In place of a live Eurovision broadcast this year, SBS is hosting ‘Eurovision 2020: Big Night In’ for Australians this Saturday, 16th May. Not only will all forty-one acts from this year be showcased, but they will also be revealed in a countdown decided by the votes of the Australian public.
SBS let Aussie fans give 8, 10, and 12 points to their favourite songs from this year. The voting – which is now closed – was open to everyone, including diehard Eurovision fans and casual viewers. We will now get to see how the Australian televote may have panned out in Rotterdam.
Interestingly, Australians have always put the eventual winner in the top five of their televote. They have also tended to lean towards upbeat, and sometimes kitsch, songs. Some other trends have also emerged, with the likes of Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom, and Italy receiving more votes than other countries.
So, who might make up our alternative broadcast televote top ten this year?
12 points – Russia
This song is kitsch-Eurovision at its very best and suits Australian voters to a T. It is satirical, extravagant, but most importantly, fun. Aussie fans love to be entertained, and they tend to vote en masse for songs that put a smile on their faces.
Every ‘douze points’ given by the Australian public since 2015 has been to an upbeat, positive song. In 2017 and 2018, votes went to the Sunstroke Project and Netta respectively, showing that Australians enjoy voting for novelty-style songs. It makes sense that an entry like ‘UNO’ could win the Australian televote.
10 points – Iceland
Australia has only once given televotes to Iceland, but we could see voters flock to their entry this year. ‘Think About Things’ has been immensely popular amongst Eurovision fan communities, and casual fans will likely love it too.
This entry is quirky by nature but is widely likeable. The fact that Daði & Gagnamagnið give the song a retro yet modern sound is an impressive balancing act. The instant hook in the chorus’ melody will also be a key factor in getting votes from Australians.
8 points – Sweden
The Mamas were back-up vocalists for Sweden’s John Lundvik in last year’s competition. Much like 2019, there is every chance that they will receive more love from Australian televoters. Following on from ‘Too Late For Love’, their entry ‘Move’ is also soulful, groovy, and polished.
It is no secret that Australia and Sweden have a good relationship when it comes to Eurovision voting. Since 2015, Australian televoters have given 26 points to the Nordic nation, spread across three acts (2015, 2017 and 2019). Aussies gave Sweden 8 points in the televote last year, and they may do the same again.
7 points – Lithuania
‘On Fire’ is entertaining, innocent, yet modern – traits that suit the tastes of Australian Eurovision viewers. The fact that it is instantly memorable will help its chances, standing out in the minds of voters.
Although it has been described as simple and slightly repetitive, The Roop make a fun statement with their entry. Its recognisable and catchy nature gives it a great chance to do well in the televote (and there is a fun dance to go with it).
6 points – Switzerland
The first ballad on this list, ‘Répondez-moi’ is haunting, chilling, yet beautiful. It stands out amongst the pack as minimalist, but that does not reduce the song’s impact. The music video that voters would have watched was also well-produced and could be beneficial in this year’s alternative online vote.
Of course, Australia does vote for ballads, but they typically do not receive the coveted 8, 10 or 12 points. This may also do particularly well amongst younger voters, with a very contemporary sound.
5 points – Italy
‘Fai Rumore’ is a safe bet for a top ten finish. The Italian ballad is held up by two prominent pillars – strength and emotion. The singer Diodato delivered a composed and impressive vocal performance at Sanremo. It is simple yet feels complete.
With a prominent Italian-Australian community, as well as a run of strong entries, and it is no major surprise that Australia has given Italy 15 points over the past five years. This year’s entry continues a run of quality songs and will likely rank highly in ‘Eurovision 2020: Big Night In’.
4 points – Germany
Slick, fresh and groovy – ‘Violent Thing’ could easily be a radio hit across Europe. Although Australian televoters do not typically vote for so-called ‘radio-style’ songs, this track offers a little more edge. It develops nicely and can hold your attention for the entire three minutes.
Interestingly, Australian televoters have only ever voted for Germany once, giving them two points in 2018. Although it may not count this year, there is a good chance we will see them in Australia’s virtual top ten for 2020!
3 points – Norway
This entry will tick a lot of boxes for voters – strong vocals, an emotional ballad, and a key change. Ulrikke has a great stage presence and can captivate an audience. ‘Attention’ is a well-executed Scandi-ballad and should please the tastes of Aussie Eurovision fans.
Australian voters enjoy giving points to Norway (17 points since 2015), trailing in popularity behind Sweden (26 points). It may not have the edge over Italy and Switzerland, but it should still place highly on the night…
2 points – Bulgaria
The odds-on favourite to win Eurovision 2020 before its cancellation, ‘Tears Getting Sober’ is mysterious and gentle in equal measures. Comparisons have already been made to the work of Billie Eilish, but VICTORIA brings her personality to the track.
Opinions seem to be split amongst fans on this song though. Some are enchanted by the track’s hypnotic nature, whilst others find it too simplistic. Regardless, it should have enough support behind it from Australian voters to make the top ten.
1 point – United Kingdom
The Australian televote have put the United Kingdom in their top ten for three out of the past five years. None of these entries finished in the overall top 10 for their respective years, so there is potentially some extra voting from Australians of British origin. We can only speculate, however.
‘My Last Breath’ has a fresh feel to it, with a unique rhythmic structure in parts. A strong song in its own right, but based on previous voting trends, Australian televoters could help to push this into the top ten.
The Netherlands – This soft, gentle and sentimental song is a very strong entry from the ‘host’ nation
Azerbaijan – Strong ethnic instrumental could put this pop entry in good stead amongst Aussie voters
Denmark – A charming and catchy duet, that could attract votes from a wide audience
Latvia – This chaotic and unique entry may face too much competition from other upbeat songs to make the top ten
Eurovision Week on SBS
SBS will be hosting a week of Eurovision programming in the lead-up to its alternative broadcast. This includes replays of grand finals from 2015 onwards every weekday, as well as other Eurovision programs. You can view the complete schedule here.
‘Eurovision 2020: Big Night In’ airs Saturday 16 May at 7:30 pm AEST on SBS. Following this will be the European Broadcasting Union’s ‘Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light’, to be shown in Australia on Sunday at 8:30 pm.