Australia to compete at Eurovision in 2016

Australia will compete at next years Eurovision Song Contest for second time in history of the contest SBS confirms

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Guy Sebastian seen at Australia's debut at the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna

Updated Nov 18, 2015

Australia will compete at the Eurovision Song Contest again in 2016 following its wildcard entry this year as the extravaganza eyes a more global future, it was announced Tuesday.

Former "Australian Idol" winner Guy Sebastian came fifth in the country's debut at the kitsch competition in Vienna after being asked to take part to mark the show's 60th anniversary.

The move proved so successful that Australia has been invited back, despite the small matter of its 15,000 kilometre (9,320 mile) distance from Europe.

Multicultural broadcaster SBS, which has been screening the event since 1983, made the announcement during its 2016 programme launch in Sydney.

"SBS is excited to announce that, following the huge success of Australia's first ever competitive entry in 2015, it has once again secured an opportunity for an Australian artist to officially compete on the world's biggest stage," it said.

The outlandish annual spectacle, which attracts some 200 million viewers globally, has a cult following Down Under, inspiring parties and drinking games.

Jon Ola Sand, from the European Broadcasting Union, said the competition could become increasingly more global.

"The feedback we got from viewers, fans, press and the broadcasters after Australia's participation in Vienna was overwhelmingly positive," he said in a statement.

"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.

"It remains to be seen what such an event may look like in the long run," he added.

In Vienna, Australia was guaranteed a spot in the final but next year in Stockholm it will have to compete in one of the two semi-finals.

It has yet to be decided whether Australia will become a permanent participant.