Eurovision Asia is officially on its way

Isaiah Firebrace at this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Ukraine. Photo: AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky
Isaiah Firebrace at this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Ukraine. Photo: AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

Eurovision Asia, an Asia-Pacific version of the beloved kitschy annual song contest, is officially on its way.

The European Broadcasting Union, which produces the Eurovision Song Contest, launched an official website and media campaign announcing the coming event.

The contest is set to feature 20 countries from the Asia-Pacific region, who will compete in a live annual grand final.

"With its brilliant pop stars, its glamorous fashion, and a huge passion for pop music, Asia and Eurovision are made for each other," an official statement said.

Organisers are now calling on Asian pop lovers to suggest their favourite singers, songwriters and performers to be featured in the event.

Talk around an Asian Eurovision has been brewing since last March, when SBS struck a deal to launch the production with partners Blink TV.

Following Dami Im's successful second-place showing as Australia's entry in 2016, SBS managing director Michael Ebeid further spruiked the network's plans for launching the local "spin-off", citing it as a natural extension of its SBS PopAsia program.

"We would absolutely take the same Eurovision format, with the same voting mechanisms," he told Fairfax Media last May.

"Our hope would be for whoever wins Eurovision Asia would get a spot in the final of Eurovision," he added, noting initial interest from broadcasters in India, China and South Korea.

While SBS had also previously hinted at hosting the inaugural event in Sydney, no launch date or location has yet been confirmed, and a spokesperson for SBS said the network is still "very much in development phase" for Eurovision Asia.

"SBS and Blink TV are continuing to explore and develop the exciting opportunity to bring a world class event like Eurovision closer to our shores. The Eurovision Asia website is the next phase in that development," the network said.

"As discussions continue with potential partners across the Asia region, we are now engaging with both the passionate Eurovision and Asian pop fan communities for their input in shaping this event."

Australia's controversial involvement in the Eurovision Song Contest, which began in 2015 when Guy Sebastian finished fifth, continued this year with former X Factor winner Isaiah Firebrace finishing in ninth place.

The next Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Lisbon, Portugal in May next year.

This story Eurovision Asia is officially on its way first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.