Australians will get to vote to choose our entry in the next Eurovision Song Contest at a special event held on the Gold Coast in February, SBS has announced.
SBS and production partner Blink TV will host the national contest Eurovision – Australia Decides to select the artist and the song we’ll be sending to the competition in Tel Aviv, Israel in 2019.
The event will be held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre over several nights next February, with performances broadcast live on SBS and voting open to the public.
“As our country’s passion for Eurovision continues to grow, we are inundated by fans wanting to have their say in choosing who represents Australia on the world’s biggest stage,” SBS Acting Managing Director James Taylor said.
“This will be the first time that Australians can enjoy a Eurovision show live on home soil and we are delighted to begin this next chapter in Australia’s Eurovision journey.”
SBS is accepting song submissions until November 4, with several criteria for entrants but no limit on the number of songs that can be submitted.
— SBS Australia (@SBS) October 13, 2018
The shortlisted songs will be paired with Australian singers and the public and a jury will vote to choose who will represent us at the 64th Eurovision Song Contest next May.
This year’s Eurovision Song Contest competition was won by Israeli performer Netta with her song “Toy”, with Australian performer Jessica Mauboy (pictured) finishing in a lacklustre 20th place.
The Australia Decides event is similar to national contents held by European nations such as the UK, Sweden and Italy, to select Eurovision entrants and songs. All previous Australian entries have been chosen internally.
‘The next Australian classic song’
SBS has screened the Eurovision Song Contest for 35 years and next year will be the fifth time Australia has competed in the event.
Host of SBS’ Eurovision coverage, Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey, said the new selection show would be a great opportunity to uncover some new Australian talent.
“In 1994, a band now known as Silverchair won a competition run by SBS’s Nomad program, with support from Triple J, with their hit song ‘Tomorrow’ – now an Aussie classic,” Warhurst said.
“Can we back it up with another worldwide smash hit?
“Eurovision – Australia Decides is a great opportunity for songwriters, both published and unpublished, to show us what they’ve got and for a suite of Australian artists to bring these songs to life on stage in February.”
So thrilled to be hanging with my favorite co-host @joelcreasey today on the Gold Coast. We are stoked to be hosting #eurovision, #australiadecides in Feb (we can’t call it EAD, not sure why? 😂) pic.twitter.com/wrF9o5rLLN
— Myf Warhurst (@MyfWarhurst) October 14, 2018
Creasey added, “I can’t wait to be part of the first ever Eurovision selection show in the Southern Hemisphere and find the next Aussie classic, up there with the likes of Farnsy’s ‘You’re the Voice’, Braithwaite’s ‘The Horses’ or my personal favourite, the seminal debut single from Bardot, ‘Poison’.
“It’s over to you Australia – let’s give Europe our best!”
(Top photo by Andres Putting/European Broadcasting Union)