Having an Australian entry IS a good thing. I am very much looking forward to hear what they will come up with, and the mere thought they feel close enough to Europe to bother with it in the first place is quite breathtaking.
And yet, for a number of reasons, this doesn't feel right. Let me make a list.
Why is the Australian participation revealed now? If they are taking part in the contest like everyone else are, why wasn't this plan disclosed when the official participants' list was made public?
If it was decided only now to have Australia in, months after the official deadline passed, does that mean that any country in the world could be brought in at a late stage if somebody fancies the idea? Can similar exceptions be made for countries like Qatar or Kazakhstan or United Arab Emirates in the future?
It has already been said that Australia will take part only this once, unless they win in Vienna. Then they will have the opportunity to co-host the 2016 contest somewhere in Europe. This one-off rule seems very fishy to me. If Australia was to end in second place - for instance - would the EBU really not allow them to stay put? And if this is a debut - why not treat it like one? Why sprinkle all these advantages - straight into the final, the right to vote in both semi finals - on top of their participation?
What bothers me the most - except for the ridiculously overlong final - is the risk that this whole thing turns into a media prank. That the Australian participation will be seen as a stunt and medial hocus pocus that might steal attention from and even diminish the upcoming final.
Will it be remembered as a real Eurovision or will it be a final within brackets, like the extra Olympic games of 1906? Possibly I am totally overthinking this, but it doesn't feel good. None of this is aimed against Australia but I don't feel anywhere near as enthusiastic about this as I would want to.
So, welcome Australia. Hope you will have fun. But the EBU didn't make it particularly easy for you.