If Australia doesn’t earn a permanent spot with this entry, I don’t even know what the point of the contest is.
Song Title: “Don’t Come Easy”
Artist: Isaiah Firebrace
First Semi-Final: Position #3
Last year’s entry: “Sound of Silence” — Dami Im (2nd Place)
To celebrate the 60th edition of Eurovision, Australia — a country in which the song contest is routinely broadcast on TV to millions of viewers — was allowed to appear, and automatically qualified into the Final, during a “one-time participation” opportunity. In 2016, Australia was allowed to return for a second time, but forced to qualify through the semi-final rounds. No matter: they won their qualifying round, dominated the Grand Final jury vote, and despite landing in fourth place with televoters, very nearly ran away with the top prize. Will the third time be the charm for Australia, either in winning the contest or securing a permanent spot?
This entry is another perfect example of why the EBU should just go ahead and grant Australia permanent member status instead of doing this one-year-at-a-time nonsense. 17-year old Isaiah Firebrace, winner of last year’s The X Factor Australia, is practically perfect in every way. So is this entry. He’s charmingly gorgeous, his voice is amazing, this song is beautiful, and if the last two years are any indication, their stage performance will be flawless. Bookmakers have him sitting around 8th place in the first semi-final, but I have to believe that’s solely due to the strength of the other entries. (Just try to rank Azerbaijan, Australia, Belgium, Sweden, and Armenia while still feeling good about yourself. I certainly couldn’t.)
There’s one other thing here that’s important to point out. Australia is very quietly amassing one of the most diverse contestant pools of any country in the contest. In addition to being people of color, Guy Sebastian and Dami Im are immigrants (from Malaysia and South Korea, respectively). Isaiah Firebrace is Australian-born, and has indigenous ancestry. So does Jessica Mauboy, who did not compete in 2014, but staged an interval act literally begging to be let into the contest. Eurovision is not about politics1, but in the current global political climate, making these specific selections (and they ARE internal selections not subject to popular opinion) is no small thing. What I’m saying is: I see you, Australia, and I’m here for it.
Eurovision Song Contest First Semi-Final
May 9, 2017
- Except when it is. ↵