You’ll find all kinds of everything on the Eurovision stage and making your mind up about who to vote for has never been more difficult, especially now they’ve added a 40th country to the mix: Australia.
Seriously. For the first time ever Australia will be competing at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, which takes place in Austria in May. They’ve been invited to join the line-up – for one night only – to mark the competition’s 60th anniversary.
It won’t be the first time an Australian-born singer has vied for the title. Gina G represented the UK back in 1996.
Ireland’s three-time winner – twice as the singer, once as the songwriter – Johnny Logan was actually born Down Under too. (Hello Dublin, Eurovision calling, are you sure all those trophies REALLY belong to you?)
The addition of the Aussies has predictably sparked an outbreak of mass moaning and groaning from Eurovision sceptics. “That’s not in Europe, you may as well scrap the whole thing!” they cry. They did the same thing when countries like Israel, Azerbaijan and Turkey joined in and I can’t help but wonder why?
As a devout Eurovision fan I’ve spent many a Saturday night on the sofa, talking, tweeting and live-blogging the big finale. I’m a rock and roll kid who thoroughly appreciates the competition for what it is: a TV spectacle.
From Lordi’s Hard Rock Hallelujah to Alexander Rybak’s Fairytale, Dana International’s Diva to Lena’s Satellite, Eurovision has always been about a catchy tune and a memorable show. That’s something Australia has been all too eager to celebrate over the years. Last year they even supplied the half-time amusement:
When it comes to Eurovision bigger is always better, so if a country is keen to produce another incredibly camp act for our entertainment, why deprive them and ourselves?
And if you think about it tactically, you’ll realise that their inclusion can only help the UK out in the long run. We’re forever complaining that you can’t rock ‘The Bloc’ and blame our losses on the fact that countries engage in political voting antics.
Everybody needs good neighbours if they want those douze points so, with Dublin failing to deliver more and more frequently these days, the UK really needs another ally to turn to. The Australians tend have our backs (let’s not mention The Ashes) both at home and away.
Come on now TV fans, let Aussie Eurovision love shine a light in every corner of your hearts.