Broadcaster SBS promised to go “bigger and better” than their first Eurovision – Australia Decides, and they’ve yet again delivered.

Joining our previous reveal, SBS have announced that First Nations singer Mitch Tambo and singer-songwriter iOTA as the next two acts to be taking centre stage on the Gold Coast next February.

SBS formally confirmed the first two artists with their official announcement today at 5:00 CET (14:00 Australian Eastern Standard Time).

Mitch Tambo

No stranger to talent competitions this year, Mitch Tambo was heavily speculated as a potential Eurovision candidate after his audition on Australia’s Got Talent went viral earlier this year. The First Nations singer blends traditional sounds and language with contemporary beats and production, breathing modern life to a traditional culture.

The 29 year old singer reached the grand final of Australia’s Got Talent after receiving the golden buzzer from judge and former Pussycat Dolls lead singer Nicole Scherzinger, who was visibly moved by his audition, describing him as “a true representative of Australia’s beauty, culture and talent”.

Speaking about entering the contest, Mitch said:

“I’m thrilled to be part of Eurovision – Australia Decides in 2020 and to get the chance to perform on the world’s biggest stage. Eurovision songs often mix elements of traditional and contemporary sounds, which is exactly what I set out to do in my own music. Most importantly, it brings different cultures together all under the banner of music, which is beautiful thing!”

iOTA

New Zealand-born Australian Sean Hape, better known by his chosen name iOTA, has definitely lived a life. A singer, songwriter, revered stage performer and actor, he changed his name to iOTA legally – in order to begin a new identity as an entertainer, for being openly gay, and for being a recovering alcoholic.

International audiences may have seen iOTA in films including as the Doof Warrior on Mad Max: Fury Road and Trimalcio in The Great Gatsby. Locally, his talents have lent themselves to the stage, appearing in his own stage productions of Smoke & Mirrors, Hedwig & the Angry Inch and The Rocky Horror Show.

His musical style is described as eclectic at best, both in style and in substance. His music has evolved rapidly and in varied fashion, starting as punk rock in the 2000s before recently going experimental on his track “Wolf Number 9”. One part rock, one part showbiz; if there’s one thing we definitely know about iOTA,is that we definitely won’t see what’s coming from him on stage.

Take his performance of “Come Back to Me” as an example of a more recent live performance:

Speaking about joining Australia Decides, iOTA spoke about what attracted him to the contest:

“I’m not your typical music competition kind of guy, but I am attracted to the Eurovision Song Contest for the colour and movement… music and performance… light and shade… creativity and self-expression… singing and working an audience.”

Creative Director for the national final and Head of Delegation Paul Clarke said of the two artist announcements:

“How brilliant to include the Doof Warrior in our Eurovision story? It’s as if iOTA has a special license for mischief and danger when performing in our most iconic films. We have a brilliant song and stage moment in mind with him, which I can promise will deliver plenty of drama, along with more than a touch of mischief and danger.

“Mitch Tambo has 500watt charisma in person, it’s like meeting Robbie Williams. But most importantly, when he sings it’s with great passion and inclusive spirit. I think Europe will be fascinated by him.”

Mitch Tambo and iOTA will be joined by previously announced acts including female soloists Casey Donovan and Vanessa Amarosi. The remaining six artists are yet to be announced.

Eurovision – Australia Decides will take place on the Gold Coast on February 7 (preview show) and February 8 (Grand Final).

What do you think of Mitch Tambo’s and iOTA’s addition to the national final line up? Let us know in the comments below.

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Alybloggs
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Alybloggs

Will Australia have another surprise act like KMH in 2020? Australia is gradually getting good with this.

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

Australia’s SBS – showing European broadcasters how to properly hype a national selection. And, it’s working. The performers so far seem outstanding.

Mr X
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Mr X

An artist just like iOTA could also be amazing – a millon lightyears away from the typical mainstream…..

Mr X
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Mr X

Mitch Tambo with an ethnic entry would be a great choice for Down Under.

MaxHightower
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MaxHightower

Oh! Thats so cool!
Now please, I am perfectly aware of the fact that Im being greedy but… I NEED SHELDON RILEY!!

