One of Australia’s most successful male artists, Guy Sebastian, has been chosen to represent the country at the 60th, set to take place in Vienna, Italy on May 23rd. Describing this as a “dream opportunity,” Sebastian will join the ranks of Greece’s Maria-Eleni Kyriakou and Nadav Guedj from Israel in the international event.
Announced at a press conference at the Sydney Opera House on Thursday morning, the multi-platinum selling artist has yet to decide what song he will perform, but has said that it will be something, “Either super fun or a big ballad that showcases my voice.” The choice by broadcaster SBS to select Sebastian as Australia’s contestant has been met with controversy on Twitter and by some media outlets; popular radio station Triple J putting together a list of “9 Eurovision contenders better than Guy Sebastian.” The singer appears unfazed though, joining in the banter by tweeting back, “Only 9??!”
Aussie superstars 5 Seconds of Summer, Iggy Azalea and Sia were all considered for the role before Sebastian was chosen. Paul Clarke, head of Australia’s Eurovision delegation said, “There were a number of artists that really let us know we’re interested … [but] when you weighed everything up Guy was by far the strongest.”
Saying he wants it to be “epic,” Sebastian is the first Australian contestant to compete in the competition. Born in Klang, Malaysia before migrating to Australia at age 6, SBS managing director Michael Ebeid says Sebastian is a reflection of the nation’s diversity and “is a true representation of what Australia is.”
Unlike the majority of the 26 other countries competing, Sebastian has been put through directly to the final round and will miss the semi-finals, which take place on May 19th and 21st. Sebastian is no stranger to such a talent competition, and won the first season of Australian Idol in 2003, placed seventh in World Idol, and has performed on American Idol.
He has since gone on to become a mentor on Australia’s X Factor from 2011 to 2013, and has collaborated with Jordin Sparks, 2 Chainz and John Mayer. He is most well known in the US for his platinum selling single, “Battle Scars” featuring Lupe Fiasco, and has performed on The Late Show with David Letterman, Conan and The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Having just completed his first full scale arena tour to promote his latest album Madness, Sebastian will announce his song selection for the competition by March 16th. A music video will be made to promote Sebastian’s place in the Eurovision contest.
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