The avant-garde prince of Australian pop has arrived, and boy, has he brought an orchestral tear jerker.

The Voice Australia alumni Sheldon Riley has released his entry for Eurovision – Australia Decides 2022, titled “Not The Same”. Starting reflectively on his childhood of being seen not heard, it continues on through Sheldon’s upbringing as a pained self-reflective piece, coming back to the conclusion for each chorus that Sheldon is ‘not the same’.

But there’s an obvious light, an epiphany and cathartic release that changes the tone of the operatic ballad from one of pain, to one of healing and strength. “Not The Same” is a punchy, well produced ballad of feels universally felt by many across the globe, packed tightly in three minutes. And, very fittingly, its nothing like what we’re hearing through the national selections for Turin.

Sheldon Riley releases “Not The Same”

“Not The Same” will be available at 00:00 on 15 February 2022 in your region.

“Not The Same” is written by Sheldon Riley, singer and songwriter Timi Temple and singer, songwriter and producer Cam Nacson. 

Speaking to Australian publication SMH about the development of his entry, Sheldon revealed:

“It was actually never supposed to be a Eurovision song; it was more a reflection on me and how far I’ve come and what I’ve learnt about myself,” he says. “It’s reflective of not being the same as everybody else. Most Eurovision songs are very big, and they’re for everyone, but this one … you really get invited into a one-on-one conversation. It’s very personal.”

Visually, Sheldon will be bringing his trademark unique style to the Australia Decides stage, with Anthony Capon of Melbourne label Et Al helping to develop Riley’s original costume design. Sheldon says:

“It’s ridiculous. The outfit is so insanely beautiful. It’s taken hours and hours and hours to make … it’s something I’ve wanted to wear for a very long time that I haven’t been able to do. It’s very dark, ethereal.”

He’ll also wear a crystal mask from Australian jeweller House of Emmanuele, known for their work with Kylie Minogue, Madonna, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.

“Not many people can walk onto stage, with thousands of people watching, in a complete crystal mask feeling comfortable and confident,” he says. “I wanted to live the fantasy in my head that I dreamt of for so long. Now I get to do it and I feel like a magical Disney character every time.

Sheldon joins other entrants, duo Isaiah and Evie Irie, pop stalwart PAULINI, the fabulous Seann Miley Moore, Perth’s metal quintet Voyager, singer-songwriter Jude York, pop newcomer Charley, six-piece girl group  G-NAT!ON, charismatic pop star Andrew Lambrou, powerhouse entertainer PAULINI, Tiktok wildcard Erica Padilla and multi-media artist Jaguar JonzeEurovision – Australia Decides 2022 airs on February 26 on SBS.

What do you think of Sheldon Riley’s orchestral pop sound? How do his emotional lyrics speak to you? Let us know down below!

 

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Jaku
Jaku
9 months ago

Damn I love Sheldon and a lot of things he has put out. He was so vocal about going to Eurovision, but this is too “ordinary” for him. It sounds underwhelming for an artist like him. I really try to love it but it doesn’t impact me.

Mr X
Mr X
9 months ago

Voyager to Torino, please and for the first time ever I´ll be fan of Australia at ESC…

meliris
meliris
9 months ago

Really tried to like it, but it does not touch me. Still prefer Voyager.

Aussie fan
9 months ago

I was so looking forward to this song as I have loved his last 2 singles. The first 2 min are beautiful but the song seems to languish from there and never builds to the climax I expected and the ending is disappointing and is very weak. Compared to Charley which builds beautifully and ends perfectly. I love Sheldon but I was expecting something more impactful. I am not certain he will beat Voyager or Charley in Australia Decides.

Heylin
Heylin
9 months ago
Reply to  Aussie fan

Personally, I disagree. The bridge into the end is so raw and emotionally impactful for me, I felt it in my chest. But even if it does sound lacklustre in the studio cut, I guarantee you it’ll hit live. It’s all about the emotion and his story and seeing him perform it will make all the difference. I just know it’ll be enhanced with the right lighting too.

Aussie fan
9 months ago
Reply to  Heylin

Let’s hope so

Mark
Mark
9 months ago

This is the most forgettable song in the selection

Alex
Alex
9 months ago

he is hyped in Australia and he will get the jury vote and maybe the public too.

