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Electric Fields Call for Return of ‘Australia Decides’ After Eurovision Elimination

Australia has failed to qualify for the Eurovision Song Contest grand final for only the second time since joining the competition

Electric Fields at Eurovision

Kiel Egging

Australia’s 2024 Eurovision act Electric Fields say they support a return of a national selection competition after their campaign came to an end.

The duo, internally selected by broadcaster SBS, failed to qualify from semi-final 1 of the contest on Tuesday night despite a rousing performance of their song “One Milkali (One Blood)”. It’s only the second time Australia has failed to qualify for the Eurovision grand final since joining the contest in 2015.

SBS held Australia Decides on the Gold Coast for three years – 2019, 2020, and 2022 – and Electric Fields were runners-up in 2019 to winner Kate Miller-Heidke. The broadcaster then rested the competition in 2023 and internally selected its 2022 runners-up, Perth band Voyager, before again picking more Australia Decides alumni with Electric Fields this year.

Vocalist Zaachariaha Fielding and keyboardist Michael Ross both agreed the competition should be revived to pick Australia’s future Eurovision contestants.

“It’s very cool, it’s like a mini Eurovision,” Ross told Australian media following the duo’s elimination on Tuesday night. “I don’t know why it went away, but that was a wonderful experience and it offered an opportunity for a lot of up and coming artists to get a platform. But I’m glad we didn’t have to do it this year because we were far too busy.”

It wasn’t all bad news for Australians competing at Eurovision, however, with Sydney’s 17-year-old Sillia Kapsis, who was representing Cyprus, qualifying with her song “Liar”.

The 10 qualifiers for Saturday’s grand final were:

– Serbia

– Portugal

– Slovenia

– Ukraine

– Lithuania

– Finland

– Cyprus

– Croatia

– Ireland

– Luxembourg

Ross said the duo were “surprised” to not qualify. Their performance was well received by the crowd inside Malmô Arena which included a strong contingent of Australian fans.

Despite the result, Ross said he was “relieved” as he and Fielding could progress other projects including finishing their debut album and collaborating with the Darwin Symphony Orchestra.

“We can move on with the path that is already ahead of us,” he said. “Please keep an eye on our story because even though Eurovision is a major moment, it’s not the best we’ve got coming.”

Image: Sillia Kapsis Credit: Kiel Egging

Kapsis, meanwhile, said she would dig into some Tim Tams to celebrate her qualification before heading to bed, resting her voice, and catching up on schoolwork.

Other standout performers on the night included Ireland’s Bambie Thug, the UK’s Olly Alexander, and current bookies’ favourite, Croatia’s Baby Lasagna.

The 2024 Eurovision song contest continues with semi-final 2 on Thursday night (Friday morning AEDT).