The Eurovision Song Contest has long been an institution over on the continent. Every year, countries within Europe join together for a night of sequins, national flags and some questionable music. It is a chance to showcase a nation; to join together to celebrate the diversity of the wonderful continent, and for Australia to have a go too. If you fell asleep in Geography class, that sentence probably doesn’t sound too abstract. However, the sheer fact that Australia is competing in another continent’s singing competition feels a bit bizarre.
As a part of the Commonwealth (a group of nations once ruled by Great Britain), Australia has entered Eurovision since 2015, with great success in 2016, coming in second place. Australia’s entry is a great chance to shake up the competition and add a wild card competitor. Especially since in recent years Eurovision betting has become quite predictable, with supposed ‘tactical voting’ by neighboring countries being called out by the United Kingdom, which regularly suffers from ‘nul points’.
This year’s competition looks to be hotly contested, with many bookmakers seeing Israel as the favourites to win after hosting a showcase of nations performing in the 2018 competition. Israel’s act, Netta stole the show with her unique talent and personality. As usual, other predicted frontrunners consist of Balkan nations: Estonia, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic, with Australia tipped to make the top five.
If Australia’s participation has proven to add some spice to the competition, what about other ex-colonies such as Canada? Surely if Australia gets to be a wild card then Canada should too. Especially when it has a track record of winning on behalf of other nations.
Canada has a long history with Eurovision without ever having been involved as a national competitor. Five Canadians have been competitors for other nations, including the inimitable Celine Dion, who won the competition for Switzerland in 1988 with her hit, “Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi”. In 1993, Switzerland made use of Canadian talent once again and this time reached 3rd place.
France followed suit in 2001, entering French Canadian actress Natasha St-Pier who reached fourth place and earned France their best result for 20 years. Canada is not without talent and other nations have realised this
Canada would be very well placed to take part in Eurovision. As a large nation with a sizeable portion of French speakers, many citizens have roots within Europe.
Canada also has a reputation for producing incredible national talent across all genres of music, and it would be the perfect way to showcase this.
Could you imagine Drake doing a sequin-spangled set at Eurovision? We’d like to see it. At this stage, there are no plans for Canada to become involved with the competition within Europe.
In 2007, there was a plan for the Eurovision format to be sold to Canadian television, which would see the territories battling it out for the best vocals, but plans have since been shelved. Australia’s entry was only meant to be a one-off, however the country performed well, despite many complaining that it was ruining Eurovision with its tastefulness.
At present, Canadians can only dream of donning their craziest clothes and heading out on to the Eurovision stage for their moment in the sun, but with the United Kingdom’s Brexit on the horizon, perhaps there will be an opening at Eurovision fit for Canada after all.