• Olivia Newton John performs at Eurovision (Source: YouTube) (Eurovision)Source: Eurovision
We all know Guy Sebastian did us proud in 2015 with Tonight Again but Australia has had a long Eurovision tradition dating back to well before the 80s when SBS first started broadcasting the contest here.
By
Jocelyn Seip

11 Apr 2016 - 5:03 PM  UPDATED 11 Apr 2016 - 5:12 PM

Australia was allowed an official commentary booth in Baku in 2012 and we've just been on the up and up since then. Before we had Guy and Dami we also had a few sneaky expats compete for other countries and do us proud. 

Here's a recap of just SOME of those historic moments that might have been one small step for Eurovision-kind but were one giant leap for us Aussies!

1974:

Aussie sweetheart Olivia Newton-John competed for the United Kingdom in the 19th Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton, UK with the song 'Long Live Love'.

She wore the most incredibly retro blue ruffled dress and her backup singers were in equally impressive gowns.

 

Olivia placed 4th and the single of the track peaked at number 11 on the ARIA charts. Not bad for a girl who grew up in Melbourne!

Watch here: 

1996:

Brisbane-born singer and DJ Gina G competed for the United Kingdom with the Eurodance track 'Ooh Aah... Just a Little Bit'. She placed 8th in a very Spice Girls-esque performance at the 41st contest in Oslo, Norway.

Gina G has said that the iconic dress she wore for her performance was actually for custom made for Cher but Cher didn’t want it and the costume designers shortened it for it’s Eurovision debut. This song did so well as a single it got nominated for a Grammy award the following year and if you ever went to a primary school disco you’ve definitely heard it.

Watch here: 

2014:

Like the annoying little sibling to all of Europe that Australia is, we finally wore them down and got to come along and sing in the interval. Jessica Mauboy came runner up on season four os Australian Idol 2006.

She performed the song 'Sea of Flags' (co-written by herself, Ilan Kidron and Stuart Crichto) at the second semi-final interval in Copenhagen, Denmark.

'Sea of Flags' paid tribute to Australia as a nation and particularly to Mauboy’s Indigenous heritage.

The performance ended with a man dressed as an astronaut waving a double sided flag with the Australian flag on one side and the Aboriginal flag on the other as he said “It's one small step for Europe, one giant leap for Australia.” The next step? Being IN the contest.

Relive the moment here:

2015:

The year we finally did it. 2015 was the 60th Anniversary of the contest and Australia were given special consideration to enter. We were allowed to go straight to the grand final in Vienna, Austria (that’s almost Australia, right?).

Continuing the ex-Idol-contestants theme, we sent Guy Sebastian, the first ever winner of the show in 2003.

He came out with the song 'Tonight Again' which left us placing 5th overall, an AMAZING effort for our first official time competing. If we had won, however, SBS would have co-hosted the contest in 2016 in European city of our choice. Our entry also meant that the 2015 contest had the highest number of contestants in a final ever with 27 countries.

Relive the moment below: 

2016:

This year we will be partying in Stockholm, Sweden for the 61st contest. Unlike 2015, we will not receive an automatic qualification for the final. That challenge is set for Korean born, Brisbane-based singer Dami Im and her (amazing) song Sound of Silence. Talent show winners have served us well in the past and this year will be no different. Dami won X-Factor in 2013.

Dami posted to her Twitter feed: “Get ready Sweden... Australia is coming!!” and she is right! We’re coming for you Europe!

Watch her official video below:

BONUS:

In 1977 Austrian contenders Schmetterlinge performed a tribute to Australia with a song called “Boom Boom Boomerang” which was performed in German and English.

 

This song was aimed to send up and make fun of the entire Eurovision Song Contest, which was an extremely controversial move at the time. The song placed 17th and it wasn't the last time Austria made fun of the contest - with a similar thing happening in 2003 with the song Weil der Mensch zählt.

Relive the moment here:

The Eurovision Song Contest will be broadcast on SBS’s Eurovision Weekend - Friday 13, Saturday 14 and Grand Final Sunday 15 May, 7.30pm on SBS, with LIVE early morning broadcasts from 5am on Wednesday 11, Friday 13 and Sunday 15 May. 

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