With a head of delegation meeting looming, it was announced only days ago that the total number of countries participating in this year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest would be 17, a healthy number, especially considering participation numbers in recent years have been low enough to question the future of the contest. Nevertheless, the contest is growing stronger year by year, with a number of recent debuts including Italy, Montenegro and Slovenia last year, and now Ireland and Australia this year!
Following on from the success of Australia’s participation in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest, the EBU has decided to extend the ‘one off’ participation to include Junior Eurovision. Michael Ebeid, Managing Director for Australia’s broadcaster SBS is excited to bring Australian talent to the European stage once again, however Australian’s will not get the chance to vote in this year’s junior contest. The broadcast will be shown on the 28th of November at 19:30 on SBS, or for the hardcore fans, the live broadcast will be on the 22nd of November at 4:30am. Even though SBS will show it live, the votes from Australia will be 100% jury votes.
So who is Australia sending to Junior Eurovision?
Last Friday, it was announced by SBS that they will be sending young star Bella Paige to Sofia to represent us in our debut year. Bella is known for her appearance on the Voice Kids 2014, and ended up runner up in that series. The song that she will sing is called My Girls, which is co-written by none other than Australian megastar Delta Goodrem.
What does this mean for Australia in the future of Eurovision?
Well this is the big question. Some believe that our participation in Junior Eurovision is the road to a secure participation in Eurovision from now on, while others think this is an attempt to satisfy and even pacify SBS from pushing for further participation. Whether our participation for 2015 contests is a one off or not is not confirmed yet, however I’m sure will be confirmed for Eurovision 2016 in the coming months. If this is our final participation in Eurovision, Australia can be proud to have sent two amazing acts for both formats of the contest, and we can fondly remember our history changing moments.