Why is Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest?

17 May 2019, 16:12

Australia is competing at Eurovision for the fifth year running
Australia is competing at Eurovision for the fifth year running. Picture: Getty

By Giorgina Ramazzotti

Eurovision is back for 2019 and its bigger and better than ever, but with Australia as the surprise favourites to win just why are they allowed to compete and would the whole show move down under if they won?

Why is Australia competing at Eurovision?

It turns out the Australian's are massive, MASSIVE fans of Eurovision.

The show has been broadcast in Australia for many years and had garnered a huge following of die-hard Euro pop devotees.

Read More: Who is Australia's 2019 Eurovision entry Kate Miller-Heidke?

Bowing to very popular demand, the European Broadcasting Union announced a caveat in 2015 which allowed Australia to compete in the contest for the show's 60th anniversary later that same year.

Australia's Kate Miller-Heidke performs the song Zero Gravity during the first semi-final of the 64th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019
Australia's Kate Miller-Heidke performs the song Zero Gravity during the first semi-final of the 64th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. Picture: Getty

TV presenter Mel Giedroyc explained on BBC’s Eurovision: You Decide in February 2015: “The simple fact is, Australia’s host TV broadcaster SBS is part of the European Broadcasting Union, otherwise known as the EBU.

Read more: Who is the favourite to win Eurovision 2019?

“And this is a qualification requirement for entering the Eurovision Song Contest. So that’s why we’ll see them in May.”

Fast forward to a few months later and Australia's entry, Guy Sebastian, found himself in the grand final of 2015's competition - to much joy across Australia.

Singer Dami Im representing Australia performs on stage during the Grand Final of the 61st annual Eurovision Song Contest
Singer Dami Im representing Australia performs on stage during the Grand Final of the 61st annual Eurovision Song Contest. Picture: Getty

2019 sees Australia competing at the contest for the fifth time and for a country with such a short Eurovision history, they have an impressive track record.

Read more: Meet the UK's Eurovision 2019 entry Michael Rice

2016 entry Dami Im came second in 2016 and they have also appeared in the top ten in two other appearances - Guy Sebastian finishing fifth in 2015 and Isaiah Firebrace coming ninth in 2017.

Australia have secured a guaranteed spot in the competition until 2023, so we've got many more brilliant performances to come!

Australia's 2019 entry Kate Miller-Heidke is a favourite to win Eurovision this year, with bookies placing her an impressive third place in the run up to the live final.