Australia’s Ticket to the Eurovision
If you watched the Eurovision song contest this year you may well have wondered what Australia is doing in this European music competition.
For those of you who are less familiar with the format, the Eurovision Song Contest, not to be confused with the Eurovision TV Network, is an annual international song competition that has been broadcast live since 1956. The rules of the game are simple, each country submits one original song which is performed in front of a live audience and simultaneously broadcast on TV and radio across the world. The different teams vote and rank their rivals, and after two rounds the winner is determined.
As it turns out, despite the name entry into the competition is not limited to European nations alone. Eligibility is based on a country’s membership in the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Seeing as Australia’s SBS network is a member of the EBU, they are entitled to join and compete.
Australia’s Record in Eurovision
Australia first participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2015, represented by Guy Sebastian. Sebastian is a household name in Australia having first risen to prominence on Australian Idol before going on to build a successful recording career locally and to some degree, internationally. In 2016 Dami Im represented Australia with Sound of Silence. She came first in the semi-final and ranked second in the final. In 2017 Australia made the final once again with Isaiah Firebrace’s Don’t Come Easy, which was very well received.
A Surprising Performance
Singer Isaiah Firebrace was not the only Australian in the spotlight at the 2017 Eurovision, which was held in Kiev, Ukraine. In the middle of Ukraine’s performance, a streaker draped in an Australian flag invaded the stage. The embarrassing moment didn’t stop the singer, and last year’s winner Jamala, who continued performing despite the drama. Although he came on wearing the Australian flag, the streaker was actually Ukranian himself and quite a popular prankster in his country. Hopefully, this surprising event won’t tarnish Australia’s image at the contest.