Our next Eurovision preview takes us outside of Europe and the northern hemisphere. We’re off to the land where shrimps are on the barbie, thongs are for your feet and where half of your family lives now. It’s Australia!!!
Australia has a long history with Eurovision. The contest was first broadcast there in 1983 and Australia sent their own commentators to the event for the first time in 2002. Many Australian artists have represented other countries over the years such as Olivia Newton-John (1974) and Gina G (1996) for the United Kingdom and Mary-Jean Anaïs O’Doherty (2015) for Armenia. For the 60th contest in 2015, Australia were granted a “once-off” participation and finished fifth in the final. For some reason, Australia were invited back to participate again last year. Dami Im sang “Sound of Silence” and won the jury vote in the final, which caused many Europeans to freak out over the prospect of the contest being in Australia the following year (Side note: if Australia does win, the contest will be in a European city the following year with the Ausralian broadcaster co-organising the event). However, Dami had to settle for second place in the end.
The Australian broadcaster, Special Broadcasting Services (SBS), internally selected both the song and artist. Isaiah Firebrace was announced as Australia’s third ever entry.
Isaiah Firebrace was born on December 29th 1999 in Moama, New South Wales. He is Aboriginal. Last year, he won the eighth and final season of the X Factor Australia, mentored by American singer Adam Lambert. He released his debut album “Isaiah” in December 2016 and the first single from that album, “It’s Gotta Be You”, charted not only in Australia, but also in Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and New Zealand. The song that Isaiah will perform in Kyiv is called “Don’t Come Easy” and was written and composed by DNA (David Musumeci and Anthony Egizii) and Michael Angelo. DNA were also responsible for writing and producing the last 5 winners singles from the X Factor Australia and last year’s Australian entry.
This is another solid entry from Straya. Soulful vocals, strong progression and slick production, anything less from Down Under and we would be shocked. I’m expecting a high placing in the final for this song. Whether or not it can challenge for the win will come down to the live performance. I didn’t see Dami as a potential winner last year but she soared during the live performance. Any of Isaiah’s preformances on the X Factor show that he has killer live vocals. This could potentially give new life to the song and boost its chances.
What Could Have Been
Australia has a wealth of musical talent and the rumours are always rife with potential Australian entrants. One name that pops up frequently is the Veronicas. Formed in 2004 by twin sisters Lisa and Jessica Origliasso, They have released three albums, all of which have gone platinum in Australia, and scored an international hit with “Untouched”. They expressed their enthusiasm at participating in Eurovision when Australia made their debut in 2015 and they are high on many fans’ wishlists. I would love to see the sisters compete at Eurovision and bring their electro-pop vibes to this side of the planet.
Good luck Australia!
Will victory come easy to Isaiah or will he have to work a bit harder? Leave your comments below. Stay tuned for another preview tomorrow!
(Sources: eurovision.tv, SBS, YouTube)