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Guy Sebastian, who rose to international stardom by winning the first season of Australian Idol, has been chosen as the first Australian contestant in the ever-popular Eurovision Song Contest, whose 2015 competition recently kicked off in terms of each country’s contestant being chosen and revealed one by one. The 33-year-old Sebastian’s involvement in the competition was announced earlier today during an event taking place at the Sydney Opera House, and he has since been confirmed to represent his home country in the 60th installment of the ESC.
Sebastian will be traveling to Vienna, Austria, where this year’s competition will be held (each year, the host country is that of the previous year’s winner). In 2014, 26-year-old Conchita Wurst took home the winning title after competing with the song Rise Like a Phoenix.
Sebastian expressed his joy at being chosen as the first Australian participant in the contest, saying that he was “pumped” to participate and was extremely grateful to have the chance to be the first individual to represent Australia in the usually European country-only based singing competition. Sebastian made reference to the fact that even though the country has not been allowed to participate up until now, the ESC has remained an extremely important staple of the nation’s entertainment culture over the years, and for this reason it is even more significant that the rules have changed temporarily (for the 60th anniversary of the show) to allow Australia to take part in the show that has brought so much joy to viewers over the past six decades.
Indeed, Sebastian is correct in regards to the significance Australia has surrounding each year’s ESC, despite their lack of being able to send one of their own to engage in the competition itself. Each year during the final live show (in which the winner is decided via an outstanding few hours featuring fireworks, guest performers, and various other showmanship techniques which detail the host country in question’s ability to pull out all the stops in order to impress the viewers as well as potentially show-up the previous host country’s effort), a spokesperson for Australia gives a statement regarding the current goings-on of the finale and how they feel about them. This live-feed is usually broadcasted from outside the Sydney Opera House, as it is quite possibly Australia’s most significant landmark and therefore appears most suited to this honor.
Regarding the song that Sebastian will choose to represent his country in this year’s ESC, the Malaysian-born entertainer has admitted that he is not quite sure what he will pick. All participants must not choose any song that they have been performing since before September of 2014, therefore putting quite a limitation on the choices Sebastian has to pick from in terms of his own music. Although the Battle Scars hit-maker released a new album, Madness, near the end of November of last year, many of these tracks have already been released as a single or performed in concert before the aforementioned deadline. The alternative to choosing a song off the Madness album is for Sebastian to pen an entirely new track, which he is hesitant to attempt given that it would need to be completed within an extremely small time-frame in order to have it ready for the competition.
This does not mean, however, that Sebastian has not already begun preparing for what type of song he would like to represent his country with in this year’s ESC. During the aforementioned post-nomination interview, Sebastian told the hosts that he is committed to choosing either a ballad or an upbeat song, with no in between options. Sebastian’s reasoning for this lies with that each extreme brings a certain level of entertainment that could push him through to the finale, versus a medium-tempo song that would be neither exceptional nor awful, but rather have potential to be the epitome of a bland song choice.
It remains to be seen whether or not Guy Sebastian will choose a song of the recently released album in question, or whether he will create an entirely new song in order to represent Australia for the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest. Regardless, Sebastian continues to express his excitement and gratitude surrounding being picked as the first participant of this country since the competition began 60 years ago.
By Rebecca Grace