Australia’s SBS has just announced that Guy Sebastian, the first winner of Australian Idol, will sing for Australia at Eurovision 2015. He has not yet chosen a song. “Luckily I released my album in November,” he said at the press conference, “[so the song will be] something I haven’t previously released a single of…or I could write a new single in the next few days….I want it to be epic. I’m not tryng to work around what my single will be. I want it to represent us as a nation well. Either super fun or a big ballad that showcases my voice.”

Later in the press conference he clarified that he had narrowed it down to two songs, both of which are ballads. He also sang “Get Along,” saying that he wanted to sing this song at Eurovision, but it violates the Eurovision rules because it was released before September: “I wrote this at a time my son Hudson, now three years old, was in the womb.” Awww.

Guy Sebastian: Our reaction to Australia’s Eurovision singer

Why we wanted Guy at Eurovision even before the announcement

The SBS press conference

Marc Fennel, an Australian film critic and presenter, set the tone for a playful presentation show. He opened by poking fun of Australia’s participation in the “increasingly inaccurately called Eurovision Song Contest.” He later said that the opportunity for an Australian act to perform in front of 180 million viewers would “basically make them Oprah.” Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang, Australia’s Eurovision commentators, then relived some of their highlights from recent Eurovisions.

julia zemiro sam pang 2 australia

SBS managing director Michael Ebeid described their successful bid as “a four-year journey.”

It’s been a dream. Many people at Blink TV and SBS have been dreaming about wanting to get Australia into Eurovision and to play a bigger role. Our audiences have been increasing every year. We set out on this dream. People thought that Paul [Clarke, of Blink TV] and I were absolutley nuts. …a lot of people thought we should be institutionalized.

Clarke was chuffed. “All of the major and independent records have been hugely helpful. We were offered some very interesting people. I think everybody will be delighted with the outcome today.”

Australia’s Internal Selection

In recent days Ebeid told LGBT radio station Joy Radio that there wasn’t enough time to stage a national selection contest. The timing forced an internal selection.

“We’ve been in discussion with a couple of Australian key artists,” he said. He hinted that the media have been fairly accurate when guessing who Australia might send and that “there’s great talent that we get to choose from”. Our in-house team of musical unprofessionals had nine artists on our shortlist, including Guy Sebastian, Dami Im, Tina Arena, The Veronicas, Samantha Jade, Delta Goodrem, Rickie-Lee Coulter and Courtney Act.

Australia’s Three-year negotiations

Australia’s decision to appear at Eurovision wasn’t last-minute.

News.com.au recently published a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the three years of lobbying from Australia that it took for them to finally be invited to compete in the competition.

The idea was sparked when SBS first sent their own commentary team to Europe. Director Paul Clarke was so impressed by the spectacle that, “I thought that day I just had to be a part of it.” And for the past three years, SBS have lobbied the EBU to get Australia more involved.

The lobbying paid off, first in 2013 when Sweden invited Australia to send a short video celebrating the love of Eurovision down under.

And in 2014, Denmark invited Australia to provide the half-time entertainment, featuring a performance from Jessica Mauboy. This proved that Australia could deliver the goods and were ready to enter the competition for real:

You can follow all of our Australia Eurovision news here

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Carter
Guest
Carter

Does happy dance for Australia! Guy Sebastian is a gifted vocalist and songwriter.

His self-penned Madness Album is outstanding so any of his ballads would suit – if he went down that ballad path.

Here is one of the ballads with his emotional lyrics displayed!

One of Us – http://youtu.be/Y4w4OIBuJPE

Melissa J
Guest

Not what I was expecting, but if he was on the Wiwi shortlist, he must be good! I hope he doesn’t send a ballad, but something more upbeat! Good luck Australia! It’s so great to have you!

Stephanie
Guest

I too was hoping for Dami, but Guy is a great choice. I watched him on the World Idol special here in Canada back in 2003 and liked his performance – I even voted for him

fikri
Guest
fikri

the only good news from this is i can take a toilet break during the finals during australian performance.

WTF
Guest
WTF

@Mario The Vision of Gay Love: Such a troll…

Mario The Vision of Gay Love- *Julia Zemiro* Is In Some Serious Trouble!
Guest
Mario The Vision of Gay Love- *Julia Zemiro* Is In Some Serious Trouble!

@ JULIA sweety , these evil scary monsters will gonna eat you!!
Get away from them for your own safety!

😛 😛

Mario The Vision of Gay Love- Welcome Australia - *We Are One*!
Guest
Mario The Vision of Gay Love- Welcome Australia - *We Are One*!

