The BBC, who like most British media would normally pay more attention to the indie punk scene of Sophia’s inner west suburbs (check it out, trendsetters, it’s the next wave) than they would ever pay to Australian music, got a whiff of Eurovision and a touch of interest in us.
Bulgarian punk band. Probably not in Eurovision
Just a touch, let’s not get carried away.
So, who is this Guy Sebastian, why is he coming to perform in Eurovision and what does this mean for him/us/world peace, they asked.
Funny you should ask I said as I furiously tapped away at my phone in the cab on the way home from seeing Kim Richey and two Australians who would deserve a bit of that BBC attention, Felicity Urquhart and Sarah Humphreys.
I would struggle to care less than I already do about Eurovision. I am no particular fan but have no problem with Guy Sebastian, nor with him being the Australian “representative” – it’s not like we’re going up against Norway’s Ryan Adams or Poland’s Youssou N’Dour is it? So we don’t need to send anyone from our First XI.
Guy Sebastian - Who's That Girl
I am laughing more at the idea of people getting hot under the collar about “what this says about us”. Being part of it at all says we’re quite desperate to be part of the big kids’ table, even if it’s to eat a plate of bread covered in hundreds and thousands. Choosing Sebastian just confirms that commercial interests (SBS wanted money to fund it all, so it was never going to be some hip, starving indie act was it?) see a buck to be made.
But I do wonder why Sebastian would want to be part of it, even if it gets to millions of eyeballs. He’s taken a decade to shake off the smell of TV karaoke competition contestant and is a proper pop star.
Does he want to be a gimmick again?
Guy Sebastian - Like It Like That
As I asked on Twitter, who is advising him and are they getting paid real money for this advice? But what would I know?
Anyway, they asked for some words.
Weirdly they ran it all. If I had known they’d do that I’d have written more than this!
Guy Sebastian, a graduate of the first season of Australian Idol who became a rare career success, would seem the perfect choice as Australia’s Eurovision entrant. Having moved from Christian pop and soft R&B through soul revival and slightly grittier R&B to EDM-pop, he could be called versatile or opportunistic.
His background in TV talent shows saw him, like others who emerged from Idol and later Australia’s Got Talent and The Voice, sell consistently but excluded from the major, peer-voted music awards for a decade until attitudes softened.
What is interesting now is that having established himself as a genuine pop star within the industry as well as with the public he would return to a populist competition and risk potential ridicule.
Choosing to perform a song from his current album, as seems to be the plan, suggests he believes this could be a launching pad to European success rather than any sense of “representing” Australia or enjoying Eurovision for its more outre possibilities.
It is a calculated if maybe overly optimistic plan for a mid-career artist. Then again it may just work. Stranger things have happened at Eurovision.