The Australian Eurovision invasion that started way before you thought it did!

| August 3, 2020

Australia? Eurovision? 

Are you still confused?

Although Australia is the newest country to join the Eurovision Song Contest, having only debuted in 2015, we have had a long and colourful history in the contest, even predating the national broadcasters (SBS) involvement since 1983.

We go back into the archives to find out which Eurovision artists have Australian ties and join Guy, Dami, Isaiah, Jessica, Kate and Montaigne in our quest for Eurovision glory.

1972 The New Seekers – Beg, Steal of Borrow (United Kingdom) 2nd place 114 points

Australian musicians Peter Doyle and Marty Kristian were members of the successful group The New Seekers, and narrowly missed taking the trophy, finishing just 14 points behind winner Vicky Leandros of Luxembourg

1974 Olivia Newton-John – Long Live Love (United Kingdom) =4th place 14 points

Look at her, she’s Sandra Dee! ONJ went into the 1974 as one of the favourites to win, with a song she wasn’t particularly fond of. She ended up in 4th place, behind a relatively unknown Swedish band whose name escapes me. Olivia went on to a long and healthy career in music, TV and movies including Grease and Xanadu.

1975 The Shadows – Let Me Be The One (United Kingdom) 2nd place 138 points

Melbourne born John Farrar was a part of the lineup for UK band The Shadows, making the second time an Australian had finished runner up in the contest.

1980 Johnny Logan – What’s Another Year (Ireland) 1st Place 143 points

1987 Johnny Logan – Hold Me Now (Ireland) 1st Place 172 points

1992 Linda Martin – Why Me (Ireland) 1st Place 155 points

Irish superstar, and Mr Eurovision himself Johnny Logan was born in Frankston, Victoria in 1957 before moving with his family to Ireland as a young child. He went on to become the most successful artist in the history of Eurovision, winning both the 1980 and 1987 editions, and was also the songwriter for Linda Martin’s winning song in 1992.

1996 Gina G – Ooh Aah… Just a Little Bit (United Kingdom) 8th place 77 points

Prior to moving to the UK in 1995, Gina was a DJ in Melbourne, and also a singer with dance music group Bass Culture. After winning A Song For Europe, she went on to place 8th at Eurovision with the absolute club banger Ooh Aah… Just a Little Bit. The song is only one of a very few Eurovision entries to be nominated for a Grammy award.

2006 Texas Lightning – No No Never (Germany) =14th Place 36 points

Singer Jane Comerford hails from my hometown of Newcastle, New South Wales. Along with fellow members Ringofire, The Flame, Fastfinger and Friendly, they became the first country band to compete in Eurovision with the song No No Never, composed by Comerford. They finished in =14th place

2015 Genealogy – Face the Shadow (Armenia) 16th place 34 points

American opera singer Mary-Jean O’Doherty, who was born to an Australian father and an Armenian mother was selected for the supergroup Genealogy. Each member of the group came from diverse backgrounds all over the world, and all were of Armenian descent. They finished in 16th place.

2017 Anja Nissen – Where I Am (Denmark) 20th Place 77 points

Born in the Blue Mountains region in New South Wales to Danish parents, Anja competed in talent shows such as Australia’s Got Talent and Young Talent Time before taking out the crown in The Voice Australia 2014. In 2017 she won the Danish national selection show Dansk Melodi Grand Prix and went on to place 20th at Eurovision.

Other notable inclusions

  • Cameron Giles-Webb, Craig Porteils – co-wrote the 2009 Sakis Rouvas (Greece) entry This Is Our Night
  • Katrina NoorbergenCo-wrote Polina Gagarina (Russia) 2015 entry A Million Voices. She was also one of Polina’s backing vocalists on stage
  • Tonino SpecialeCo-wrote the 2015 entry Black Smoke by Ann Sophie (Germany)
  • Alfie ArcuriThe Voice Australia 2016 winner and Eurovision – Australia Decides 2019 contestant co-wrote Running, the 2020 Cyprus entry by Sandro

Whilst 2020 has brought along many challenges, resulting in the cancelation of Eurovision 2020 in Rotterdam, all eyes will be on Montaigne, who has been re-selected as the 2021 Australian contestant. We cannot wait to see what she brings!

So there you have it! Australia was in Eurovision far earlier than they were IN Eurovision! What’s your favourite Australian entry at Eurovision? Let us know in the comments..

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