SBS has played down speculation that the highly anticipated Asian spinoff of the Eurovision Song Contest is set to be held on the Gold Coast next year.
9 News reported last week that according to the Gold Coast City Council, the inaugural Asian spinoff of the popular music event was slated to be held over eight days, finishing in early December next year.
A spokesperson for SBS said this week that Eurovision Asia “is still in development.”
“We continue to have a number of discussions on bringing the event to life, however nothing is confirmed at this stage,” the spokesperson said.
“We are thrilled to have recently announced Australia’s first Eurovision selection show to choose the song and artist that will represent Australia in May, Eurovision – Australia Decides to be held on the Gold Coast in February.”
The information came from a Gold Coast City Council report that claimed the event was set to feature “high-profile” artists from 16 Asia-Pacific countries, a similar system of voting to the European version, a “three-hour live broadcast grand final”.
Eurovision Asia negotiations proved difficult
An Asian spinoff of the Eurovision Song Contest was first confirmed in August last year, but outgoing SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid said last month organising the event had “proven too geo-politically difficult.”
“Trying to get 10 Asian countries to agree has proven really difficult,” he said at the time, but added SBS “haven’t given up on the idea.”
SBS recently announced the Gold Coast will also host a new Australian selection show, called Eurovision: Australia Decides, to select the artist and the song we’ll be sending to the next Eurovision over several nights next February.
The event will be held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, with performances broadcast live on SBS and voting open to the public to decide who we’ll be sending to compete in Tel Aviv, Israel in May 2019.
This year’s Eurovision competition in Portugal was won by Israeli performer Netta with her song “Toy” while Australian entrant Jessica Mauboy (pictured) finished in a lacklustre 20th place with her song “We Got Love”.