Australia in Eurovision over the Decade
Well it's been a VERY big decade for Australia in Eurovision. We went from observers to competitors and became a real force in the contest.
We look back at the decade year-by-year for Australia.
Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang made the journey to Eurovision for just the second time as commentators in Oslo.
SBS showed the delayed telecast and organised online voting for viewers. Australia's favourite on the night was Turkey with maNga's 'We Could Be the Same' (who was runner-up in the contest) while Giorgos Alkaios and Friends performing 'OPA' was their second favourite.
Lena's winning song 'Satellite' reached no.37 on the Australian ARIA chart.
The Eurovision hosts gave out a special shout out to Australia - "And I would like to welcome, especially, our friends in Australia who are watching right now at 5 o'clock in the morning! Hello Australia! G'day mate!" If you were watching at 5am you were watching it illegally of course! (as SBS was still showing delayed coverage).
In the SBS online vote, Jedward's 'Lipstick' was Australia's favourite, Greece was second again with 'Watch My Dance' performed by Loukas Giorkas feat. Stereo Mike. Third placed went to Serbia with Nina performing Čaroban. She would later move to Australia, so it was a love-love relationship
Julia Zemiro hosted the show 'The Road to Eurovision' in the lead up to the contest. She travelled from 2011 host Dusseldorf to Baku, Azerbaijan.
Australians agreed with Europe and overwhelmingly chose 'Euphoria' as their 2012 winner in the SBS online voting. Unsurprisingly the Russian act Buranovskiye Babushki with 'Party for Everybody' was in second place. Jedward continued their popularity with Australians by finishing third with 'Waterline'.
Euphoria reached no.36 on the Eurovision ARIA chart. She would go on to perform at Sydney Mardi Gras in 2013.
To celebrate Australia broadcasting Eurovision for 30 years, Australia was given a segment in the semi final interval to explain our obsession with the contest.
Again Australia agreed with Europe and picked Denmark's winning song as their 2013 favourite in the SBS online voting. Greece made Australia's top three again with 'Alcohol is Free' finishing runner-up and the memorable performance by Romania's Cezar with 'It's My Life' finishing third.
We made the big time as a Grand Final interval act with Julia Zemiro begging Jon Ola Sand for us to compete. We had the next best thing with Jessica Mauboy performing 'Sea of Flags' as well as an 'interesting' number with dancing animals and lyrics like 'We'll put dingoes in Romania, emus in Albania and speedos on your genitalia!
Another Eurovision winner was given the big thumbs up by Australians in the SBS online vote. Conchita Wurst continuing the string of winners the Australia public got behind. For the first time the top three were the same as the Eurovision top three, just in a different order. Sweden with Sanna Nielsen's 'Undo' was second and the Dutch entry 'Calm After the Storm' was third.
'Only Teardrops' reached no.47 on the ARIA chart. 'Sea of Flags' reached no.40.
Every Eurovision fan in Australia remembers where they were on February 11, 2015. That day all our dreams came true when it was announced that Australia would compete in Eurovision as a wildcard guest to celebrate the 60th edition of the contest.
For the first time we would compete (with a direct spot in the final) and we could VOTE and watch the shows live (legally) early in the morning.
Guy Sebastian did us proud finishing 5th with 'Tonight Again' in a very competitive year.
But it was the highlights of having our very own poscard, getting the biggest roar during the flag ceremony and getting our first 12 points (thank you Sweden and Austria) that made it feel special times.
Australia, with points delivered by the iconic Lee Lin Chin, gave our 12 points to eventual winner Sweden with Mans Zelmerlow's 'Heroes'. 10 points went to 'A Million Voices' from Russia with 'Grande Amore' receiving 8 points.
Back then the televote/jury was combined. Australia televote went 1st to Sweden, 2nd to 'Beauty Never Lies' from Serbia and 3rd to 'Rhythm Inside' from Belgium.
The Eurovision Album went no.4 on the ARIA Album Chart. While 'Tonight Again' reached no.12 on the ARIA Singles Chart, 'Heroes' no.19, 'Rhythm Inside' no.61, 'A Million Voices' no.79 and Love Injected no.87.
Australia also competed at Junior Eurovision for the first time with Bella Paige finishing 8th with the Delta Goodrem penned track 'My Girls'.
In December the official ESCFAN Australia fan club was also established.
Elation and heartbreak. It was announced Australia would be invited back to the contest yet again in 2016.
Dami Im was selected and her song 'Sound of Silence' had buzz immediately, finishing 3rd in the OGAE Fan vote leading up to the contest.
Her live version elevated it further with her performance a vocal masterclass. Dami won her semi final (the first time we had to qualify for the final) and went into the Grand Final one of the favourites.
