SBS and production partner Blink TV today revealed five songs and the first two special guest acts for Eurovision – Australia Decides 2020.
Hosted on the Gold Coast and broadcast live and exclusive on SBS on Saturday 8 February, the national selection will showcase ten well-known Australian artists, performing original songs, for their chance to represent the country at the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
The ten contenders from across the musical spectrum are: Aussie icon Vanessa Amorosi, powerhouse entertainer Casey Donovan, rising First Nations artist Mitch Tambo, glam rock star iOTA, art pop auteur Montaigne, alternative artist Didirri, The Voice winner Diana Rouvas, Australia’s Got Talent winner Jack Vidgen, 19-year-old emerging singer-songwriter Jordan-Ravi and Taiwanese-Australian multi-media artist Jaguar Jonze.
Live and TV audiences will be graced by Eurovision royalty with the first two special guests confirmed to perform: winner of the inaugural Eurovision – Australia Decides Kate Miller-Heidke will return to the stage where it all began to perform Zero Gravity and will join the jury as one of five judges, while powerhouse vocalist and Eurovision 2016 runner up Dami Im will take to the stage with a brand new track.
SBS can also reveal five new songs released today: Casey Donovan’s anthem of self-respect and acceptance Proud was submitted to the SBS Song Portal by songwriter Justine Eltakchi, Mitch Tambo’s inspirational and uniting anthem [smartURL.it/MT.Together]Together sung in English and his Gilmaraay language, iOTA’s inspirational and energetic Life was submitted to the SBS Song Portal by emerging songwriter Jesse Watt, Diana Rouvas’s song of empowerment Can We Make Heaven was inspired by personal lessons in life and Jordan-Ravi’s Pushing Stars was written by a team, which included two 2019 Eurovision – Australia Decides contenders George Sheppard and Tania Doko.
With Jack Vidgen’s self-penned, deeply personal ballad I Am King I Am Queen released last month, this leaves just four songs to be revealed from Vanessa Amorosi, Montaigne, Didirri and Jaguar Jonze.
Casey Donovan said: “From the first line of the song to the end crescendo, I had fallen in love with this song, it spoke to me in a way music hasn’t in a very long time. ‘Proud’ is merely a reminder to yourself, to be proud of who you are, proud of all of the ups and downs, to keep getting up despite the pain and push forward no matter how many people put you down. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy at that. It’s an anthem of self-love and acceptance – a little reminder that we have to stand tall and proud.”
Diana Rouvas said: “‘Can We Make Heaven’ was inspired by the personal lessons we learn in life and how I feel we can choose to be empowered, choose to grow, create, manifest and be the light in the darkness. The last few months have been an incredibly difficult time for so many Australians affected by the bushfires and it has been so inspiring to watch the nation come together to support those in need. It is amazing to see what we can achieve when we all band together and I know our resilient spirits will see us through to find that light again.”
Mitch Tambo said: “‘Together’ is a really important song to me. It’s the culmination of everything I want to do with my music – to bring people from all walks of life, cultures and creeds together with a message of love, especially when so many are going through such tough times. It’s the perfect song for Eurovision, which is all about uniting people through music no matter what language they speak – or sing. I can’t wait to get out on that stage and perform this song for Australia, and the world.”
iOTA said: “I really like this song… and it’s not my song, it was written by Jesse Watt – but I love it. ‘Life’ is inspirational and energetic, positive, mighty, heartfelt and fun… it’s been a joy to imbue my emotion and vibe into another writer’s song, to make it my own – and hopefully please the listeners.”
Jordan-Ravi said: “I’m incredibly excited to be releasing ‘Pushing Stars’ today, and I’m very honoured to be releasing it for Eurovision – Australia Decides. The song was written by George Sheppard, Tania Doko and two other Swedish writers, so it has really great Eurovision vibes attached to it. It’s such a meaningful song with heartfelt lyrics and I’ve been able to put my own spin musically on it. I am really proud of the result and I hope that Australia falls in love with ‘Pushing Stars’.”
SBS Commissioning Editor for Entertainment and Australian Head of Delegation Josh Martin said: “We’re thrilled with the calibre and diversity of artists and songs this year, and proud to provide a platform to share their music with the world. To have Kate return as both a performer and a judge, to the stage where her Eurovision journey began with a new re-imagining of Zero Gravity, is really special. And what would Australia Decides be without the one and only Dami Im who has something exciting in store for us! Their experiences will no doubt provide inspiration to all ten performers, highlighting what an incredible opportunity the show is for home-grown artists and songwriters to promote their music on the world stage.”
Kate Miller-Heidke said: “I’m so excited to return to where it all began and once again perform as part of Eurovision – Australia Decides – this time without the pressure of trying to beat out nine other amazing acts! I’m also honoured to have been asked to be on this year’s jury. Winning the inaugural ‘Australia Decides’ was the start of a life-changing whirlwind and I’m looking forward to seeing the adventure begin for our next Eurovision contender.”
Creative Director of Eurovision – Australia Decides and Director of Blink TV Paul Clarke said:
“It’s an exciting day. The contestants and their production teams have all worked so hard over the summer to get the very best vocal recordings. We are delighted with their efforts and the standard of music we are releasing today. It’s shaping up to be a show to remember. We’re looking forward to the final releases very soon and can promise original performances with a lot of props and a little bit of danger! The Live TV Final is almost sold out, so get in quick if you want to be closer to the action and feel the energy in the room as the votes and winner are revealed. And for those that miss out on the Final, the Opening Night and Matinee are a hoot!”
In association with the Queensland Government via Tourism and Events Queensland, the City of Gold Coast, Screen Queensland, APRA AMCOS, Moroccanoil and accommodation partner QT Gold Coast, Eurovision – Australia Decides will be presented at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 February and tickets for the Opening Night Show, Matinee Show are on sale, with limited tickets available to the Live TV Final.
Hosted by SBS Eurovisionaries comedian Joel Creasey and music buff Myf Warhurst, Eurovision – Australia Decides will showcase the best of Australian music and bring the nation closer to the Eurovision action. Audiences are encouraged to vote for their favourite acts and the winner will be revealed during the Live TV Final broadcast live and exclusively on SBS on Saturday 8 February.