Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest

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Member stationSBS
National selection events
National final
Internal selection
  • 2015–2018
  • 2021
  • 2023
Participation summary
Appearances7 (6 finals)
First appearance2015
Highest placement2nd: 2016
External links
SBS page
Eurovision – Australia Decides website
Australia's page at
Song contest current event.png For the most recent participation see
Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022

Australia has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest seven times since its debut in 2015 and has been in the top ten four times. It is the second country outside of the Eurasia region to take part in the contest since Morocco competed in 1980. The country's best result in the contest is a second-place finish for Dami Im in 2016. Australia also finished in the top ten in three of its other appearances in the contest, with Guy Sebastian finishing fifth in 2015, and both Isaiah and Kate Miller-Heidke finishing ninth in 2017 and 2019.

Initially, Australia's participation in the 2015 contest was set to be a one-off event, the plan being only to perform again the following year had it won, but it was confirmed in November 2015 by SVT that it would participate in the 2016 contest.[1] Australia's participation in the contest has been confirmed by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) until 2023.[2]



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 strong viewing audience in Australia. 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.[3] In 2003 and 2004, SBS presenter Des Mangan provided commentary for the Australian audience. From 2009, Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang were assigned as commentators for the competition by SBS.[4][5] 2017 saw SBS replace the commentators with comedian Joel Creasey and TV and radio personality Myf Warhurst. In addition to broadcasting the contest, SBS 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.[6] 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.

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.[7] 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 The Heart of Eurovision.[8] On 24 March 2014, the Danish host broadcaster DR gave SBS permission to perform as an interval act in the second semi-final of the 2014 contest. One day later, on 25 March, Jessica Mauboy was internally selected to perform.[9] On 8 May 2014, Mauboy sang her song "Sea of Flags".[10]

2015–present: Participation[edit]

Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) made the country's debut at the 2015 contest with the song "Tonight Again", performed by Guy Sebastian. Although Australia is outside the European Broadcasting Area, the EBU and Austrian host broadcaster ORF decided to permit an Australian entry to commemorate the 60th 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 final, without going through a semi-final.[11] In the event that Australia should win the contest, the EBU had confirmed that in accordance with the rules, Australia would not host the event in the southern hemisphere, and instead would co-host the contest within a country in the EBU.[12] Further to the EBU's statement, it was confirmed that Germany's participating broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) would be the first choice, and the United Kingdom's broadcaster British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) would be the back-up should Germany decline.[12]

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.[13] On 7 October 2015, it was announced that Australia would make its debut in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2015 after SBS was invited to perform in the contest.[14] The Australian entry for the 2016 contest was Dami Im with her song "Sound of Silence", which won the second semi-final before finishing second overall behind Ukraine.[15]

Australia continued its participation at the 2017 contest following their success the previous year.[16] On 7 March 2017, at the Paris Cat Jazz Club in Melbourne, SBS announced former X Factor Australia winner Isaiah Firebrace as Australia's entry. With the song "Don't Come Easy", Isaiah participated in the first semi-final on 9 May, then qualified for the final on 13 May in which Australia placed 9th.[17]

Australia competed in the 2018 contest, selecting Jessica Mauboy as the artist to represent the country with "We Got Love".[18][19] Although this continued Australia's track record of perfect attendance in the final (a record it shared with Ukraine until their first ever non-qualification in 2021), it was the first instance of them not finishing in the top ten, ending in 20th place with 99 points, only nine of which came from the televote, the first time that Australia finished last in the televote.

In 2019, it was announced that for the first time, Australian viewers would be given the opportunity to choose their Eurovision representative. The Eurovision - Australia Decides national final took place on 9 February 2019, with a 50/50 say between an Australian jury and a televote to determine who would represent the country at the 2019 contest. Eurovision – Australia Decides was hosted in Gold Coast, Queensland by Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey.[20] The winner was Kate Miller-Heidke with the song "Zero Gravity". Runners-up Electric Fields were selected as the Australian jury spokespersons. At the contest in Tel Aviv, Israel, Australia went on to finish 9th in the final, after winning the first semi-final.