Australia received 9 lots of 12 points from the juries and 3 more from the televote. Dami won the jury comfortably but finishing 4th in the televote opening the door for Jamala to slip through and win by 23 points (the closest margin this decade).
We came so close to winning but alas it wasn't to be. We did take out the Marcel Bezencon composer award however.
Australia itself gave 12 points from our jury and televote to 'What's the Pressure' by Laura Tesoro for Belgium. Bulgaria's 'If Love was a Crime' received 10 points from the public and Jamala received 8 points.
The Eurovision Album went no.9 on the Australian charts and 'Sound of Silence' reached no.5.
Australia competed at Junior Eurovision again with Alexa Curtis finishing 5th with 'We Are'.
Again Australia was invited back and this time we chose recent X Factor winner, 17-year-old Isaiah Firebrace.
It was also announced in March that Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang, after eight contest s, would be stepping down as our commentators. Joel Creasey and Myf Warhurst were announced as their replacements.
He performed the DNA (same production team as 'Sound of Silence') produced 'Don't Come Easy'.
The song and Isaiah's voice was a hit with juries. He qualified for the final on jury points alone (he finished 15th in the semi final televote).
Isaiah would go on to finish 4th with the juries but only 25th in the televote with just 2 points received from Denmark.
Overall though Isaiah gave us our third Top 10 position in a row finishing in 9th place.
Additionally 'The Voice Australia' winner Anja Nissen, who had Australia-Danish citizenship, competed for Denmark and finished 20th.
Moldova with 'Hey Mama' by Sunstroke Project was Australia's favourite winning the televote and finishing 2nd with the jury. 'Yodel It' from Romania finished 2nd in the televote and Anja for Denmark finished 3rd with 'Where I Am'. The jury gave their 12 points to the UK's 'Never Give Up on You'.
The Eurovision album charted no.15 on the ARIA charts while 'Don't Come Easy' reached no.69.
At Junior Eurovision Isabella Clark with 'Speak Up' finished 3rd.
Oh and Aussievision started as well :)
Australia was invited back yet again and this time 2014 interval act Jessica Mauboy returned as a full blown competitor.
Her song got a lot of love from fans before the contest but with the limited staging options (due to no LEDs in Lisbon) saw the song dip.
Jessica still put on an excellent performance finishing 4th in her semi final (including 7th in the televote) to make the Grand Final.
A top 10 position wasn't to be with Jesssica finishing 13th in the jury and 26th (last) in the televote to finish 20th overall.
Australia's televote gave their 12 points to the winner 'Toy' by Netta for Israel, 10 points to Denmark's 'Higher Ground' and 8 points to Ireland's 'Together'. The Australian jury gave 12 points to Sweden's 'Dance You Off'.
The Eurovision album charted no.14 in Australia and 'We Got Love' reached a very respectable no.31.
At Junior Eurovision, Jael Wena finished 3rd after winning the jury vote.
Later in the year it was announced that Australia would hold its first national final in 2019.
Australia was confirmed to have a place in Eurovision until 2023 and held its first national final in February.
10 acts ranging from the well known Sheppard and Courtney Act, to up and comers like Electric Fields and Leea Nanos took part in the live show on the Gold Coast.
Ultimately it was Kate Miller-Heidke's 'Zero Gravity' who won over Electric Fields and Sheppard in third.
Kate went very much under the radar in the build up, with many fans writing off Australia's chances of qualifying.
When she arrived in Tel Aviv she brought one of the most iconic stagings ever seen at Eurovision with her performing the song swaying on a 7-metre pole!
She won her semi final and finished 6th in the jury in the Grand Final and 7th in the televote to finish 9th overall. Her points total would normally see her finish around the 5th to 7th mark, she was just unlucky to be in a competitive year.
Kate did however take out the Marcel Bezencon Artistic award.
We also heard Australia receive 12 points for the first time since Dami Im (we received 12 points from Poland and Romania).
The Australian public itself gave 12 points to televote winners 'Spirit in the Sky' from Norway, 10 points to Hatari from Iceland and 8 points to 'Too Late for Love' from Sweden. The Australian jury gave 12 points to Sweden (for the third time in five years).
The Eurovision album charted no.13 on the ARIA charts while Zero Gravity, being more a visual feast, charted no.95.
At Junior Eurovision Jordan Anthony finished 8th with 'We Will Rise'. Australia fifth Top 10 in a row.
Australia finished the decade with the 7th highest amount of total points, despite only competing for half the time.
When looking at average points we were the 4th highest and 3rd with average rank (9th).
We have moved from funny observers, to wildcard entrant, to a big player with a semi-permanent place in the contest.
The only thing missing? A win!
Let's hope we'll get that in the 2020s.