Australia’s seemingly innate passion for the Eurovision Song Contest is only set to increase, with news that an Australian act will compete in the 2015 Eurovision grand final in Vienna. Aussies will also get the chance to vote in the contest.
Despite being geographically removed from Europe, Australia has somehow convinced Eurovision organisers to let some of our local musos perform for a television audience of almost 200 million. The European Broadcasting Union and host broadcaster ORF have invited Australian Eurovision broadcasterSBS to send a home-grown act, who will compete as a once-off wildcard entry in the grand final on Saturday, 23rd May.
Australian Eurovision viewers will be allowed to vote in the event’s semi-finals, as well as in the grand final. Organisers are currently figuring out a system which will allow the public to have a 50 percent stake in the Aussie vote using televoting, the other 50 percent coming from a professional jury.
The artist or artists who will represent Australia haven’t yet been revealed but some names are already starting to be thrown around. Already an online petition has been gaining steam appealing for the reformation of masked Melbourne seven-piece TISM, or This Is Serious Mum.
In the hours since that petition started, TISM frontman Humphrey B. Flaubert (real name Damian Cowell) has responded positively to the request, adding that a TISM reunion at Eurovision will come at a price.
On the other hand, Barbariön, a Melbourne heavy metal band with Viking-inspired attire, have put up their collective hands to represent Australia at Eurovision 2015. “This herculean responsibility must not be handed to the likes of Shannon Noll, Olivia Newton-John, Sia (whoever that is) or Ricki-Lee,” the band have written in an open letter to Eurovision broadcasterSBS, which has been posted to Facebook.
Eurovision 2015 will mark the event’s 60th anniversary, and will see performances from 40 different countries, including Australia. Australians such as the New Seekers, Gina G. and Olivia Newton John have performed on the Eurovision stage in the past, but only by representing England.
Aussie singer Jessica Mauboy performed during Eurovision 2014 in Denmark, but not as a contestant. Her performance in Copenhagen marked the first time that a non-European country had been asked to perform. Austria’s Conchita Wurst eventually took home last year’s title with her song “Rise Like a Phoenix”.
The Eurovision 2015 grand final will be broadcast live in Australia on SBS on the morning of Sunday, 24th May, before being repeated on Sunday evening.
Watch: Eurovision Song Contest 2015 Announcement