Australia will compete in the live final of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, the European Broadcasting Union has revealed.
The Aussie entry has yet to be unveiled but the EBU has confirmed that they will join the 39 other nations competing in Vienna in May.
The competition, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, will take place in the Austrian capital after Conchita Wurst claimed victory with her song Rise Like A Phoenix in Copenhagen.
Last year Eurovision bosses invited the Australians, who have long been ardent fans of the annual contest, to provide the half-time entertainment. Singer Jessica Mauboy wowed the audience with her vocals and must have made quite an impression on the organising body too.
As far as RadioTimes.com is aware, Australia still isn’t part of Europe, but the powers that be say they’re excited to “walk the talk” on this year’s theme – building bridges – and welcome them to the stage for one night only.
“It’s a daring and at the same time incredibly exciting move. It is our way of saying; let’s celebrate this party together!” Jon Ola Sand, executive supervisor of the contest, said in a statement.
Australia – who will only compete this year – will be given a guaranteed spot alongside Britain and the rest of the Big Five, and will be allowed to vote in both semi-finals, as well as the grand final. They’ll pick a professional jury and also explore the possibility of allowing the viewing public to split the vote 50/50.
If they win, the contest will still be held in Europe: an EBU broadcaster would be chosen to co-host Eurovision together with Australian TV network SBS in a European city
You know what this means. It’s time to get on the blower to all your expat pals. If we can’t get ‘douze points’ from Down Under, where can we get ’em, eh?