Australia’s Eurovision contenders revealed
ARIA award-winning pop artist Montaigne and alternative singer songwriter Didirri have joined the star-studded line-up of artists competing to represent Australia at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest.
The Triple J favourites, who have amassed millions of streams and thrilled thousands of concertgoers with their unique songs and compelling performances, join Casey Donovan, Vanessa Amorosi, iOTA and Mitch Tambo at the Australia Decides competition in February.
Montaigne, whose second album Complex landed in the ARIA top 20 in September, was approached for the inaugural sing-off this year but passed as she didn't connect with the song chosen by organisers for her.
She said her inner "drama queen egomaniac" convinced her to give Eurovision a shot in 2020.
"It looks like a lot of fun, to perform on one of the biggest stages in the world for singers with high production values and not being afraid to be melodramatic or overly emotional which is my thing," she said.
She has worked on two potential entries for the 2020 Australia Decides show, one she describes as a "total banger" and the other more aligned with her dramatic soaring style of pop.
Like Kate Miller-Heidke, who won the inaugural Australia Decides and represented us in Tel Aviv this year, Montaigne chooses to ignore the competitive aspect of the performance.
"I really hate competition; I am less invested in who wins or loses rather than it being a big gathering of artists who usually get together in the same room. For me, it's about community and the opportunity for our performances to be put in the spotlight," she said.
Didirri is one of the most sought after and popular artists on the Australian festival circuit and is renowned for his beguiling live shows.
He was attracted to participating in Eurovision because it showcases songwriting as much as performance, citing his love of the 1974 winners ABBA.
"Although the world of Eurovision is new to me, from the outside it seems to respect a well written song above all else. People seem to be free to express their art in whatever way they want. I'm a fan of ABBA, they wrote unfiltered, iconic anthems," he said.
"My sister and I used to sing their stuff together in the bathroom. Who knows how they have influenced me, I'm quite a mix bag of ideas. Personal experience inspires most of my own writing - all I hope to do is to help people express some part of themselves.
"I'm also over the moon to be joining the line-up with my friend Montaigne who I respect very much."
SBS have pushed the boundaries of diversity and eclecticism with their choices for the 10 artists to sing off in February, seeking to attract both mainstream pop fans with Donovan and Amorosi, lovers of theatrical music with iOTA and the alternative squad who listen to Triple J and might not be considered Eurovision fans.
Eurovision - Australia Decides kicks off at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on February 7 with the live final broadcast from 7.30pm on February 8.