Eurovision celebrates its 60th birthday this year. By inviting Australia to participate as a one-off event, the song contest proves that it takes the anniversary motto “Building Bridges” seriously – a 14,000 km bridge so to speak. The invitation is likely to encourage even more Australians back home to stay awake until the early morning hours to watch the song contest’s extravaganza. This brings the total amount of represented countries to 40.
The grand Eurovision final will take place on Saturday May 23rd. That is if you are in Europe. In Australia it will be 24th May. If you want to take part in the voting and don’t mind getting up early on a Sunday, you can watch it live on SBS at 5am AEST.
If you are really dedicated you can also follow the semi-finals live: Semi Final 1: Wednesday May 20th, 5am AEST and Semi Final 2: Friday May 22nd, 5am AEST.
Alternatively the contest can be watched live on Eurovision’s website.
The competition will be held in Vienna following Conchita Wurst’s triumphant win for Austria last year – leading to some excellent jokes on Twitter when Australia’s invitation was announced.
“Let’s be honest: Australia only got allowed to enter #eurovision because most of the world confuses Austria with Australia” tweeted @kazonis.
How to vote?
For the first time, Australians can also cast a vote. A video introduction to the Eurovision voting system aptly explains the procedure that is nearly as eccentric and legendary as the performances themselves.
Who are the favourites?
Last year’s winner Conchita Wurst sees Australia’s entry Guy Sebastian as a hot contender for the win – and so do the bookies. Other favourites for the notorious 12 points are Sweden, Italy, Estonia, Finland and Russia. However Eurovision has made clear that if Australia won, the contest would still be held in a European country next year.
If you want to get into the mood before and download all entries – even the cheesy embarrassing ones – you could opt for paying with paysafecard. That way your credit card provider will never know you are not only watching Eurovision for the drinking games. Everybody’s got to have a passion, right?