With the 67th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest just a few months away, Aussie fans have been waiting anxiously to learn who will represent their country on the world stage.
Australia has participated in the international song competition seven times since its debut in 2015, with local artists Guy Sebastian, Dami Im, Isaiah, Jessica Mauboy, Kate Miller-Heidke, Montaigne and Sheldon Riley wowing audiences around the world with their stellar performances.
Although the last three entrants have been decided through a public vote at Eurovision - Australia Decides, it was announced last year that SBS will return to an internal selection process for 2023.
Now with the countdown on for this year’s performer to be revealed on Wednesday, here are the Australian artists hoping to fly to Liverpool in May and represent their country at Eurovision.
She won The X Factor in 2012, and now Samantha Jade wants to conquer another singing competition.
The Bounce hitmaker told Yahoo Lifestyle last year that while she is selective about which reality shows she participates in, she would love to be a part of Eurovision.
“I've really thought about that because that is a dream of mine,” she said. “I just think like, oh my gosh, what would be better than representing our country on that kind of stage?
“I've been kind of putting it off, but I get so many people telling me I should do it and I'm like, maybe I should just bite the bullet.”
Dami Im, who won The X Factor the year after Samantha, represented Australia at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest with her song Sound of Silence and placed second - Australia’s best result in the competition.
While her plans to compete in Australia Decides in 2021 with her song Paper Dragon were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and she was unable to participate last year because of her pregnancy, Dami is hoping 2023 is the year she will return to the competition.
“I always said that I would come back,” she told Yahoo Lifestyle in November. “I was going to come back in 2021 and life happened and it kept falling over, so I would love the chance to do it again one last time, and I'm hoping that that could be this next year coming up.
“I really do want to have a final shot at it because the first time was just an incredible experience and a pivotal moment in my career and personally as well. I do talk about it in great depth in the book how that was the start of my relationship with Sony and the management kind of becoming shaky - well, me realising that I could make changes and question everything. And so I was still learning about myself and my music and the environment I was in.
“Now I'm at such a different place musically and as a person, so I would love to enter as a new version of myself and just see what I can do with my amazing new team of people and with more control.”
Dami went on to say that if she was to return, she would want to focus on “getting the best performance, best song and best staging I can bring onto that stage”.
“I'll always have that competitiveness in me, which means I want something that gets a reaction out of people and not something that will become a toilet break,” she continued. “That is important.
“Whether that makes it to the very top or not, I can't control that, but I do want to give it the biggest push so that it's exciting and it stands out.”
As a lifelong fan of Eurovision, Sheldon Riley’s dreams came true last year when he won Australia Decides and represented Australia in Italy with his song Not The Same.
The unique performer, who told Yahoo Lifestyle in August he had no further reality TV plans after appearing on The X Factor, The Voice and The Masked Singer, said he would “one thousand per cent” return to Eurovision if he was given the opportunity.
“I would love to do it again,” he said. “Eurovision is the furthest thing away from reality TV. That's as real and as great and nasty as it gets.”
After previously competing in Australia Decides in 2020 with his song I Am King I Am Queen, former Australia’s Got Talent winner Jack Vidgen told Yahoo Lifestyle in November that there’s a possibility he would put his hand up for Eurovision again.
“It’s not on my radar, but it’s not something I would discredit completely,” he said.
“I don’t know, I would have to have the right song and be in the right mental space. I was in a really bad place when I did Eurovision - Australia Decides last time, like a really bad place, so I’d have to be in a good space.
“When everything seems to flow and feel right and I just kind of go with it, that’s when things seem like they’re meant to happen.”
While Ricki-Lee herself hasn’t said anything recently about wanting to perform at Eurovision, fans have spent the past few years begging the former Australian Idol star and powerhouse vocalist to do it.
Comedian Joel Creasey, who has commentated the Eurovision Song Contest on SBS since 2017 and occasionally works with Ricki-Lee when she fills in on Kate, Tim & Joel on Nova, recently told Yahoo Lifestyle he thinks she would be perfect for the gig.
“I’d love to see Ricki-Lee there,” he said. “I think a female artist probably has the best chance at Eurovision this year because it’s been male winners now for three years in a row.
“Eurovision also has a pattern - it goes ballad, party track, ballad, party track and man, woman, man, woman. So fingers crossed if we’re following the pattern we need a woman belting out a pop number.”
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