Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest


Member station SBS
National selection events Internal selection
Appearances 2 (2 finals)
First appearance 2015
Best result 2nd: 2016
Worst result 5th: 2015
External links
SBS page
Australia's page at
For the most recent participation see
Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016

Australia participated in the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 in Vienna, Austria, in which they finished 5th with a total of 196 points at the grand final of the 2015 contest. (Australia actually had their first appearance in the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark, but that was just a interval act by Jessica Mauboy.) Although Australia's participation in that contest was set to be a one-off event, the plan being only to perform again the following year had they won the contest, it was confirmed in November 2015 by SVT that Australia would participate in the 2016 contest.[1] Australia is the first country from the Oceania region (and the second country outside Eurasia overall after Morocco in 1980) to participate in the contest.



Australian broadcaster Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) first broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest in 1983 and has continued to do so every year since. The contest has attracted a viewing audience in Australia, primarily because of the country's political and cultural ties with the European Union, particularly with the United Kingdom. Early broadcasts of the contest in Australia either featured no commentary or used the United Kingdom's commentary as transmitted by the BBC. In 2001, actress and comedian Mary Coustas provided commentary for the contest performing as her comedic character Effie.[2] Between 2002 and 2003, SBS presenter Des Mangan provided commentary for the Australian audience. Since 2009, Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang have been assigned as commentators for the competition by SBS.[3][4] In addition to broadcasting the contest, SBS has also broadcast the 50th and 60th anniversary programmes.

From 2010 to 2014, SBS allowed Australian viewers to participate in their own televote for the Grand Finals.[5] However, these votes were not counted at the actual contest and did not affect the overall result. The SBS commentary team and Australian delegation were awarded a commentary booth of their own at the 2012 contest in Baku. They have been allocated a commentary booth every year since.

Incidental participation

Although not actively participating at the Eurovision Song Contest prior to the 2013 semi final interval presentation, Australia has appeared in the contest incidentally in a number of ways:

2013 pre-recorded presentation

Australia's first appearance in the international broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest occurred on 14 May 2013 during the first semi-final in Malmö, Sweden. A short pre-recorded video titled Greetings from Australia (also referred to as Why Australia Loves Eurovision), submitted by SBS and hosted by Julia Zemiro, was broadcast during the interval acts.[10] This presentation marked 30 years of broadcasting the Eurovision Song Contest in Australia, and was preceded the week leading up to the contest by a locally broadcast documentary, also hosted by Zemiro, titled Road to Eurovision[11]

2014 interval act

On 24 March 2014, the Danish broadcaster DR gave permission to SBS to perform as an interval act in the second semi-final of Eurovision Song Contest 2014. One day later, on 25 March, Jessica Mauboy was internally selected to perform.[12] On 8 May 2014, Mauboy sang her song "Sea of Flags" in the second semi-final.[13]

2015 debut

Sebastian performing "Tonight Again" at Eurovision 2015

SBS made the country's debut at the 2015 Contest with the song "Tonight Again" a song written and performed by Guy Sebastian. Although Australia is outside the European Broadcasting Area, the European Broadcasting Union and Austrian host broadcaster ORF decided to permit an Australian entry to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Contest. The special circumstances surrounding Australia's entry and "to not reduce the chances" of the semi-final participants led the organisers to allow Australia to compete directly in the grand final without pre-qualification.[14] The 2015 Australian jury consisted of Amanda Pelman (Chair), Richard Wilkins, Danielle Spencer and Jake Stone.[15]

2016 return

Although Australia's participation in 2015 was announced as a one-off event, it was confirmed on 17 November 2015 that Australia would participate in the 2016 contest. Unlike in 2015, Australia did not receive automatic qualification.[16] On 7 October 2015, it was announced that Australia would make its debut at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2015 after SBS was invited to perform in the contest.[17] The 2016 Australian jury consisted of Monica Trapaga (Chair), Shannon Noll, Myf Warhurst, James Mathison and Craig Porteils.[18]


Australia will continue its participation at the 2017 contest following their success the previous year.[19]


