In 2022, both Australia and the Netherlands are competing in the finals on 14 May in Turin, Italy. In 2021, Rotterdam hosted the COVID-delayed contest with the theme of “Open Up”. With Måneskin’s win, this gave their country its first Eurovision title in over 30 years and NL handed over to Italy for 2022.
Australia at Eurovision?
Yes, at least in the Eurovision universe, Australia is an honorary part of Europe. Team Oz was invited in 2015 to to compete for the first time to commemorate Eurovision’s 60th anniversary. This was initially conceived as a one-off contribution, but it seems that Australia is keen to stay at the Eurovision party, and is now confirmed to participate until at least 2023!
Quick catch up
Not a huge fan but still interested in scanning all the entries? This summary video gives a great glimpse of all the glitz and glamour that is Eurovision.
Australians have long been Eurovision fans, with it being broadcast annually on SBS from 1983. I remember watching it as a child a few times, when Europe seemed such a long way away. Who would have known that in the future, I’d end up living in The Netherlands AND that Australia would actually compete in Eurovision!
Australia were initially invited to take to the Eurovision stage as the (non-competing) interval act in the Second Semi-Final of the 2014 Contest – Jessica Mauboy performed the song Sea Of Flags (and four years later would represent her country with the song We Got Love). They then crashed the Eurovision party it seems, competing from 2015!
For more interesting facts and figures about Australia’s involvement in Eurovision (did you know Olivia Newton-John competed in Eurovision in the past, but not for Australia!): https://eurovision.tv/country/australia
The Australian entry in 2022 is Sheldon Riley. I recognised his hauntingly beautiful voice and interesting face cover costumes from his earlier entry in The Voice Australia in 2019, with Frozen.
Read more about Sheldon here: https://eurovision.tv/participant/sheldon-riley-22
The song “Not the Same” speaks of his many challenges since childhood….
Being part of Eurovision 2022 though, looking and sounding this amazing, goes to show it’s not a bad thing being “not the same”!
This is one of my favourite things about Eurovision: it creates an amazing platform for creativity, costumes and community. Even if you don’t have the time and attention span to watch the intensive lead up, semi finals and actual final, just taking a look at your own country’s entry and checking out a few others is fabulous and fun. There is a lot of depth and dramatics – but also a huge sense of unity.
The Netherlands entered the first Eurovision Song Contest in 1956 and has competed 63 times since! The recent win of in 2019 is fresh in most people’s minds, with Duncan Laurance’s song Arcade. The Netherlands has had 4 other wins, making 5 times in total: 2 times in the 1950s, 1 time in the 1970s, 1 time, shared with 3 other countries, in 1969. Can you remember any of these songs? Perhaps Ding-A-Dong rings a bell? 😉 For more fun facts visit: https://eurovision.tv/country/the-netherlands
Stien den Hollander
Stien den Hollander is representing the Netherlands in 2022 as S10 with “de Diepte” (the deep). From the first verse, she shows a vulnerability and emotion that comes from many years of struggling with mental health issues:
Ken je het gevoel dat, dat je droom niet uitkomt, Ben je wel eens bang dat het altijd zo blijft, Want het regent alle dagen en ik zie geen hand voor ogen, Jij en ik toch samen, dat zou altijd zo zijn
For more about Stien including a little of her journey in the music industry from a young age, and the rest of the song lyrics, visit https://eurovision.tv/participant/s10-22
And the winner is….Ukraine! With a huge number of public votes, Ukraine rose to the top and it gave me goosebumps to watch their joy. With several Ukrainians in my circle of international connections here in The Hague, it’s been heartbreaking to know what they have been dealing with this year – to watch them win Eurovision makes me think of a group of friends lifting up the ones who need it most right now, while also showcasing their strength and talent – and that enhances even more my delight in this event highlighting diversity and inclusion at its best.
The UK, Spain and Sweden scored the highest with the jury votes, but public votes are the deciding factor it’s clear that Europe (and Australia!) voted in force tonight.
The Netherlands and Australia did well as did all the countries – though I didn’t watch all the entries, I did thoroughly enjoy the kaleidoscope of colour and community that I saw. Now it’s bedtime here in the Netherlands, while Australia is waking up.
For more about Eurovision, visit their extensive website:
Until next year!
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