Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Member stationSBS
National selection events
Participation summary
Appearances5 (5 finals)
First appearance2015
Best result2nd: 2016
Worst result20th: 2018
External links
SBS page
Eurovision – Australia Decides website
Australia's page at
Song contest current event.png For the most recent participation see
Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019

Australia has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest five times since their debut at the 2015 contest in Vienna. The country's best result in the contest is a second-place finish for Dami Im in 2016. Australia also finished in the top ten in three of its other appearances in the contest, with Guy Sebastian finishing fifth in 2015, and both Isaiah Firebrace and Kate Miller-Heidke finishing ninth in 2017 and 2019.

Australia's participation in the 2015 contest was set to be a one-off event, the plan being only to perform again the following year had they won, but it was confirmed in November 2015 by SVT that they would participate in the 2016 contest.[1] Australia is the first country from the Oceania region (and the second country outside Eurasia, after Morocco in 1980) to participate in the contest.



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 a significant proportion of the population have ancestry in Europe (in particular in the United Kingdom). Early broadcasts of the Contest in Australia either featured no commentary or used the United Kingdom's commentary as transmitted by the BBC. In 2001, actress and comedian Mary Coustas provided commentary for the Contest performing as her comedic character Effie.[2] In 2002 and 2003, SBS presenter Des Mangan provided commentary for the Australian audience. From 2009, Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang were assigned as commentators for the competition by SBS.[3][4] 2017 saw SBS replace the commentators with comedian Joel Creasey and TV and radio personality Myf Warhurst. In addition to broadcasting the contest, SBS has also broadcast the 50th and 60th anniversary programmes.

From 2010 to 2014, SBS allowed Australian viewers to participate in their own televote for the Grand Finals.[5] 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.

In the event that Australia should win the Eurovision Song Contest, the EBU had confirmed that in accordance with the rules, Australia would not host the event in the southern hemisphere, and instead would co-host the contest within a country in the EBU.[6] Further to the EBU's statement it was confirmed that Germany and their broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) would be the first choice, and United Kingdom's broadcaster British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) being the back-up hosts should Germany decline.[6]


Incidental participation[edit]

Although not actively participating at the Eurovision Song Contest prior to the 2013 semifinal interval presentation, Australia has appeared in the contest incidentally in a number of ways:

2013 pre-recorded presentation[edit]

Australia's first appearance in the international broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest occurred on 14 May 2013 during the first semi-final in Malmö, Sweden. A short pre-recorded video titled "Greetings from Australia" (also referred to as "Why Australia Loves Eurovision"), submitted by SBS and hosted by Julia Zemiro, was broadcast during the interval acts.[13] This presentation marked 30 years of broadcasting the Eurovision Song Contest in Australia, and was preceded the week leading up to the contest by a locally broadcast documentary, also hosted by Zemiro, detailing her love of ABBA, titled Road to Eurovision.[14]

2014 interval act[edit]

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.[15] On 8 May 2014, Mauboy sang her song "Sea of Flags" in the second semi-final.[16]

2015 debut[edit]

SBS made the country's debut at the 2015 Contest with the song "Tonight Again" a song written and performed by Guy Sebastian. 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.[17] The 2015 Australian jury consisted of Amanda Pelman (Chair), Richard Wilkins, Danielle Spencer and Jake Stone.[18]


Although Australia's participation in 2015 was announced as a one-off event, it was confirmed on 17 November 2015 that Australia would participate in the 2016 contest. Unlike in 2015, Australia did not receive automatic qualification.[19] On 7 October 2015, it was announced that Australia would make its debut at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2015 after SBS was invited to perform in the contest.[20] The 2016 Australian jury consisted of Monica Trapaga (Chair), Shannon Noll, Myf Warhurst, James Mathison and Craig Porteils.[21] The Australian candidate for the 2016 contest was Dami Im with her song Sound of Silence which won the second semi final before finishing second behind Ukraine.[22]


Australia continued its participation at the 2017 contest following their success the previous year.[23] On 7 March 2017 at the Paris Cat Jazz Club in the city of Melbourne, Australia, SBS announced former X Factor Australia winner Isaiah Firebrace as Australia's entry into the 62nd instalment of the contest. With the song "Don't Come Easy", Isaiah participated in the first semi-final on 9 May, then the finals on 13 May in which Australia placed 9th.[24] The 2017 Australian jury consisted of Lucy Durack, Natasha Cupitt, Steven Capaldo, Jackie Loeb and Peter Hayward.[25]


