In recent weeks it has been unclear if Montaigne and the Australian delegation will be able to travel to Rotterdam for Eurovision 2021. But now Australian broadcaster SBS has confirmed that Montaigne will not be able to travel to the Netherlands in May. Montaigne will instead compete using the pre-recorded live-on-tape performance.
SBS broke the news with an announcement on social media. They said that “We came to this difficult decision after considering the challenges of the ongoing pandemic, including the many factors involved in travelling to and from the event from Australia.”
The announcement also features Australia’s Eurovision commentators Joel Creasy and Myf Warhurst, who joke “We can’t leave the island!” in a video chat with the Eurovision team in Rotterdam.
But despite not being able to experience Eurovision 2021 in person, Montaigne remains upbeat. Writing on Twitter, Montaigne said “I am sad to not have gotten the opportunity to perform on the big stage but grateful that I got to wear two years of Eurovision in a row, during a pandemic nonetheless, which is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
In a Q&A with Eurovision.tv, Montaigne noted that Australia has already been “campaigning from a distance”. She said, “The only thing about the situation that changes here is where the performance is taking place, which I think we have adapted nicely and I’m excited for everyone to see it!”
i am sad to not have gotten the opportunity to perform on the big stage but grateful that I got to wear two years of eurovision in a row, during a pandemic nonetheless, which is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. #SBSEurovision #ESC2021
— Montaigne (@actualmontaigne) April 20, 2021
Why can’t Montaigne travel to Rotterdam?
SBS hasn’t specifically given the exact reason why they are not participating, but have mentioned “many factors involved in travelling to and from the event from Australia.”
Since March last year, Australia’s international border has been closed and Australian citizens are generally unable to leave the country. This is done as a way of minimising the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
The Australian government can make exemptions — but there are strict criteria that must be met.
As well, if the Australian Eurovision delegation were to go to Rotterdam, they would also need to quarantine for two weeks in a hotel upon their return to Australia. This would be AU$3000 (€1940) per person — which would substantially increase SBS’s budget for their Eurovision 2021 expenses.
However, issues like this have already been considered by the EBU. This year all delegations have recorded a “live-on-tape” performance that can be used if the delegation is unable to perform live in Rotterdam. Montaigne recorded the performance of her song “Technicolour” in March.
Australia is the first and so far only delegation to confirm they will not be able to travel to Rotterdam.
What do you think? Are you sad that Montaigne won’t be able to perform in Rotterdam? Will the live-on-tape performance give Australia an advantage or disadvantage? Tell us your thoughts below!