Following a successful stint in 2015, Australia will return to Eurovision in 2016. The announcement was made on 17th November after the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) came to the decision in conjunction with Australian national broadcasters SBS.
The decision comes after Guy Sebastian finished in fifth place in May this year at the 2015 competition with his song ‘Tonight Again’. Advocates for the decision include 2014 winner Conchita Wurst who stated in an interview with Australian TV network ABC that, “I’m by your side, definitely…I think it’s just necessary, basically.” Jon Ola Sand (EBU President) also praised Australia saying that, “The feedback we got from viewers, fans, press and the broadcasters after Australia’s participation in Vienna was overwhelmingly positive.”
However not everyone has taken the news so positively. Many Eurovision fans were under the impression that the Australian entry was a one off in 2015 and are angry that a non-European competitor may be a permanent addition.
Unlike 2015, next year Australia will have to compete in the semi finals to gain a spot in the final. If they win the contest, Australia will co-host the 2017 contest with a European city of their choice.
What do you make of Australia’s inclusion in the 2016 contest? Do you welcome it or should Eurovision be strictly for European nations? Let us know by voting in our poll and commenting below.