So its *Guy Sebastian* 4 representing Australia in the Diamond Vision! 🙂
Now we are waiting the actual song that Australia will gonna compete with in Vienna! 🙂
G(ay)ood L(ove)uck Australia! <3 🙂

jr esc nl
Guest
jr esc nl

I like his song ” like a drum” hopefully the song will be good…

Sami
Guest
Sami

@Zak I know he’s Malaysian bground, what I was reffering to was how SBS & Sony Aus only think Dami should be performing in Asia, like they had her with ABU & Australian Embassy shows & now promoting her Heart beat Albums in China…Dami’s voice connects more with non-asian regions & it’s proven…She’s too Elite for K-Pop & why she’s had little success in Asia cause they don’t care K-Pop culture isn’t about voice, its about plastic surgery & dancing….

BritneyHooker
Guest
BritneyHooker

And I think Guy is better than Dami, Samantha or Jessica Mauboy.

BritneyHooker
Guest
BritneyHooker

I have a feeling that it will be Ellephant. Overall his last album wasn’t that good, I like only Mama Ain’t Proud which is released as a single so it will not be his Eurovision song.

Zac
Guest
Zac

@Sami: Guy Sebastian is Asian, lol. You can’t preference an Asian over another Asian and call it racist.

Thiefo
Guest

Awesome! He has a great voice and with a good song he can make Australia end up high in the board. Well done Australia!

Kaan
Guest
Kaan

I feel sorry for the190 Million European T.V’s & potential 600 Million viewers won’t get to see Dami perform at Eurovision. The most exciting, captivating voice on the planet today & SBS & Blink had to choose an Artist who’s been in the industry 12 years & came 7th out of 11th in World Idol…..SBS I won’t be watching your shows anymore besides the soccer….Good luck to Guy although I hope SBS experiences what channel 7 & Xfactor did in 2014…plummeting ratings…

EUROFAN MEXICO
Guest

JA JA LAST YEAR I SAW HERE LIKE TO MUCH PEOPLE EXPRESING THAT COMMON LINNETS WAS BORING SONG AND THEY DONS DESERVE TO GO TO THE FINAL, NOW YOU SAY THE SAME JA JA TO MUCH WILL CHANGE THEM OPINION IN 3 MONTS ABOUTH THIS. GOOD MUSIC IS MUSIC NOT POPULAR CONTEST OF COUSTOMES

Sami
Guest
Sami

SBS & Blink …What a Joke….you are now seen as Racist….Choosing Dami only for Asian Countries? What a Joke….Dami is too elite & classy for K-Pop so get that freakin notion out of your heads….The sooner Dami performs in USA & Europe the better off the World will be without SBS & Sony….what a Joke…!

John Christian Ambion
Guest
John Christian Ambion

WEAK, WEAK, WEAK!!!! 5 Seconds of Summer, Delta Goodrem, or Jessica Mauboy should been the participant!

Liam Thorne
Guest

Shattered. Absolutely shattered. Like many others, I wanted Samantha Jade or Dami Im. I guess they can’t please everyone. One thing’s for sure, this will only be a one off participation from Australia, because there is no, and I mean, NO CHANCE OF WINNING

Leon
Guest
Leon

I cannot believe this!! This is amazing news!!

PP
Guest
PP

He represent Australia on first and only World Idol and he end on 7 place from 11 countries, when Norway won, and USA represent Kelly Clarckson 2 nd place, and UK Will Young 5 place. I think if they USA or UK won that year, we had maybe another World Idol contest.

Jenny
Guest
Jenny

Whilst it’s not a bad choice, for a once off & choosing an Artist who’s been around the traps for over 12 years? I thought Eurovision was for fresh, new talent?
Disappointed for Dam as she is on the verge of International stardom. Sorry for my all the hype & excitement of Eurovision has gone….Only Dami could of captivated the audience & viewers singing Epic!

Joe
Guest
Joe

That f*ck head?????

Jose
Guest
Jose

NO him!!!!!

Eugene ESC UK
Guest
Eugene ESC UK

On the second occasion towards the end, Guy did say he’d narrowed it down to two songs and they are both ballads.

lollalol
Guest
lollalol

Thanks God we have a man for female-duet-ballad edition. We must hope, that his song won’t be a ballad.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

I’m very happy about this. It’s been 12 years since Guy won Australian Idol and in those years he’s really developed as a performer and songwriter. If there’s anyone who can deal with a stadium in the middle of Europe, it’s Guy. I’m still going to be cautious until I hear the song choice, but Australia is on the right track.

