Fighting talk! Australia’s Isaiah Firebrace talks rivalry with Denmark’s Anja Nissen: “She’s a great singer”

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He’s the Adele-sounding X-Factor winner flying the flag for the lang of kangaroos, koalas and Kylie at Eurovision 2017 in May. But Australia‘s Isaiah Firebrace isn’t the only Aussie taking to the stage at the International Exhibition Centre in Kyiv.

Aussie expat Anja Nissen is singing for Denmark with “Where I Am” and the two will square off in separate semi-finals on May 9 and May 11, ahead of a possible meeting in the Grand Final on May 13.

Now Isaiah has spoken out about the “rivalry” that has set Australian media outlets buzzing down under. Clearly the serious vocal firepower Anja’s packing has caught his attention: “She’s a great singer, she’s awesome.”

And despite winning the last season of X-Factor, Isaiah also revealed he’s open-minded when it comes to reality singing competitions. In fact, he watched Anja’s journey to win The Voice himself.

Talking to news.com.au, he gushed, “She was my favourite when she was on The Voice, now I can’t wait to meet her.”

The two won’t have the chance to square off against one another in their semi-finals. There’ll be plenty of opportunities to hang out during Eurovision fortnight though. Isaiah also discussed Anja’s sunny personality, which has been on full display during her pan-European charm offensive in recent weeks.

“She seems like a nice girl so I can’t wait to connect with her.”

On the subject of whether he sees Eurovision as a battle of the reality franchises, Firebrace is a little cagier.

“Kind of, I guess, but X-Factor isn’t on any more.” Simon Cowell’s reality show may be off air, but judging by momentum building behind Australia ahead of Eurovision 2017, Isaiah will be running on air by the time he lands in Kyiv.

TOURING WITH JESSICA MAUBOY TO PREPARE FOR EUROVISION 2017

While Isaiah hasn’t appeared on the promo circuit like other Eurovision acts, he has honed his act in front of live audiences. He’s been busy opening for Eurovision 2014 interval performer and Australian Idol runner-up Jessica Mauboy.

And the experience of Mauboy, and fellow Australian performers Guy Sebastian and Dami Im set him on his road to the Eurovision Song Contest.

“When Jess (Mauboy) performed I thought, oh my god, Australia can do it now! And then seeing what Guy and Dami did was incredible.”

Whether he lives up to their incredible example is in the hands of professional juries and televoters across Europe. They’ll give their verdict on “Don’t Come Easy” and Isaiah at Semi-Final 1 on May 9.

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Photo Credit: Dylan Robinson