Dr. Frank-Dieter Freiling has shared his thoughts on how Australia has evolved the Eurovision Song Contest since their debut appearance in 2015.
The Chairperson of the Reference Group for the Eurovision Song Contest, Dr Frank-Dieter Freiling has spoken to Dr Eurovision about Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest. Australia made their debut appearance in the contest in 2015, and according to Dr. Freiling has changed the contest for the better.
Dr. Freiling explained why Kazakhstan hasn’t been offered the same entry to the contest as Australia;
Australia is the exception that we offered to ourselves for the 60th anniversary of the contest. We have defined a justification for this exception that is still valid: We welcome partner countries that agree with and conform to the values of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Australia according to Dr. Freiling is far more connected to Europe than many realise;
Australia is to a very big extent affected by European culture, our partner SBS has broadcast the show live for more than 20 years, and there is a big community that watches the contest regularly.
Dr. Freiling went on to explain that in his view, Australia’s introduction to the contest has had a positive impact on the contest and helped increase the quality of competing entries;
We have ventured the experiment to give a wildcard and it worked out perfectly. In my opinion it helped to significantly rise the quality of the contest because Australia takes it very seriously with a high general standard, excellent singers and fine music.
So we have extended this exception for another year, and this year Australia will do a national selection in Queensland for the very first time. They consider themselves as a part of the European community of values and culture, therefore we consider them to be part of the Eurovision family, even if we interpret the rules in a very generous way.
There has been speculation as to whether the EBU would invite additional nations to the contest in the same way as Australia, Dr. Freiling challenged this view stating;
For many other countries like Korea or China this is not the case because they do not share the same values and understanding of culture. We want to stick to the core of these European values since this is the reason why the ESC exists: to overcome the frontiers and build bridges within Europe.
You can watch the full interview here.
Source: Dr Eurovision
Australia debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2015 as part of celebrations marking 60 years of the Eurovision Song Contest. The broadcaster SBS has broadcast Eurovision in Australia since 1983. Australia’s best result to date came in 2016 Australia when Dami Im, with the song “Sound of Silence,” finished in 2nd place in the final scoring 511 points, just 23 points away from victory.