After months of rumours following their debut at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest, Australia have been confirmed as participating again in Eurovision 2016!
Australia were invited to enter Eurovision as part of the 60th anniversary celebrations which were held in Austria following Conchita Wurst’s win the year before with ‘Rise Like A Pheonix’. The show was won by Sweden’s Mans Zelmerlow singing ‘Heroes’. Australia followed up very well in 5th place with Guy Sebastian singing ‘Tonight Again’.
In 2016 Australia have once again been invited to perform. This time, they will not have automatic entry in to the final and they will have to qualify in the semi-finals, unlike the host country Sweden and the “big five” France, Germany, Spain, Italy and United Kingdom who all have automatic entry in to the final.
Jon Ola Sand, the Executive Supervisor of the contest stated: “The feedback we got from viewers, fans, press and the broadcasters after Australia’s participation in Vienna was overwhelmingly positive,”
“We strongly believe the Eurovision Song Contest has the potential to evolve organically into a truly global event. Australia’s continued participation is an exciting step in that direction, “It remains to be seen what such an event may look like in the long run,” Sand continued.
In case Australia wins the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, the 2017 contest will be co-hosted by Australian broadcaster SBS and another European public broadcaster, somewhere in Europe.
Their future in the contest is still not secure, with the official press release stating that no decision has been made regarding Australia’s inclusion in Eurovision after 2016.
The next Eurovision Song Contest will take place on 10, 12 and 14 May, 2016, in Stockholm’s Globe Arena, co-hosted by Swedish public broadcaster SVT and the EBU. 41 countries are expected to take part.