For the first time in history, Australia had a solid national final “Australia Decides” on February, 9 in Gold Coast with ten contestants. It was obvious that Australia is keen to host the ESC one day, many details of the show made with special care, so it’s just a glimpse imagination of what to expect if that would be the case. Unfortunately, the viewing figures were not very high for a Saturday night live show, which has been broadcaster worldwide via internet as well, only 290.000 Australians watched the decision. Maybe it’s due to the fact that SBS is the national cultural broadcaster and it’s not the most watched channel generally.
In the national final the opera singer Kate Miller-Heidke could convince the international juries and the Australian televoters with the extraordinary piece of music called “Zero Gravity”. Kate impressed the audience with the outrageous stage performance standing on a very high construction accompanied with a flying acrobat and an angel-like outfit which looked a bit like the statue of Liberty. The Australian choice caused mixed reactions, as many don’t take this entry seriously and others love that song. It will definitely polarize and it could be that Australia won’t reach the Grand Final for the first time.
Kate Miller-Heidke was born in Brisbane in 1981. Her grandfather is a German immigrant, that where the name is coming from. Kate studied classical music at the Queensland Conservatory and has a master degree in soprano. She has been also singing in the band Elsewhere from 2000 – 2004 but after that started as a solo artist, released several albums e.g. Little Eve or Curiouser, which placed well in the Australian album charts. He biggest single hit was “Words”. Kate is an established and professional singer who has been performing the opera houses of the world such as New York and Sydney. When she is not singing opera she is singing pop with opera elements.
Chances for Top 10: 60%
Chances for Grand Final: 100%
For the fifth time, Australia is participating in the Eurovision Song Contest already. In 2015 it was announced that it should be a unique exception to have Australia on board. At that time nobody could have imagined positive echo and a great acceptance to have Australia as an official participating country in the ESC. It has now been granted that Australia is going to participate at least until 2022.
In the debut entry “Tonight Again” by Guy Sebastian, Australia could make a wonderful 5th place in the Grand Final. And in the following years Dami Im could even reach a 3rd place, even the juries voted here as number one, an unbelievable success for Australia and the 2017 entry “Don’t Come Easy” by Isaiah Firebrace, who made another Top 10 position (9th rank in the Grand Final). Last year Jessica Mauboy, who has already been in Copenhagen as interval act, could official represent her country in the contest. She reached the Grand Final, but made a disappointing 20th place.
Even if Australia does not belong to Europe geographically, there are strong bounds which have grown over centuries. A lot of Europeans live in Australia or have European ancestors and family and the ESC has always been very popular. The Australian broadcaster SBS has been transmitting the ESC since 1983. The only big disadvantage is the enormous time difference, nevertheless the show is normally broadcasted on the Sunday night. But nowadays, it is also being transmitted live on TV due to the televoting in a very early morning as well as on Sunday night as a reprise.
Nevertheless, there have already been some more or less well known Australians singing in the Eurovision Song Contest in the past as well: Olivia Newton-John born in 1948, who is originally from England, but moved with her family to Australia when she was five years old. In 1974, when ABBA could win the contest for Sweden, Olivia made a great 4th place in Brighton with “Long Live Love”.
There is Johnny Logan, a guy who has won the Eurovision Song Contest three times for Ireland two times as a singer and one time as a composer. Johnny Logan was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia in 1954 as a son of Irish immigrants. His songs “What’s Another Year” in 1980 and “Hold Me Now” in 1987 were very successful all over the world. “Why Me” was sung by Linda Martin in 1992, where Johnny acted as composer.
Gina G., who was born in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia in 1970, has represented the United Kingdom with the dance song “Ooh...Aah...Just A Little Bit”. This song came 8th in Oslo 1996.
Jane Camerford, who was born Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia in 1959. She has been representing Germany with the band Texas Lightening with “No No Never” in Athens 2006, where a 14th place could be made.
In 2014, Australia had a first guest appearance in the ESC in Copenhagen with this year’s singer Jessica Mauboy, who was born in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia in 1989. She had the chance to represent Australia in the interval act of the Semi Final 2 with the song “Sea Of Flags”. Let’s see how she does in the competition.
In the case of winning, what would happen to the ESC? Australia lays 10 time zones away, do all the participants have to travel to Australia? The biggest time difference so far could be noted in the ESC’s from Moscow and Baku with 3 hours’ time-delay. In this case there is a special rule. The Australian broadcaster SBS will be organizing the ESC in the following year, but the event has to stay in Europe. Hence SBS can collaborate with a European broadcaster of its choice. So it could be that the ESC will take place in Germany, but the organizer would be the Australian SBS.
Editor in Chief of eurovisionlive.com
About me: Due to the fact that my parents are musicians, I have a gained a great enthusiasm for music. Since 1979 my interest in the Eurovision Song Contest has grown enormously. My first ESC I joined was in Dublin 1995. Six years later I founded the website eurovisionlive.com in the year 2001. The most fascinating part for me is the original idea of the Eurovision Song Contest – the peaceful contest of the European countries. I am very happy that I have the chance to contribute my little part for the greatest music show in the world.