Newsflash from Australian Eurovision commentator, Genevieve Rogers
For Irish Australians, Irish in Australia, Australian Irish or any variation on the above, Eurovision 2015 fandom just became a whole lot more complicated. Guy Sebastian, winner of 2003 Australian Idol, and experienced local and international performance and recording artist, has today been named as Australia’s entrant in the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna.
There’s nothing to scare the horses in Guy’s selection and a lot to celebrate by way of experience, local and international. He’s a ‘big arena’ performer and, at 33, twice the age of the schoolgirl from Tipperary, Molly Sterling, who will represent Ireland.
Both are singer-songwriters. Beyond that, there’s no comparison. With an established career, a solid fanbase and a string of awards, he is a seasoned industry professional. Molly, on the other hand, stands on the threshold of a career which may well be launched by exposure to approx 200 million viewers come May.
It’s experience versus potential. It’s the known against the unknown. It’s also, in many ways, apples vs oranges. And it’s Australia vs Ireland – not forgetting the 38 other countries which will be represented in Vienna in May.
Ireland’s song, ‘Playing With Numbers’, was showcased on RTE’s EUROSONG 2015 last week: Australia’s song has yet to be chosen, though Guy is leaning towards ‘an epic ballad’. (Pity. There are so many ballads in this year’s lineup).
Australia can vote this year in both Semi Finals and the Final, while going direct to the Final itself. Ireland must come through the second Semi Final. And neither country can vote for itself.
75 days 17 hours from now there’ll be a choice to be made. Vienna. 23rd May. Watch in real time on SBS Australia – and whatever you decide to do, vote! It’s the only time Australians will be allowed to do so. Guy or Molly; Molly or Guy. Or maybe someone else altogether. Whichever, let’s do it! Let’s participate! Let’s get on board the Biggest Music Event on the Planet while we have the chance.