After putting in an impressive performance in the Eurovision Second Semi-Final on Thursday night in Liverpool, Australia’s entry Voyager performed in the final on Saturday night UK time in the northern England city.
Although their song Promise qualified for the final, what really were Voyager’s chances? And what did the rest of the world think of Australia’s entry in 2023?
After the voting closed, Australia only got 21 points from the public vote. That didn’t stop Voyager from finishing in the top 10 with a total of 151 votes. Sweden was just too strong on 583 total points, with Finland in second place.
The EBU revealed that Voyager actually won the Second Semi-FInal.
The jury votes gave Australia a total of 130 points. That ranked us sixth out of the 26 countries before public voting started – a long behind leader Sweden on 340.
Australia gave its 12 jury votes via Catherine Martin to Belgium.
Voyager: Not exactly favourites
As far as the bookmakers were concerned, Australian didn’t have a chance. Well, not much of a one. The average adds, compiled after analysis of the odds from 17 different bookmakers compiled by EurovisionWorld.com on the morning of the final, saw Australia ranked 14th favourite.
That ranking saw them with a chance of just 1% to finish with the title. The odds across the 17 bookmakers on offer ranged from 500-1 to 67-1.
But what about bookies in Australia? Maybe the odds of an Aussie win were a little lower here? They certainly were. The TAB had Australia ranked #8 out of the finalists. Backing Australia to win on the TAB would have returned odds of 50-1, although for a top 10 finish the payout was $3.50 for a $1 bet.
The favourite everywhere was Sweden with Loreen and her song Tattoo – 22% chance of a win at EurovisionWorld.com.
Next was Finland and Käärijä with Cha Cha Cha – 6% chance of a win..
The rest of the top five with bookmakers were Ukraine, Israel and Italy.
What the rest of the world thought of Voyager
There wasn’t a lot of focus on the Australian entry this week. Voyager performed in the Grand Final live at just before 6.30am eastern standard time on Sunday morning. Here is a sample of Voyager on the world media stage.
BBC’s Mark Savage
Australia’s Voyager has broken the rock group curse at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest by qualifying for Saturday’s grand final.
The five-piece, fronted by immigration lawyer Danny Estrin, sailed through the second semi-final alongside fellow rockers Joker Out, from Slovenia.
Their success comes two days after the first semi, where every guitar group was eliminated.
They included Ireland’s Wild Youth, who extended the country’s losing streak.
The Independent’s Isobel Lewis
Australia may have only joined Eurovision in 2015, but the country down under is hoping 2023 could be its year thanks to the star power of prog-rock band Voyager.
The five-piece – whose current line-up features Daniel “Danny” Estrin, Simone Dowe, Scott Kay, Ashley Doodkorte and Alex Canion – first formed in 1999. Since then, the band have swapped out their members many times, releasing seven studio albums over 24 years.
Voyager is representing Australia for the first time in Liverpool this year, but this is far from their first shot at Eurovision glory.
The group were shortlisted to compete for Australia in 2020 (although they did not make it to the country’s final), only to become the runners-up in Australia’s competition last year, eventually losing out to the raven-haired belter Sheldon Riley.
Eurovision on YouTube
SBS is the official Eurovision broadcast partner in Australia. While YouTube blocks viewers in Australia from watching live on the platform, it is home for clips of all the official song videos, clips from all performances in both semi-finals and loads of bonus content not shown on TV. That includes the press conferences held in Liverpool this week.
The 2023 contest marks the 40th anniversary of SBS broadcasting Eurovision.
Watch the official Australian Eurovision 2023 music video.
Watch all the other Eurovision 2023 official music videos.
Australia at Eurovision
There is a bit of a myth some peddle that Australia is not terribly competitive at Eurovision. Wrong.
SBS has broadcast the show every year since 1983. Over the years a number of Australians competed in Eurovision for other nations including Olivia Newton-John and Gina G.
Australia was officially invited to join Eurovision in 2014 first as a guest and later as a contestant.
In 2014 Australia was on the Eurovision stage as the (non-competing) interval act in the Second Semi-Final of the 2014 Contest with Jessica Mauboy performing Sea Of Flags. Four years later Mauboy returned to compete with We Got Love.
As you will see from the chart below the best Eurovision result for Australia was a second place for Dami Im with her performance of Sound of Silence.
As the European Broadcasting Union recalls on its Australian web page, Australia also holds the distinction of being the first nation to compete remotely. In 2021, due to travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, SBS confirmed that Montaigne (and the rest of the delegation) could not travel to the Netherlands and would compete from home, using a “live-on-tape” performance.
2023 Eurovision Broadcast
The BBC stepped in this year to host the broadcast with Ukraine unable to host. The production was brilliant which is a trademark of the work of the broadcast every year. The intro package was spectacular with surprises including Sam Ryder playing a guitar solo on top of the Liver Building and the Princess of Wales playing a piano solo from the palace!
Australian viewers got a chance to see SBS hosts Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey (above) during a short interview session in their booth high above the crowd in the Liverpool Arena. There was plenty of screentime for the broadcast hosts Julia Sanina, Graham Norton, Hannah Waddingham and Alesha Dixon (below).