Big vocals, music and strong lyrics.

My only concern is the over-the-top appearance that he is preparing. a ballad like this does not need a singer dressed up like Gaga, in my humble opinion.

I think he is the reason why Australia is so high in betting odds.

Mark
Mark
9 months ago
Reply to  Alex

There is nothing good to see here. This will and should come last.

Doom
Doom
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark

This did not age well for you alex

Franky
Franky
9 months ago

It’s nice with great vocals but it’s not exciting enough as we have a few slow songs already within Australia Decides. They’ll all cannibalise each other with the voting.

Tom
Tom
9 months ago

Boring

Por no estar
Por no estar
9 months ago

Too repetitive, had potential

Bella
Bella
9 months ago

I just feel like Australia always sends the same generic/bland commercial pop songs, and unfortunately this one is no exception. Whatever he was trying to convey, sorry but I’m just not feeling it. It’s too bad cause he’s a great vocalist and obviously can put on a great show.

Mark
Mark
9 months ago
Reply to  Bella

Zero Gravity and Technocolour?

Pearli
Pearli
9 months ago
Reply to  Bella

Your ignorance is showing.

Sabrina
Sabrina
9 months ago

I see a huge potential on this one. Assuming Sheldon can nail the vocals, juries would certainly respond to it. And knowing he has a remarkable visual style, I imagine his performance can be very eye-catching. The big question is if they’ll dose it enough to make it more inspirational than pretentious. One more reason to be super curious about Australia Decides this year.

Adam
Adam
9 months ago

Huge question is – could Australia pick him? Song is really good and I see really strong staging. But in Australia this year is some great songs.

Mark
Mark
9 months ago
Reply to  Adam

As an Australian I’m telling you that this will be last place. There is nothing appealing here.

shira
shira
9 months ago
Reply to  Mark

Also Australian. You’re dreaming if you think this is coming last

Last edited 9 months ago by shira
Mark
Mark
9 months ago
Reply to  shira

Well, out of the 8 songs that have been released it’s the only forgettable one

musica
musica
9 months ago

This song is more of a vocal exercise than a proper song. It could do well with the juries, but I doubt the televoter will pick up on this.

Polegend Godgarina
9 months ago
Reply to  musica

that’s exactly how i felt. but then again i can see it getting a zero gravity/répondez-moi sort of hype

Jessie
Jessie
9 months ago

“Not The Same” will be available at 00:00 on 15 February 2022 in your region.

Apollo
Apollo
9 months ago

It’s a nice song, it’ll probably win Australia Decides and do well at Eurovision.

However, it’s nothing spectacular… I’m excited about Sheldon’s staging/styling though!

Mark
Mark
9 months ago
Reply to  Apollo

It’s got no chance at winning. There is nothing here.

True
True
9 months ago

Was fearing him as he is an incredible artist, but song is too generic. Good luck to Voyager.

shira
shira
9 months ago
Reply to  True

Nah, still fear him. He’ll perform the hell out of this and win over a lot of juries and televoters who connect with the emotion he’s conveying.

Adam
Adam
9 months ago
Reply to  shira

Voyager will still beat him. Their song is catchier, more upbeat, the singer also has great vocals and with great staging should get the support of both the jury and televote. Its not always about how great a singer is or how great the lyrics are. Voyager stands the best chance of Australia being top 5 this year

shira
shira
9 months ago
Reply to  Adam

I agree, it’s about the production, stage presence, and performance as well and Sheldon will have these too, just in a different way. I love Dreamer, but people will connect with Sheldon and they’ll vote for him. Voyager will do well too, but Sheldon will give them a run for their money

Last edited 9 months ago by shira
Pancake
Pancake
9 months ago

Just listen to this and I’m telling you people, this song is an emotional trip. The vocals are phenomenal, the emotions are genuine and felt and I think I might have shed a tear in the end a little.
This! This song should win.

