I have a secret to confess…I love Eurovision!
Every year, I make the time to sit and watch the semi-finals, and then watch the finals (the last 3 years live, which means a very early – and cold – start to the day). I love the singing, the costumes, the crazy, flamboyant singers who seem to try and outdo one another with their costumes. A Eurovision act will have smoke machines, key changes, language changes, wind machines, costume change…and that’s all in one performance.
Australia has had a love affair with Eurovision for many years (I have been watching since I was a kid) which has been recognised by our inclusion in Eurovision (yup, an Aussie in a European singing contest!). This year, Jessica Mauboy is representing us and I know she’ll do an amazing job. I can’t wait to see her performance.
To quote from Wikipedia (if you aren’t familiar with Eurovision):
The Eurovision Song Contest, often simply called Eurovision, is the longest-running annual international TV song competition. It has been held, primarily, among the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) since 1956. The competition was based upon the existing Sanremo Music Festival held in Italy since 1951.
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 strong viewing audience in Australia, primarily because of the country’s political ties with the European Union, particularly with the United Kingdom.
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.
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.
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 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. Although Australia’s participation in 2015 was announced as a one-off event, Australia has participated ueach year since, including this year, although Australia no longer receives automatic qualification.
To date, Australia has placed 5th, 2nd and 9th.
Do you watch Eurovision?