Erasmus
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Erasmus

Am I the only one who isn’t excited by any of the names so far (they could bring good songs, talking about the artists). Like none of them seems relevant right now (Vanessa was a couple of years ago=

Peters
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Peters

Kate was also like this. Doesn’t matter if they are relevant or not. It’s all about the song and the performance.

Erasmus
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Erasmus

true it’s about the song, but still I’m not excited about these artists – that’s what I’m trying to say

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Two very interesting names that tend to bring out of the box entries. Exciting!

SAARA’S SOLDIER
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SAARA’S SOLDIER

Damn.. so excited bout Mitch Tambo! Hope he wins, maybe we get to have Scherzy in a greenroom?

ZMG
Guest
ZMG

I almost screamed when I saw iOTA announced! He’s been on my wishlist since it was apparent Australia’s in it for the long run but I thought he might be too obscure for consideration (sure the Doof Warrior’s well-known but iOTA’s own music isn’t). I love that he can do eccentric stuff without trading off quality. If I wasn’t excited for AusDecides before, I sure am now!!!!

Escvegi
Guest
Escvegi

We Need Sheldon Riley and Electric Fields..

Preuss
Guest
Preuss

This is gonna be a great second edition of Australia Decides, won’t it? and I’ve also predicted Sheldon Riley and Ricki-Lee Coulter to give it a go. Personally I also really hope for Samantha Jade to enter the competition with her new single “Bounce”…

Joe
Guest
Joe

Could there really be anything more Australian than sending the actual for-real Doof Warrior to Eurovision?

Joe
Guest
Joe

Like, I’ll bet anything that when people created a hypothetical Australian Eurovision entry at the time of their debut, the Doof Warrior shredding away in front of a giant amp was at least one of the images they had in mind.

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

Still impressed with how many artists seem to WANT to represent Australia at Eurovision.
That’s what happens when you don’t spend years taking the p*ss out of the contest (take note, UK).

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Yes! People talk about using Melfest as a template, but this is one of the aspects that gets overlooked – how a merely participating in a national final can be beneficial for boosting an artist’s career regardless of whether or not they win.

Rasmus
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Rasmus

Almost all artists in Sweden want to be in Melfest:) I like that. from 16-80. We have them all:) Its fun Australia is getting bigger and bigger to 🙂

Joe
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Joe

Look what it did for Electric Fields!

Loin dici
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Loin dici

Maybe we can debate about Australia’s place in Eurovision,

but, boy, THEY ARE DOING IT 300%

Rasmus
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Rasmus

im 100% for them to stay:) If Australia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Would quit it would not be fun. Countrioes where its popular have to stay. And Hungary who had SOOO low tv ratings last year have to go and take a break. My opinion.

Sun
Guest
Sun

Yesssss! Bring out the culture realness! Can’t wait.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

I’m excited by both of them, but tbh the New Zealander in me is super thrilled at the prospect of having a Maori boy at Eurovision.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Tones and I is all I want in this NF. I hope it happens.

Sun
Guest
Sun

Not gonna happen. She is a huge deal right now.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

y’all basics know there’s more to australia’s music scene than the random one-hit wonder with a global smash right

Campbell Grace
Guest
Campbell Grace

That song is irritating sweetie…

Joe
Guest
Joe

All my Aussie music expertise lies in indie rock, so while I’d be interested in seeing how Courtney Barnett or Mallrat would take on Eurovision, I don’t think we’re gonna see that.

Joe
Guest
Joe

I actually do kind of like Dance Monkey (I heard it on the radio over here in the UK and forgot what it was called until I looked her up after seeing her name here). I also saw an interview where she said cameras make her nervous and she doesn’t like doing video interviews, so Eurovision sounds like it’d be fresh hell for her. Dance Monkey would be a fantastic entry, but I don’t think we’re gonna see it. On the other hand, for something similar, how come nobody’s mentioned Betty Who yet? She’d be PERFECT for Eurovision! Have y’all… Read more »

Fast Food Music Lover
Guest
Fast Food Music Lover

SBS sure knows how to create hype. Bulgaria who?