Australia will compete in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. You read that correctly: Australia, which is about as far from Europe as you can get, will be sending a competitor to the annual Euroschmaltzfest, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary. This is a one-time deal only, and it’s happening in part because Eurovision is huge in Australia. Last year’s interval act was Australian pop-singer Jessica Mauboy. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which runs the contest, is teaming up with Australian broadcaster SBS. “It’s a daring and at the same time incredibly exciting move. It is our way of saying; let’s celebrate this party together!” said the EBU’s Jon Ola Sand.
And if Australia wins, will that mean that next year’s contest will take place Down Under? No. “In case Australia wins, SBS will co-host the Eurovision Song Contest in a European city, together with an EBU Member Broadcaster,” according to Eurovision TV. “Their participation is intended as a one-off, but in case of a victory, Australia will be allowed send a participant to the Eurovision Song Contest next year.” All I know is that given the odd cultural flavor of the contest, I am expecting to see a lot of kangaroo-themed costumes.