Although on the other side of the world, Australia is very, very good at Eurovision.
Since debuting in the 2015 Song Contest, the country has achieved three top 10 finishes, and even came runner-up in 2016.
But could 2019 be Australia’s year? It’s a real possibility, with singer Kate Miller-Heidke wowing audiences during the semi-finals with her operatic club track Zero Gravity, alongside some out-of-this-world staging.
But what would actually happen if Australia wins the contest? Will next year’s contest be held Down Under? Here’s all you need to know…
What happens if Australia wins the Eurovision Song Contest?
Should the Aussies be crowned Eurovision champs, the 2020 contest will NOT be hosted in Australia. This will save all contestants having to fly to the southern hemisphere to compete, not to mention the time difference difficulties European viewers would face.
Instead, Australia must nominate a European co-host, who will stage the competition on their behalf.
Germany is said to be the first choice to co-host with Australia. However, if Germany decline, it’s believed the UK and the BBC would be offered to co-host.
That’s right, if Australia win, there’s a chance that Eurovision could be held in London.
Why is Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest anyway?
Well, it was supposed to be a one-off thing. To celebrate 50 years of Eurovision, the contest invited Australia to compete as a guest nation in 2015. The show is wildly popular Down Under, and has been broadcast in the country every year since 1983.
Their singer Guy Sebastian automatically went through to the final and finished in a very respectable fifth place. Following its debut, Australia was invited to return on an annual basis until 2023 (when we should expect the invitation to be extended).
However, there was a catch to this: Australia now has to fight for their spot in grand final by competing in the semis. Fortunately, this hasn’t been a problem for them: Australia has qualified every single year, including in 2019 where Kate Miller-Heidke wowed viewers in the first semi-final.
Come to think of it, why is Israel allowed to compete in Eurovision?
Like Australia, Israel isn’t technically in the continent of Europe. And nor is Azerbaijan. But Eurovision isn’t a geographical contest.
The competition is organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which consists of 73 member stations from more than 56 countries. While members include the UK’s BBC and RTE in Ireland, there are also associate broadcasters from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Kazakhstan, Japan, the United States and even Syria.
In theory, any of those countries could apply to be in Eurovision. Even Vatican City, nation home of the Pope, could technically be granted a slot on the Eurovision bill, something we’d all want to see.
The Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final takes place in Tel Aviv, Israel, on May 18th 2019