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Why is Australia competing in Eurovision 2022?

By Ellie Kemp

The final 25 countries battling it out for Eurovision glory have been decided. The 66th song contest takes place in Turin, Italy on Saturday (14 May) - and it could see the UK bag its first win in 25 years.

Musician Sam Ryder is flying the flag for the UK, performing his pop tune SPACE MAN. The singer-songwriter, from Essex, went viral on TikTok for his song covers in 2020. The nation's hopes are riding on him scoring highly this year, after last year's entry James Newman came away with 'nil points.'

Brit-award winner and pop star Mika will be co-hosting the show, alongside Italian vocalist Laura Pausini and TV presenter Alessandro Cattelan. Meanwhile Graham Norton will be providing coverage for UK viewers over on the BBC.

Read more: Eurovision Song Contest 2022 finalists - the full list of countries that have made it through

Among the competitors this year is non-European nation Australia. Sheldon Riley will be taking to the stage to perform his song Not The Same in hopes of claiming the Eurovision crown. This won't be the singer's first taste of TV either; the 23-year-old has previously appeared on The X Factor Australia, The Voice Australia and even America's Got Talent.

Why can Australia compete in Eurovision?

Australia has been broadcasting Eurovision for almost 40 years, via the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS). In 2014, viewing figures in the country peaked at 2.7 million.

Australia was initially invited to take to the Eurovision stage as the interval act in the second semi-final of the 2014 contest. The following year, the nation was invited to compete for the first time to commemorate Eurovision’s 60th anniversary. They sent Guy Sebastian, who performed his track Tonight Again and came fifth.

It was meant to be a one-off invite, but Australia will now be participating in Eurovision until at least 2023. The best Australian result so far was delivered by Dami Im with her song Sound Of Silence, who earned the runner-up position in 2016, losing out to Ukraine's Jamala.

A number of high profile Aussies competed in the Contest for other nations, including Olivia Newton-John and Gina G, before the country was officially invited to join the party in 2015.

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