The Eurovision universe is an extensive place – stretching far beyond the world of 41 songs competing at Tel Aviv this year, and the 1500 songs hovering around in the Eurovision “solar system”.
Each year, competing countries go through the process of selecting the song that will hopefully bring them Eurovision glory. Some are assigned internally, but others put through a stringent test of endurance to come up with their representative. Welcome to a galaxy we like to call, the “National Final”.
For devoted fans of Eurovision, 41(ish) songs is simply not enough, and so the national final keeps us all busy, exploring the alternatives for hidden gems, until the next batch of songs comes along. There are songs sitting in the deepest, darkest places, performed once, and forgotten forever. Others belong to distant worlds, revolving around shining stars, holding a special place in our hearts. And then there are the asteroids – songs so good that their “near miss” status often elevates them to a level of love many “actual” Eurovision entries could only dream of. These songs are celebrated with the OGAE Second Chance Contest, and this year, Australia enters the competition for the first time.
The OGAE Second Chance Contest began in 1987 with just four countries competing – Norway, Netherlands, United Kingdom and Sweden. In true Eurovision tradition, the first contest allowed a submission of two songs put forward from the OGAE fan clubs of those countries, selected from audio or video tapes of the national finals of that year. So popular was the idea, it expanded to 10 countries in 1988, and eventually gained the attention of 37 countries over its three decade history. Last year, 28 countries competed, with that record set to be broken with Australia’s Australia Decides, making us eligible to compete on our own.
Before the winner of Australia Decides, Kate Miller-Heidke, makes her way to Tel Aviv in May, nine other Australian artists have the chance to feature on a slightly smaller stage to be named the winner of the 33rdAnnual OGAE Song Contest:
Thanks to Sweden’s mighty national final, Melodifestivalen, it’s no surprise that they have dominated the OGAE Second Chance Contest, with 15 wins over the 32 year history. However, things are slowing down a little for them as more countries enter this “alternate Eurovision World”. While Sweden has won three times in the last decade, Iceland and Poland enjoyed first time wins in 2011 and 2016 respectively, and current hosts, Italy, have been crowned twice in the last four years. Can Australia win for 2019? Other than Sweden winning the first contest, it would be the first time a debut country would win the contest. So let’s choose wisely, and show the world we are more than just Guy, Dami, Isaiah, Jessica and Kate.
Voting is for OGAE Australia members only, and link to the voting form available via Facebook or newletter.