What Happens If Australia Wins Eurovision?

Yes, it could even mean there's a small chance we'd host it in 2020.

Excitement for Eurovision is currently at fever pitch as we gear up for Saturday night’s grand finale, and it looks like we could be in for some surprises this year.

In a shock twist, Australia has emerged as one of the frontrunners of the competition, after entrant Kate Miller-Heidke and her song Zero Gravity performed well at Tuesday night’s semi-final.

The song is a Björk-meets-Sia ’90s dance throwback, which builds up to an operatic soprano section on the chorus, while the actual performance (which we’ll see repeated at Saturday’s final) sees Kate and two aerial dancers swinging around on poles.

Australia's Eurovision representative Kate Miller-Heidke
Australia's Eurovision representative Kate Miller-Heidke
Guy Prives via Getty Images

However, a win for Australia would be unprecedented, and would see a deviation from the usual format of the competition.

Normally, the winning country becomes the host nation for the following year. But with Australia being in the southern hemisphere and having only originally appeared in the contest as a guest, they are not granted the same privilege should they win.

Instead – in accordance with rules set by the Eurovision Broadcasting Union (EBU) – a win would see them co-host the 2020 event with a country in the EBU.

In 2017, Australia confirmed their first choice of co-host would be Germany, and their national broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR).

Excitingly for us, however, if Germany were to turn down the opportunity (although let’s face it, why would they?), the UK was named as Australia’s second choice, and they would team up with the BBC to broadcast the event.

So yes, that does mean there is a (albeit very slim) chance the UK could end up hosting Eurovision in 2020 – even if our own entry ends up doing terribly.

Call it premature, but we’re already hanging up some bunting, just in case.

Australia first appeared in Eurovision back in 2015 as a one-off event, but they proved to be so popular that they have returned every year since.

Their first year in the competition saw their entry – Guy Sebastian’s Tonight Again – automatically granted a place in the live final, but subsequent years have seen them have to go through the semi final selection process.

Australia’s most successful year came in 2016, when Dami Im’s Sound Of Silence finished second on the overall leaderboard, just losing out to eventual winners Ukraine.

The 2019 Eurovision Song Contest airs on Saturday at 8pm on BBC One.

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