How Australia became part of Eurovision

The 65th Eurovision in Rotterdam, Netherlands marks the fifth time our great nation has performed in the annual song contest, despite the fact we are not part of Europe and no one knows how we’ve managed to become part of the furniture.

Australia first entered the competition with national treasure Guy Sebastian back in 2015, who did us proud and managed to come fifth with his catchy song Tonight Again.

This was supposed to be a one-off thing, with organisers allowing us a wildcard entry that year because we’d loyally broadcasted the event on SBS since 1983.

But they welcomed us back again the following year with The X Factor superstar Dami Im, who had an absolute blinder with her electrifying tune Sound of Silence.

Im was a hit across Europe, and was crowned runner up in the grand finale; our most successful outcome to date.

Poor Jess Mauboy’s entry was the only time to date we’ve placed outside the top 10. Picture: Nikolai Linares / Scanpix Denmark / AFPSource:News Corp Australia

Isaiah Firebrace represented the nation in 2017 and came ninth, while Aussie sweetheart Jessica Mauboy had a crack the following year but ranked poorly, coming in at 20th.

Singer-songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke carried us back into the top 10 last year with her showstopping rendition of Zero Gravity placing ninth — frankly, that was about eight places lower than she deserved.

Last year, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced Australia had finally cemented its place in the contest until 2023, meaning we don’t have to awkwardly wait to see if we’re invited each year.

So it turns out it’s actually pretty easy to be eligible for Eurovision. Firstly, you have to be invited. Secondly, you must be part of the EBU, which SBS joined back in 1979.

Jon Ola Sand, executive supervisor of the contest on behalf of the EBU, said in February last year: “We are delighted that Australia has become a more permanent member of the Eurovision Song Contest family.

Kate Miller-Heidke sent us hurtling back into the top 10 this year. Picture: Glenn Hampson

Kate Miller-Heidke sent us hurtling back into the top 10 this year. Picture: Glenn HampsonSource:News Corp Australia

“Australians have long been huge fans of the event with a great number of loyal viewers year on year, and when they were invited to participate in the 60th-anniversary edition of the contest, we couldn’t have imagined quite how popular their artists would become.

“It was a natural progression for us to agree to their inclusion as a participant for the next five years as they bring so much to the table.”

Wouldn’t it be joyous if one year we won when we’re not even technically supposed to be there?

Unfortunately if we do take the top gong, the following year’s contest won’t be held on our shores, and would instead be co-hosted by Australia and organised by the SBS, in any of the 56 EBU member countries.

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