As part of Eurovision’s 60th birthday bash in Vienna, the EBU decided to throw the rule book out of the window and, for the first time, let a country participate that isn’t actually part of Europe.
Step forward… erm, Australia. Yes, you read that correctly. Their national broadcaster, SBS, have shown Eurovision over there for about thirty years to give our friends in the merry ol’ land of Oz a taste of some of the music Europe has to offer (complete with some of the naff costumes and songs we’ve sent over the years) and they gave us a flavour of one of their artists during last year’s semi final, so they’ve been given the chance to compete in this year’s contest, complete with a golden ticket direct to the final and, despite the massive time difference, they’ll also get the chance to vote for the first time this year.
Personally, I’m not sure how I feel about this, but I have heard it is just a one-off and, if they win, they’ve said they’ll give it to a European country to host it next year (it won’t be us, then…), which is probably a good thing since it’d take AGES to get to Canberra/Sydney/Melbourne… wherever! I’ll also blog my review of all 40 songs nearer the time, including the song that the Aussies decide to send, so watch this space.
PS: I’m using Canberra as an example for this, since the votes are normally given from the capital city, and it’s usually the capital city that hosts Eurovision the following year… though not always.