Eurovision Song Contest: Australia's Odds To Win In Malmo

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Eurovision Song Contest: Australia's Odds To Win In Malmo

People tuning into the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time this year may well ask why Australia is taking part, when they are not a European nation.

Australia has been one of the biggest TV markets outside the continent to broadcast the competition and were invited by the Eurovision Broadcasting Union (EBU) to join in 2015 in what was supposed to be a one-off appearance.

However, following Guy Sebastian fifth-placed finish with ‘Tonight Again’, the Aussies were invited back the following year and every year since.

Five top-10 finishes in their eight-year history shows Australia get the contest and they will hope to notch their first ever win this year with ‘One Milkali (One Blood)’ by Electric Fields.

One of the clauses in their participation is that if they do win, they forfeit the right to host the contest the following year in Australia, instead nominating a country of their choice.

That might not be an issue this year as Australia’s entry is 250/1 on betting apps, but you never know. 

We take a look at Australia’s brief history in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Australia Get The Eurovision

It’s often difficult for a new nation to join the Eurovision Song Contest and make an immediate impact.

But Australia wasted little time and hit the ground running when they made their debut in 2015, finishing fifth. Since then they have recorded four more top-10 finishes.  

Australia's finishing positions

In just their second year, Australia were among the favourites on specials betting sites and Dani Im finished second with ‘Song Of Silence’, just 23 points behind Ukraine. 

While that is their best finish to date, there is every chance Australia will break their duck one of these years.
















Since making their debut in 2015, Australia has accumulated 1,539 total points, including televotes. The only nations to have received more points are Sweden (2,708), Italy (2,672) and Ukraine (1,938).

Who Gets Australia's Votes

Australia are unique in that they are the only non-European country participating in the contest. This could work for and against them.

On one hand, they have no neighbours to call on for points like other countries do, but they also have very little political histories with them, which can only be a plus. 

This will be the ninth time in the Eurovision Song Contest and there a trend has emerged as to where some of their heavy-weighted points will go to.

Where Australia's Votes Have Gone

The blue and yellow flag of Sweden features prominently on the above graphic showing where the Australian jury have sent their points to.

The Aussies have given points to the Swedes six times, and on each of those occasions, they have been six points or more, while three have been maximums.

Belgium have received 12 points twice, in 2016 and last year. Will this trend continue this year?

Who's Next To Follow Australia?

Now that Australia are an established nation in the Eurovision Song Contest, the EBU will be looking at how they can open up the contest to a much bigger TV audience. 

The obvious choice would be the USA. The Americans love their music and would relish the chance to represent their states in the world's largest music competition. 

Each of the 50 states can have their selection process similar to how each of the current participating nations choose theirs and a qualifying process through quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final would see the American act battle it out on the European stage.

The time difference favours an American audience compared to those watching in Australia where it starts at 05:00. A 15:00 start time is more accommodating for music fans in the States.

Australia aren't the first non-European nation to compete in the contest, that honour goes to Morocco. The African nation finished 18th of 19 countries in their one and only Eurovision Song Contest. 

Celine Dion, born in Canada, won the Eurovision in 1988 representing Switzerland and perhaps Canada have plans to join. Would Celine Dion have had the career, that includes five Grammys, if it wasn't for the Eurovision? 

And the world may never appreciated Riverdance, had it not been a Eurovision interval filler in Dublin in 1994?

One thing is certain, if the EBU think adding another non-European nation will add value to contest, they will do so.

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Charlie Mullan

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