Now here’s a thing we never thought we would do on this blog, review Australia’s Eurovision entry!
Australia’s participation may have come as a real shokka to all of us, but we love surprises and say the more the merrier. The amount of vitriol gushed out on the internet from some fans when EBU announced the news was way out of proportion and almost a little scary. And the self important, scholarly approach a handful of critics took to convince us plebeians why the Aussies were unworthy of joining the EUROPEAN party was quite honestly a little ridiculous. We KNOW that Australia is not a European country. Some people seem to have too much time on their hands and their head too stuck inside the Eurovision bubble. Lighted up folks, it’s only a song contest!
And there’s not exactly a lack of interest from Down Under. With vast European Diasporas who’s been having a love affair with Eurovision that’s been going on since ABBA won in 74, it’s a country having earnestly deserved to give it a go. It’s supposed to be a one off, but we don’t know about that. We know for sure that if they win, they will compete again to defend the title as well as co-hosting the contest somewhere in Europe, most likely Germany if we are to believe Christer Björkman. He did however appear to be both dazed and confused during the Inför Eurovision preview shows on SVT this year so we take that with a pinch of salt. And recommend Christer to take a deep breath and maybe a break from Eurovision, but that’s a different story.
Idol alum Guy Sebastian has been given the honor to become Australia’s maiden participant and what a great choice! With his funky floor filler Tonight Again, he shows that he understands the concept, and he has approached the task with just the right mix of reverence and cynicism. He’s quite obviously in it to win it as he rushed to the recording studio two days before the EBU submission deadline when he realized there were too many ballads in this year’s running and he would better his chances with an up-tempo number. We smell ambitions right there.
Unfortunately the final product ended up sounding a wee bit lackluster, and we can only imagine how good this could have been if the production team had spent a few more days refining it. But it’s still good and we’re sure Guy will set the crowd in Wiener Stadthalle on fire, as well as get the viewers across Europe and beyond up jumping from their sofas. Moreover, from what we’ve seen from the various pre-contest fan events, this bloke will slay live as he has a killer vocal and a radiant stage presence. That will get the juries onboard as well.
We have formed a strong relationship with the Australians over the past couple of decades as thousands of Norwegians have become “climate refugees” Down Under while getting university degrees at top ranked institutions. Many have found their future spouses there and babies have been born destined to have one set of grandparents very far away. And we do have a lot in common culturally. We love to barbeque, we think there are only two sorts of beer (cold beer and warm beer), we enjoy to walk around aimlessly in the wilderness and we hate it when stuff becomes too fancy and posh. This bodes for a warm welcome and a bucket of points for Guy Sebastian from Norway. We doubt there are similar connections in enough countries to secure a win, but we are seriously curious to see how it all pans out on the big night next Saturday.