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Australia’s seemingly innate passion for the Eurovision Song Contest is only set to increase, with news that an Australian act will compete in the 2015 Eurovision grand final in Vienna. Aussies will also get the chance to vote for who they want to represent their country.
Despite being geographically removed from Europe, Australia has somehow convinced Eurovision organisers to let some of our local musos perform for a television audience of almost 200 million. The European Broadcasting Union and host broadcaster ORF have invited Australian Eurovision broadcaster SBS to send a home-grown act, who will compete as a once-off wildcard entry in the grand final on Saturday, 23rd May.
Australian Eurovision viewers will be allowed to vote in the event’s semi-finals, as well as in the grand final. Organisers are currently figuring out a system which will allow the public to have a 50 percent stake in the Aussie vote using televoting, the other 50 percent coming from a professional jury.
Eurovision 2015 will mark the event’s 60th anniversary, and will see performances from 40 different countries, including Australia.
Australians such as the New Seekers, Gina G. and Olivia Newton John have performed on the Eurovision stage in the past, but only by representing England.
Aussie singer Jessica Mauboy performed during Eurovision 2014 in Denmark, but not as a contestant. Her performance in Copenhagen marked the first time that a non-European country had been asked to perform. Austria’s Conchita Wurst eventually took home last year’s title with her song Rise Like a Phoenix.
The Eurovision 2015 grand final will be broadcast live in Australia on SBS on the morning of Sunday, 24th May, before being repeated on Sunday evening.
Watch: Eurovision Song Contest 2015 Announcement (SBS)
If you Photoshop Australia so it's just off the coast of Portugal, letting them into Eurovision kind of makes sense pic.twitter.com/rMmJqSuUcY
— The Media Blog (@TheMediaTweets) February 10, 2015
"But Australia isn't in Europe" NO ONE CARES. Shhh. #Eurovision
— David Morgan (@thisisdavid) February 10, 2015
— Isik Caner (@isikcaner) February 10, 2015
Australia given a ticket straight through to the final of #Eurovision ahead of all of Scandinavia and most of Europe
— paddy o'connell (@paddy_o_c) February 10, 2015
— Jenna Price (@JennaPrice) February 10, 2015