The European Broadcasting Union has announced that Australia may also take part in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. If the guest member for the 2015 anniversary edition is to win the contest in Vienna, they will be able to defend their title the next year.
That contest will however not be held in Australia, but in another participation country, most likely a member of the Big-5. That is the most important news coming from a Question and Answer round the EBU held on their Twitter account last night.
The news that Australia will take part in the contest for real, and is able to vote in both semi-final, has gotten a lot of attention in the world. There are also some negative reactions from fans, and the EBU is not walking away from their critisism: “Change is always greeted with shock by some and celebration by others but it’s great Eurovision is provoking discussion. The Eurovision Song Contest has always evolved and celebrated diversity. It wouldn’t have survived 60 years without change. Australia has a special relationship with Eurovision and get a special invite for the 60th Eurovision. Australia will vote in both semi-finals so the 33 other countries have an equal chance of qualifying from Semis. Exceptional participation means different voting too.”
Media in Australia have of course picked up this big news also. You will find a review of the reception of the Eurovision participation in Australia itself later this morning here at ESC Daily, one of the largest Australian based Eurovision news websites.