Australia competed in the 2018 contest, selecting Jessica Mauboy as the artist to represent the country.[26][27] The 2018 Australian jury comprised Richard Wilkins (Chair), Zan Rowe, Jordan Raskopoulos, L-FRESH the Lion and Millie Millgate.[28] Although this continued Australia's track record of perfect attendance in the final (a record it now only shares with Ukraine), it was the first instance of them not finishing in the top ten, ending in twentieth place with 99 points (only nine of which came from the televote, the first time Australia finished last in the televote).


It was announced that for the first time, 2019 will provide Australians the opportunity to choose their Eurovision representative. The Eurovision – Australia Decides – Gold Coast 2019 national final took place on 9 February 2019, with a 50/50 say between an Australian jury and a televote to determine who will represent Australia at the 2019 contest in Tel Aviv, Israel. Eurovision: Australia Decides was hosted in Gold Coast, Queensland by Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey.[29] The winner was Kate Miller-Heidke with the song "Zero Gravity". Electric Fields, who were the runner-up in Australia Decides, were selected as the announcers of Australia's jury points. The 2019 jury comprises comedian Mark Humphries, Christine Anu, Lewis Hobba, composer Alice Chance and broadcaster Mark Cummins (Chair).[30] Australia finished 9th in the 2019 contest, after winning the First Semi-Final.

2020 to 2023[edit]

SBS announced it would be again hosting Eurovision - Australia Decides to choose their representative for Eurovision 2020. The event will be held on the Gold Coast from 7-8 February[31].

Australia's participation in the contest has been confirmed by the European Broadcasting Union and SBS until 2023. [32]


Table key
  1st place
  2nd place
  3rd place
  Last place
Year Artist Language Title Final Points Semi Points
2015 Guy Sebastian English "Tonight Again" 5 196 Automatic finalist[a]
2016 Dami Im English "Sound of Silence" 2 511 1 330
2017 Isaiah English "Don't Come Easy" 9 173 6 160
2018 Jessica Mauboy English "We Got Love" 20 99 4 212
2019 Kate Miller-Heidke English "Zero Gravity" 9 284 1 261
  1. ^ The organisers allowed Australia to compete in the grand final without pre-qualification due to the special circumstances surrounding Australia's entry and so as "to not reduce the chances" of the semi-final participants.

Voting history[edit]

As of 2019, Australia's voting history is as follows.[33][34]

Other awards[edit]

Marcel Bezençon Awards[edit]

Year Award Song Composer(s)
Lyrics (l) / Music (m)
Performer Final
Points Host city
2016 Composer Award "Sound of Silence" Anthony Egizii, David Musumeci Dami Im 2nd 511 Stockholm [35]
2019 Artistic Award "Zero Gravity" Kate Miller-Heidke, Keir Nuttall, Julian Hamilton Kate Miller-Heidke 9th 285 Tel Aviv [36]

Commentators and spokespeople[edit]

