Eurovision 2023: Why are Australia and Israel in the competition?


The 67th Eurovision Song Contest will take place on Saturday 13 May 2023 in Liverpool, England. Among the candidates, of course, are European countries and – most surprisingly – Australia or Israel: but for what reasons?

The same question is asked every year. If Eurovision is the Eurovision Song Contest, why are there nominees for Australia and Israel when they are not in Europe?

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It was Israel that got the ball in… 1973. The Jewish state was then the first country outside Europe to try its luck. Since 1973, Israel has won Eurovision four times. And it last dates back to 2018 with singer Nita and the title “Game”. Israel is represented this year by the artist Noa Kirill and the song “Unicorn”.

In 2015 Australia was a candidate for Eurovision for the first time. The organizers that year were chosen to thank Australia for their loyalty to the program as it is televised every year. This application must be unique. But the audience’s success encouraged the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) to renew the call year after year. This year, Australia is represented by the group Voyager and their song “Promise”.

In the past, other countries outside Europe participated briefly in Eurovision: Turkey between 1975 and 2012, Morocco in 1980. Other countries outside Europe were included in the contest and have not left since: Armenia in 2006, Georgia in 2007 and Azerbaijan in 2008.

Other countries in the world have chosen to join the European Broadcasting Union and could theoretically one day be candidates for Eurovision: Algeria, Lebanon, Jordan or Libya. With a rule of thumb: the country that wins Eurovision must stage the competition the following year. An exception in 2023: England staged the competition despite Ukraine winning last year.

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