Eurovison 2016 will welcome back Australia as a special guest entrant, following the huge success and popularity of Down Under’s participation in this year’s glittery extravaganza, it has been announced.
Guy Sebastian, representing the green and gold, took out fifth place at the 60th anniversary event in Vienna in May with his self-penned song ‘Tonight Again’. His formal inclusion in the competition followed a guest performance by Jessica Mauboy during the 2014 festivities.
“SBS is thrilled to have secured this opportunity for Australia to compete at Stockholm in 2016 and thank the European Broadcasting Union for their invitation,” Michael Ebeid, chief executive of Australia’s Eurovision host broadcaster and lead cheerleader SBS, said in a statement.
“The Eurovision Song Contest is a wonderful example of cultural diversity and social inclusion and our continued participation offers a fantastic opportunity to showcase Australian musical talent in a truly international multicultural celebration.”
“The feedback we got from viewers, fans, press and the broadcasters after Australia’s participation in Vienna was overwhelmingly positive,” European Broadcasting Union’s Jon Ola Sand said.
“We strongly believe the Eurovision Song Contest has the potential to evolve organically into a truly global event. Australia’s continued participation is an exciting step in that direction.
The final of the 2016 Eurovison contest takes place in Stockholm on 14 May following Sweden’s Mans Zelmerlow’s victory in 2015.
SBS Eurovision junkies Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang will again host the Australian broadcast.