Eurovision parties are set to become a little bit more fabulous this year, with fans getting the chance to cheer on, and vote for, an Aussie contender for the first time.
Hot on the heels of Jessica Mauboy’s 2014 Eurovision performance in Denmark, the European Broadcasting Union and host broadcaster ORF have invited SBS to send an artist to compete in Vienna this year, to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the contest.
The successful candidate, who is yet to be selected, will compete as a once-off wildcard entry in the finals.
The Australian artist will perform to a peak international television audience of around 195 million people in the grand final on Saturday May 23 in Vienna at Wiener Stadthalle arena, which will be broadcast as a live feed in Australia on Sunday morning and then on Sunday evening on SBS ONE, hosted by Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang.
"SBS has been broadcasting Eurovision for over 30 years and we have seen how Australians’ love of the song contest has grown during those years," said SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid.
"Jessica Mauboy’s performance last year was a truly momentous occasion and achievement. This year we are thrilled to be advancing our involvement by sending an Australian artist to compete for the first time, and presenting Australia with our first opportunity to vote in the contest."
SBS Eurovision co-host Julia Zemiro said she had witnessed some incredible Eurovision performances over the years, but couldn't wait for an Aussie to grab the mic and compete.
"Having an Australian compete on the world’s biggest stage is going to be the best douze points moment of this year’s contest," said Ms Zemiro.
"Am I biased? Yes. I can’t wait to get to Vienna and be part of this momentous 60th anniversary celebration."
A Eurovision representative, Jon Ola Sand said: “We have admired and respected SBS’s support of the contest for many years now and wanted to extend the invitation for Australia to join us in this special 60th anniversary."
Australians who have graced the Eurovision stage in the past but as competitors representing England, include the New Seekers, Gina G. and Olivia Newton John - who lost to Swedish pop group ABBA.
Jessica Mauboy has made her Eurovision debut for Australia in 2014, performing for an audience of about 125 million people worldwide.