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).
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!”
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.