Pearli
Pearli
9 months ago

The only two songs that gave me goosebumps on the first listen during this entire Eurovision national selection season were I Suck At Being Lonely and Not The Same. Australia better choose between these two ‘cuz they can do extremely well if performed amazingly.

vetrina
vetrina
9 months ago

I’d like to see competing another “guest country” with a more outstanding and genuine culture. Australia is a colonized state that has no particular culture, I’d prefer to see an Aboriginal entry instead of this unoriginal basic mess they provide to us almost every year! For example, I’d love to see countries like Lebanon or Morocco participating with their own sound, instead of this “wannabe british” meh/mess!

Mitchell
Mitchell
9 months ago
Reply to  vetrina

I hope your post gets removed. Very ignorant to say Australia has no culture. And even countries with rich histories and culture send garbage to Eurovision, at least we send quality.

HBau
HBau
9 months ago
Reply to  vetrina

We’ve sent a hugely diverse group of representatives, including those who come from our valued indigenous population (Isaiah, Jess), and as is appropriate for a country in which half of the population were born overseas or have an overseas-born parent we’ve also sent plenty of entries from non-anglo Celtic backgrounds (Guy, Dami, Montaigne), and just the one from the largest ethnic group (Kate). We’ve consistently had diversity in our national selection shows, in age gender race sexuality and perhaps most crucially for a song contest, music styles and genres. There is plenty to criticise Australia for, and some of our… Read more »

Lorena
Lorena
9 months ago
Reply to  vetrina

I think it is a pleasure to have a country like Australia. But I would also love to have other guest countries as well, maybe one every year? I would love a latinamerican country with a long music tradition, such as Argentina, Colombia or Brasil.

ati
ati
9 months ago
Reply to  vetrina

Australia is part of Eurovision, get used to it now.

MartyMcCu
MartyMcCu
9 months ago
Reply to  vetrina

This is a bit of a rude comment to Australians as a people and their song choices . They have a great track record since joining the competition and they have sent Aboriginal artists . Australia is a multiethnic society and the vast majority are proud of it and strive forward for a just and free society’. Let them participate and share the diversity of their music .

#synthsareawesome
#synthsareawesome
9 months ago
Reply to  vetrina

Colonized countries develope cultural traits in time. There are things that are associated with USA: fast food, businesses, the way they speak, etc. Australia isn’t cultureless because it’s a colonized country. They’ve got a lot of aboriginal influence, unique animals and their own dialect.

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
9 months ago
Reply to  vetrina

In the end everybody has a culture and distinct traits.

Last edited 9 months ago by Frisian esc
Matt
Matt
9 months ago
Reply to  vetrina

more “outstanding” culture – xenophobic much

shira
shira
9 months ago

It’s moving. it’s powerful. It’s authentic and personal to the artist. It punches me right in the feels and gives me goosebumps. This is the Ballad I have been Waiting for this entire season so far! I have my fingers crossed for him.

Escvegi
Escvegi
9 months ago

Australia is challenging for the win!

Mark
Mark
9 months ago
Reply to  Escvegi

Not with this song

kir
kir
9 months ago

London/Berlin 2023 since Australia is not eligible to host?

Mark
Mark
9 months ago
Reply to  kir

Not with this song

Lex
Lex
9 months ago

This is not an easy song to sing… but if he does a good job live, this has the potential to fight for the victory in May. Let’s hope for the best!

Gijo
Gijo
9 months ago

oh yes.. this hits right into my feels.. pls Australia!

Last edited 9 months ago by Gijo
Yellow
Yellow
9 months ago

This is giving me winner vibes. I know he can elevate this live too! It’s a little different to the snippet however, where is the powerful “no hiding away” part? Nonetheless, Go Australia!!!

Mark
Mark
9 months ago
Reply to  Yellow

A winning song has to be memorable. There is nothing here.

Jamie
Jamie
9 months ago

Winner vibes?

Lorena
Lorena
9 months ago
Reply to  Jamie

Not for me.

Mark
Mark
9 months ago
Reply to  Jamie

Hell to the no

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
9 months ago

Best of luck to Sheldon. This song has such a challenging vocal to deliver along with the raw emotion behind it. As for the grand outfit (a.ka. the mask) my best advice is: Use the mask’s persona to channel the song; don’t let the outfit be a distraction from the music.