SBS announced it would host Eurovision – Australia Decides – Gold Coast 2020 to choose their representative for the 2020 contest. The event was held on the Gold Coast from 7–8 February, and Montaigne with "Don't Break Me" emerged as the winner.[21] Following the cancellation of the 2020 contest, SBS internally selected Montaigne to represent Australia in the 2021 contest, this time with "Technicolour".[22] For the first time since its 2015 debut, Australia failed to qualify for the final, finishing 14th in the first semi-final with 28 points.[23]

Eurovision – Australia Decides returned to select the Australian entry for the 2022 contest.[24] The show took place on 26 February, and was won by Sheldon Riley with the song "Not the Same". At the contest in Turin, Italy, Australia went on to finish in 15th place in the final with 125 points, after finishing in second place in the second semi-final with 243 points.[25]

For the 2023 contest, SBS will return to an internal selection process.[26]

Australia's participation in the contest has been confirmed by the EBU and SBS until 2023.[2]

Participation overview[edit]

Table key
Second place
Entry selected but did not compete
Year Entrant Song Language Final Points Semi Points
Guy Sebastian "Tonight Again" English
Automatically qualified[a]
Dami Im "Sound of Silence" English
Isaiah "Don't Come Easy" English
Jessica Mauboy "We Got Love" English
Kate Miller-Heidke "Zero Gravity" English
Montaigne "Don't Break Me" English Contest cancelled[b] X
Montaigne "Technicolour" English Failed to qualify
Sheldon Riley "Not the Same" English
Confirmed intention to participate [28]

Other awards[edit]

Marcel Bezençon Awards[edit]

Year Award Song Composer(s) Performer Final Points Host city Ref.
2016 Composer Award "Sound of Silence" Anthony Egizii, David Musumeci Dami Im 2 511 Sweden Stockholm [29]
2019 Artistic Award "Zero Gravity" Kate Miller-Heidke, Keir Nuttall, Julian Hamilton Kate Miller-Heidke 9 284 Israel Tel Aviv [30]

Related involvement[edit]

Heads of delegation[edit]

The public broadcaster of each participating country in the Eurovision Song Contest assigns a head of delegation as the EBU's contact person and the leader of their delegation at the event. The delegation, whose size can greatly vary, includes a head of press, the contestants, songwriters, composers and backing vocalists, among others.[31]

Year Head of delegation Ref.
20152019 Paul Clarke
20202021 Josh Martin
2022 Emily Griggs

Jury members[edit]

A five-member jury panel consisting of music industry professionals is made up for every participating country for the semi-finals and final of the Eurovision Song Contest, ranking all entries except for their own country's contribution. The juries' votes add 50% to the overall result alongside televoting.[34]

Year Jury members Ref.
2015 Amanda Pelman Richard Wilkins Danielle Spencer Ash London Jake Stone [35]
2016 Monica Trapaga Shannon Noll Myf Warhurst James Mathison Craig Porteils [36]
2017 Lucy Durack Natasha Cupitt Steven Capaldo Jackie Loeb Peter Hayward [37]
2018 Richard Wilkins Zan Rowe Jordan Raskopoulos L-FRESH the Lion Millie Millgate [38]
2019 Mark Humphries Christine Anu Lewis Hobba Alice Chance Mark Cummins [39]
2021 Millie Millgate Jack Vidgen Ash London Brooke Boney Kandiah Kamalesvaran [40]
2022 Dylan Lewis Jessica Cerro Matt Okine Bridget Hustwaite Milly Petriella [41]

Commentators and spokespeople[edit]

Year Commentator Dual commentator Spokesperson Ref.
1971[c] Un­known N/A Did not participate
1972 - 1982[d] No broadcast
1983 - 2000 Unknown/Various[e]
2001[f] Effie (Mary Coustas) None [3]
2002 Terry Wogan[g]
2003 Des Mangan [3][43]
2004 [43]
2005 Terry Wogan[g] [44]
2009 Julia Zemiro Sam Pang [45]
2010 [45]
2011 [45]
2012 [45]
2013 [45]
2014 [45]
2015 Lee Lin Chin [45][46]
2016 [45][47]
2017 Myf Warhurst Joel Creasey [48]
2018 Ricardo Gonçalves [49]
2019 Electric Fields [50]
2021 Joel Creasey [51]
2022 Courtney Act [52]
2023 TBA [53]

Incidental participation[edit]

Although not actively participating at the Eurovision Song Contest prior to the 2014 semi-final interval presentation, Australia has appeared in the contest incidentally in a number of ways:

Photo gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ The organisers allowed Australia to compete in the grand final without pre-qualification due to the special circumstances surrounding Australia's entry and so as "to not reduce the chances" of the semi-final participants.[27]
  2. ^ The 2020 contest was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. ^ Unlike all subsequent broadcasts, the 1971 final was aired by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
  4. ^ The contest was broadcast over SBS Radio in 1981, but there was no television broadcast
  5. ^ The broadcasts were shown both without commentary and via the BBC's transmission
  6. ^ SBS aired the contest without postcards and voting.[42]
  7. ^ a b Via the BBC.
  8. ^ Due to travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, Montaigne participated using a 'live-on-tape' performance, filmed at SBS Studios in Sydney instead of travelling to Rotterdam, Netherlands, where the event was held.[61][62]


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External links[edit]