Why Australia is participating in the Eurovision Song Contest

Australia’s inclusion in Eurovision raises questions every year the competition is held

When you think of Eurovision, remember that it’s uniquely European.

From folk rap songs to yodeling pop hits, it often showcases the broad spectrum of European culture.

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This sometimes makes the inclusion of non-European countries puzzling.

Australia has gained a permanent seat at the Eurovision table in recent years.

Sheldon Riley will be representing Down Under at the 2022 contest with his song “Not The Same” after making it through the semifinals.

But why is Australia taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest in the first place – and what is the country’s track record in the competition?

Here’s everything you need to know.

Dami represented Australia in 2017, giving the country its highest placing to date. (Image credit: Getty Images)

Why is Australia at Eurovision?

Australia was first invited to participate in the competition in 2015.

The country was automatically qualified for the finals in what was meant to be a one-off event to celebrate the 60th edition of the competition.

Despite being outside the European Broadcasting Union, Eurovision has been hugely popular in the country since it began broadcasting the UK feed in the early 1980s.

The plan was to only allow Australia to compete again after 2015 if they win the competition. However, after being successful in their very first appearance, it was confirmed later that same year that they would be competing again in 2016.

Although Australia qualified automatically as part of the 60th anniversary, the country has been part of semi-final qualification since 2016.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has confirmed Australia’s participation in the competition until at least 2023.

Has Australia ever won Eurovision?

Australia doesn’t have any Eurovision trophies yet.

They competed in the 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022 competitions.

Despite not winning the competition, the country has an impressive track record in its short stint at Eurovision.

Guy Sebastian finished fifth in the first appearance, while Dami Im surpassed that with a silver medal finish in 2016.

Australian Kate Miller-Heidke performed Zero Gravity at the 2019 contest. (Image credit: Getty Images)

Isaiah, who represented Australia in 2017, and Kate Miller-Heidke, who represented in 2019, both achieved top 10 finishes.

Should Australia ever win the competition, EBU rules state the show cannot be broadcast from the southern hemisphere, meaning another European country would be delegated to host the event on its behalf.

Are there other non-European countries in Eurovision?

Australia isn’t the only country taking part in Eurovision from outside Europe.

Middle Eastern countries such as Israel and Cyprus have participated since 1974 and 1981 respectively.

Asian country Armenia has participated since 2006, while North African country Morocco only made a fleeting appearance in 1980.

Transcontinental countries are also participating in the competition – Russia joined in 1994, Turkey in 1975, Georgia in 2007 and Azerbiajan in 2007.

Most countries have continued to compete since accession, some with success.

Russia, Turkey, Israel, Cyprus and Azerbaijan have all had victorious performances.

When is Eurovision 2022 final?

The grand finale takes place on Saturday 14th May at 20:00 UK time.

Airing on BBC One, Graham Norton returns to provide his witty commentary on Europe’s biggest show.

https://www.nationalworld.com/culture/television/why-is-australia-in-eurovision-why-non-european-countries-take-part-in-the-song-contest-3694069 Why Australia is participating in the Eurovision Song Contest

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