Year(s) Television commentator(s) Spokesperson
No broadcast from 1956–1982 Australia did not compete
Either no commentary or commentary via BBC from 1983–2000
2001 Effie (Mary Coustas)[2]
Commentary via BBC in 2002
2003 Des Mangan[2][37]
Commentary via BBC from 2005–2008
2009 Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang[38]
2015 Lee Lin Chin[39][40]
2017 Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey[41]
2018 Ricardo Gonçalves[42]
2019 Electric Fields[43]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Australien är klar för Eurovision Song Contest 2016 i Stockholm". Sveriges Television. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "The special relationship: Australia and its love of Eurovision". ESC Insight - Home of the Unofficial Eurovision Song Contest Podcast.
  3. ^ Nicholson, Sarah (2008-05-21). "Top of the Euro pops". Courier Mail. Retrieved 2008-05-26.
  4. ^ Knox, David (2009-04-16). "Airdate: Eurovision 2009". TV Tonight. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  5. ^ "Australian televoters choose their winner". Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  6. ^ a b Granger, Anthony (13 May 2017). "What happens if Australia wins the Eurovision Song Contest?". Eurovoix. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Lennon, Troy (11 February 2015). "Aussies hit the high notes at Eurovision". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  8. ^ McCathie, Andrew (18 March 2006). "Australian singer strikes a blow for Eurovision". The Age. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  9. ^ a b Moran, Jonathan (26 May 2015). "Songwriter Katrina Noorbergen was part of Australia's growing presence at Eurovision". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  10. ^ Vincent, Peter (13 March 2015). "Eurovision 2015: Australian Mary-Jean O'Doherty is a rival country's secret weapon". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  11. ^ AAP (12 May 2017). "Eurovision 2017: Anja Nissen second Australian into final". The Australian. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  12. ^ Granger, Anthony (25 February 2017). "DENMARK: SELECTS ANJA NISSEN FOR THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST 2017". Eurovoix.
  13. ^ "Australia's loyal fandom earns Eurovision nod". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2016-02-27.
  14. ^ "Australia: 2012 coverage a big success". Retrieved 2016-02-27.
  15. ^ Storvik-Green, Simon (25 March 2014). "Australian superstar to sing at Eurovision". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  16. ^ Vincent, Peter (9 May 2014). "Jessica Mauboy performs at Eurovision Song Contest". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  17. ^ "Australia participate in the 60th Eurovision". EBU. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  18. ^ "The Australian Eurovision Jury". SBS Eurovision. SBS. 1 May 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  19. ^ "Australia To Return To The Eurovision Song Contest". EBU. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  20. ^ Fisher, Luke James (7 October 2015). "Australia joins to make it 'Super 17' at Junior Eurovision in Sofia!". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  21. ^ "Australia's Eurovision 2016 jury and spokesperson is revealed!". SBS Eurovision. SBS. 2 May 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  22. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (14 May 2016). "Ukraine wins 2016 Eurovision Song Contest". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  23. ^ Jordan, Paul (31 October 2016). "43 countries to participate in Eurovision 2017". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  24. ^ "Isaiah Firebrace represented Australia at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest and placed 9th". Guide. Retrieved 2017-03-24.
  25. ^ "SBS announce Australia's 2017 Eurovision Jury members". SBS News. 8 May 2017. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  26. ^ Knox, David (24 August 2017). "Australia confirmed for Eurovision 2018!". TV Tonight. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  27. ^ "SBS confirms Jessica Mauboy will represent Australia at Eurovision 2018 with her song "We got Love"". wiwibloggs. 2017-12-11. Retrieved 2017-12-11.
  28. ^ "Meet Australia's 2018 Eurovision jury and Australian spokesperson". SBS News. 30 April 2018. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  29. ^ "We're opening our song submission for Eurovision 2019!". SBS. October 14, 2018. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  30. ^ "Meet Australia's 2019 Eurovision jury and Australian spokespeople". SBS News. 30 April 2019. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  31. ^ "Eurovision Australia Decides - dates announced". Aussievision.
  32. ^ "Australia secures a spot in Eurovision until 2023". Aussievision | Eurovision from Down Under. Retrieved 2019-02-12.
  33. ^ "Welcome to the Eurovision Song Contest database". ESC Database. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  34. ^ "History". Eurovision Song Contest. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  35. ^ "Winners of the Marcel Bezençon Awards 2016". Eurovision TV. 15 May 2016. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  36. ^ "Here are the winners of the 2019 Marcel Bezençcon Awards". Eurovision TV. 18 May 2019. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  37. ^ "Eurovision scandal - SBS dumps Wogan! - inthemix Forums".
  38. ^ Knox, David (17 November 2015). "SBS Upfronts: 2016: Eurovision, drama, comedy & docos". TV Tonight. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  39. ^ "Honestly, did you really think anybody else would be up to the task? #TheFeedSBS #SBSEurovision". Twitter. The Feed SBS. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  40. ^
  41. ^ "SBS's new Eurovision hosts are…". Guide. Retrieved 2017-03-24.
  42. ^ "Australia: Ricardo Goncalves Replaces Lee Lin Chin as Spokesperson". Eurovoix. 30 April 2018. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  43. ^ "Australia: Electric Fields announced as latest spokespersons for Eurovision 2019". Wiwibloggs. 30 April 2019. Retrieved 30 April 2019.

External links[edit]