances surrounding Australia's entry and "to not reduce the chances" of the semi-final participants led the organisers to allow Australia to compete directly in the grand final without pre-qualification. The 2015 Australian jury consisted of Amanda Pelman (Chair), Richard Wilkins, Danielle Spencer and Jake Stone.
Although Australia's participation in 2015 was announced as a one-off event, it was confirmed on 17 November 2015 that Australia would participate in the 2016 contest. Unlike in 2015, Australia did not receive automatic qualification. On 7 October 2015, it was announced that Australia would make its debut at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2015 after SBS was invited to perform in the contest. The 2016 Australian jury consisted of Monica Trapaga (Chair), Shannon Noll, Myf Warhurst, James Mathison and Craig Porteils.
While Australia has competed in both the 2015 and 2016 contests it has not yet to be decided whether Australia will become a permanent participant.
- Table key
|2014||Jessica Mauboy||English||"Sea of Flags"||Interval act 2nd Semifinal|
|2015||Guy Sebastian||English||"Tonight Again"||5||196||Automatic finalist|
|2016||Dami Im||English||"Sound of Silence"||2||511||1||330|
Marcel Bezençon Awards
Lyrics (l) / Music (m)
|2016||"Sound of Silence"||Anthony Egizii, David Musumeci||Dami Im||2nd||511||Stockholm|
Commentators and spokespersons
|No broadcast from 1956–1982||Australia not allowed to compete|
|Either no commentary or commentary via BBC from 1983–2000|
|2001||Effie (Mary Coustas)|
|Commentary via BBC in 2002|
|Commentary via BBC from 2005–2008|
|2009||Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang|
|2015||Lee Lin Chin|
- Australia in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest
- Australia in the ABU Radio Song Festival
- Australia in the ABU TV Song Festival
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