BunnyC
Guest
BunnyC

I’m just glad we didn’t choose some older artist,he could potentially do well

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

I think Get Along would have been a great entry, the sentiment is perfect for these times. The whole presentation demonstrated that Australia really gets Eurovision in a way that we don’t in the UK. They had Sydney Opera House, two presenters with the contest in their hearts (particularly Julia), a couple of VIPs and an eloquent well know established performer. All we know we’ve got so far is sneering Scot Mills on a red button.

Charles
Guest
Charles

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW YEAH! This has been an awesome day for me Eurovision-wise! LOL I’m still having a laugh in the most sarcastic way possible while seeing everybody being so angry, mad and upset with the genre “ballad” that I am sure many of you will have nightmares for a long period of time 🙂 Furthermore, despite not understanding what the heck is Australia is doing in a show that for the last 30 years of broadcasting for the men and women down under, has been nothing but labelled as bad taste and kitsch and still loved for all of that (for… Read more »

Alex
Guest
Alex

NO WAY. Awesome – Guy even charted in the US recently when he collaborated with Lupe Fiasco

Criticca
Guest
Criticca

Guy is almost like an icon in the Australian music scene. This is a one-off participation, and means a lot to many Aussies who have been following the contest for many generations now as spectators rather than competitors which why they want to send someone that’s respected in their music industry.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO*4 hours later*OOOOOOOOO*gasping for air*OOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. WHY AUSTRALIA, ONE CHANCE AND YOU DO THIS?! WHY?? They haven’t got a song yet, well that’s just great!! He doesn’t bother me, though he woundnt be my first choice but without a song it is a disappointment. Good luck anyway.

mina
Guest
mina

Guy Sebastian is a great choice he has an amazing voice

David
Guest
David

Boring choice. Considering that this is a one off performance from Australia.

EF0912
Guest
EF0912

Good Luck from the UK. I hope his song is great. I think that Australia has a good chance of winning with him since he is a great singer. So long as Finland doesn’t, I’ll be happy.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@Adam: I was betting on Dami Im as well. Good choice, anyway. He’s only at the doorstep of winding down on the music scene, and he just made a video with Lupe Fiasco (his 2nd with Lupe). If the Aussies had gotten this opportunity NEXT year, it would have been too late to even think of choosing him.

Mar
Guest
Mar

They haven’t picked the song yet?? That’s sloppy of you, Australia.

I’ve no idea who this guy is tbh, but he can sing. Hopefully Julia will check the Internet and tell him not to send a ballad.

Kamil
Guest
Kamil

Good luck to Australia and Guy Sebastian. He is talented and unique!

chris
Guest

Are you for real? This is stupid.
The last time Australia pushed his fool onto the world was in the World Idol in 2003. Why not choose a newer person? So disappointed.

Daviid
Guest
Daviid

It’s going to be a ballad y’all!

escAus
Guest
escAus

I’m so excited, Guy is phenomenal. Good luck!!

adriana_gabrielauk
Guest
adriana_gabrielauk

Welcome to Eurovision and best of luck to him.

Faye
Guest
Faye

‘i could just pick something unreleased’ sends bonnie tyler + bbc 2013 like shivers down my spine…just hope Aus don’t miss their supposed 1 off opportunity by using a filler track or something!

I don’t know him (my own ignorance) but i quite like his voice + at least its won’t be another female slow tempo. Experienced performer though so in theory that should hold him in good stead!

UK/Eesti Kid
Guest
UK/Eesti Kid

Not gonna lie – I was kinda hoping for Iggy. But I guess this dude will do!

Now let’s see what the British have to offer on Saturday…

=
Guest
=

Boring…. Guy Sebastian will not win. I’m rather disappointed, we had such talent to choose from. He better win or else. I doubt it.

JonathanUK
Guest
JonathanUK

I think he’d be best suited by singing an up-tempo number! While strong female ballad singers are right up my pathway, I do recognise the fact we have a lot of them this year and so, we need to get some up-tempo songs on ESC and that’s what I imagine Australia doing best! 🙂 🙂

Titaniumsparrow
Guest
Titaniumsparrow

This is dissapointing but hey, at least it’s not Kylie.

Eugene ESC UK
Guest
Eugene ESC UK

I think it’s a great choice, he’s a very talented singer, a “reality star” who knows about singing under pressure. He’s male………………..so that is an inspired pick, with a lot of solo ladies expected this year. I expect the markets to shorten Australia’s chances of winning straight away. An album track is not very exciting though, and it could be a another ballad.

This was his first hit after Idol :-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dG5KpRd3iA

SteKay
Guest
SteKay

Like a Drum was such a great song! Hopefully he sings something upbeat

MTD
Guest
MTD

There’s a song from his latest album which is super-good – “Animal in Me” – sounds quite good and it has the 03:00 limit. 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bc-NbcMgZE