In a groundbreaking move, SBS has announced a new open contest to select the artist and song representing Australia in the annual competition.
The winner of the live contest, titled Eurovision: Australia Decides, will be decided by a jury and members of the public, who will vote for their favourite performer.
The Australia Decides event will be held on the Gold Coast on February 8 and 9, with the support of the Queensland Government via the Tourism and Events Queensland body and the City of Gold Coast.
It will be hosted by comedian Joel Creasey and radio host Myf Warhurst.
Songwriters across Australia can submit an original composition as part of the selection process via sbs.com.au/eurovision
SBS Acting Managing Director James Taylor said the network had been inundated with fans wanting to gave their say in Eurovision.
“SBS has been the Australian home of the Eurovision Song Contest for 35 years and 2019 will mark Australia’s fifth year of competing in the event,” he said.
“As our country’s passion for Eurovision continues to grow, we are inundated by fans wanting to have their say in choosing who represents Australia on the world’s biggest stage.”
Joel Creasy told SBS he couldn’t wait to be part of the event.
“I can’t wait to be part of the first ever Eurovision selection show in the Southern Hemisphere and find the next Aussie classic, up there with the likes of Farnsy’s You’re the Voice, Braithwaite’s The Horses or my personal favourite, the seminal debut single from Bardot, Poison,” Creasey said.
“It’s over to you Australia — let’s give Europe our best.”
Eurovision 2019 marks Australia’s fifth appearance at the music competition, with Jessica Mauboy representing the country in this year’s contest final in Lisbon.