Problem with Australia’s big Eurovision hope

 

Avant-garde pop singer Montaigne will have to take her shot at the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest from Australia with Europe's COVID third wave making it too risky to go to Rotterdam.

Montaigne missed out on competing last year when the pandemic cancelled the 2020 event and SBS decided to give her another shot at the title instead of staging another Australia Decides selection show.

But after extensive risk assessment, Australia's Eurovision delegation has been forced to stay home.

Montaigne premiered Technicolour at the Sydney mardi Gras celebrations. Picture: SBS/Supplied.
Montaigne premiered Technicolour at the Sydney mardi Gras celebrations. Picture: SBS/Supplied.

 

The Sydney pop artist will now "perform" her over-the-top pop entry song Technicolour via video.

"Naturally, I'm sad that for two years in a row I have been unable to participate in the live spectacle of Eurovision," Montaigne said.

"My partner and I had been discussing what video games we would bunker down with in a hotel room in Rotterdam between rehearsals for the final event, and we were excited about it.

"I'm still absolutely stoked that I can present Technicolour this year, in whatever form my final performance will come in."

 


 

The Netherlands, like most of Europe, is in the grip of the pandemic's third wave, averaging about 8000 cases a day.

SBS Commissioning Editor and Australian Head of Delegation Josh Martin said the scarcity of flights from Australia because of our international border closure and the prospect of spending five weeks in hotel rooms - and only allowed out in Rotterdam to go to the venue - were factors behind the decision to not go.

"We are devo-ed. It's such a complicated decision and we gave it a red hot go trying to overcome the challenges but in the end, the risks of getting there and getting home were too great."

Montaigne still gets to compete but just not in person in Rotterdam. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Swift
Montaigne still gets to compete but just not in person in Rotterdam. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Swift

 

But Martin pointed out the upside - Montaigne's performance for Eurovision 2021 contest will be the first on Australian soil and he remains confident she will be competitive despite not being on the stage in Rotterdam and able to use all the lighting and LED bells and whistles.

Like all 39 singers on the 2021 roll call, Montaigne recorded a "live to tape" performance of her entry song Technicolour last month just in case COVID ruled out going to Europe.

Martin said the filming protocols were strict and the performances were observed by Eurovision bosses via Zoom.

 

Montaigne follows Kate Miller-Heidke, Jessica Mauboy, Isaiah, Dami Im and Guy Sebastian trying to win the Eurovision crown for Australia. Picture: Supplied.
Montaigne follows Kate Miller-Heidke, Jessica Mauboy, Isaiah, Dami Im and Guy Sebastian trying to win the Eurovision crown for Australia. Picture: Supplied.

 

"We had one hour to shoot three live takes and then we had to choose the best take and begin the upload process. all of it was observed by representative of the European Broadcasting Union, the Dutch broadcaster and an independent observer," Martin said.

Montaigne will now dedicate her late-night hours to her campaign to win the hearts of the diehard fans in Europe with a raft of interviews with influential Eurovision fan blogs and media.

And Martin and the team are finalising their broadcast plans for Eurovision 2021, which runs from May 19 to May 23, hosted by Joel Creasey and Myf Warhurst.

 

Originally published as Problem with Australia's big Eurovision hope