Table key
  Second place
  Third place
  Last place
Year Artist Language Title Final Points Semi Points
2015 Guy Sebastian English "Tonight Again" 5 196 Automatic finalist
2016 Dami Im English "Sound of Silence" 2 511 1 330

Voting history

As of 2016, Australia's voting history is as follows.[20][21]

Most points given to Australia (finals only)
Rank Country Points
1  Sweden 36
2  Denmark 28
3  Albania 27
4  Iceland 26
5  Netherlands 25
Most points given from Australia (finals only)
Rank Country Points
1  Belgium 30
2  Bulgaria 18
3  Russia 15
4  France 13
5  Israel 12

Most points given to Australia (semi-finals only)
Rank Country Points
1  Belgium 12
2  Albania 10
 United Kingdom
3  Belarus 8
4  Germany 7
5  Ireland 6

Most points given from Australia (semi-finals only)
Rank Country Points
1  Belgium 20
2  Israel 17
3  Serbia 12
4  Lithuania 10
5  Bulgaria 8

Other awards

Marcel Bezençon Awards

Further information: Marcel Bezençon Awards

Composer Award

Year Song Composer(s)
Lyrics (l) / Music (m)
Performer Final
Points Host city
2016 "Sound of Silence" Anthony Egizii, David Musumeci Dami Im 2nd 511 Stockholm

Commentators and spokespersons

Year(s) Television commentator(s) Spokesperson
No broadcast from 1956–1982 Australia not allowed to compete
Either no commentary or commentary via BBC from 1983–2000
2001 Effie (Mary Coustas)[2]
Commentary via BBC in 2002
2003 Des Mangan[2][22]
Commentary via BBC from 2005–2008
2009 Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang[23]
2015 Lee Lin Chin[24][25]
2017 TBA TBA

See also


  1. "Australien är klar för Eurovision Song Contest 2016 i Stockholm". Sveriges Television. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 "The special relationship: Australia and its love of Eurovision". ESC Insight - Home of the Unofficial Eurovision Song Contest Podcast.
  3. Nicholson, Sarah (2008-05-21). "Top of the Euro pops". Courier Mail. Retrieved 2008-05-26.
  4. Knox, David (2009-04-16). "Airdate: Eurovision 2009". TV Tonight. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  5. "Australian televoters choose their winner". Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Lennon, Troy (11 February 2015). "Aussies hit the high notes at Eurovision". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  7. McCathie, Andrew (18 March 2006). "Australian singer strikes a blow for Eurovision". The Age. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  8. 1 2 Moran, Jonathan (26 May 2015). "Songwriter Katrina Noorbergen was part of Australia's growing presence at Eurovision". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  9. Vincent, Peter (13 March 2015). "Eurovision 2015: Australian Mary-Jean O'Doherty is a rival country's secret weapon". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  10. "Australia's loyal fandom earns Eurovision nod". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2016-02-27.
  11. "Australia: 2012 coverage a big success". Retrieved 2016-02-27.
  12. Storvik-Green, Simon (25 March 2014). "Australian superstar to sing at Eurovision". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  13. Vincent, Peter (9 May 2014). "Jessica Mauboy performs at Eurovision Song Contest". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  14. "Australia participate in the 60th Eurovision". EBU. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  15. "The Australian Eurovision Jury". SBS Eurovision. SBS. 1 May 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  16. "Australia To Return To The Eurovision Song Contest". EBU. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  17. Fisher, Luke James (7 October 2015). "Australia joins to make it 'Super 17' at Junior Eurovision in Sofia!". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  18. "Australia's Eurovision 2016 jury and spokesperson is revealed!". SBS Eurovision. SBS. 2 May 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  19. Jordan, Paul (31 October 2016). "43 countries to participate in Eurovision 2017". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  20. "Welcome to the Eurovision Song Contest database". ESC Database. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  21. "History". Eurovision Song Contest. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  22. "Eurovision scandal - SBS dumps Wogan! - inthemix Forums".
  23. Knox, David (17 November 2015). "SBS Upfronts: 2016: Eurovision, drama, comedy & docos.". TV Tonight. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  24. "Honestly, did you really think anybody else would be up to the task? #TheFeedSBS #SBSEurovision". Twitter. The Feed SBS. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
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