Original Australian Idol, Guy Sebastian, is about to become the original Australian Eurovision contestant, and he’s just revealed the song that he’ll be singing on the sequin-spangled stage in a few months’ time. Sebastian’s weapon of choice will be an original R&B tune, entitled, Tonight Again, which he hopes will be powerful enough to win the Eurovision battle for the land Down Under.
“When it came time to decide on a song, I thought since I had a couple of days off in Australia I would try and write something new,” Sebastian told SBS. “But if I was to record a new song I wanted it to be home-grown and organic with my band in my studio.”
Sebastian tweeted on Monday that he’d gotten to bed at 6am after pulling an all-nighter to polish off Tonight Again. And the soul-pop number has come as a curveball for a lot of commentators, who expected the singer to open fire with a big syrupy power ballad.
“Truly, we jumped in the studio and let it happen because I wanted to write something fun!” He continued. “We all have moments you don’t want to end and you wish you could live those moments every day so I wanted to write a song about that feeling. I am sure that is how I am going to feel when I am in Vienna performing.”
The vocal gymnast will be accompanied by an all-Aussie band for his Eurovision debut on May 19th, which will take place in front of one of the biggest audiences that any Australian has ever sung for – an estimated 200 million TV viewers.
“I’m delighted that Guy and his team have delivered such a powerful song for the occasion and I know that Tonight Again will perfectly showcase Guy’s vocal talent and have a real impact in the competition this year,” SBS Managing Director, Michael Ebeid said.
But not all Aussies have been as enthusiastic about Sebastian’s selection as Australia’s first ever entrant. Melbourne Viking metal band Barbariön have been particularly critical of the Idol winner’s appointment to Eurovision status.
“You’re sending a beige-coloured Volvo full of Subway rolls into a world full of high camp theatrics and bonkers mayhem. The bloke’s gonna get destroyed,” they said in an open letter to SBS.
What do you think? Will Sebastian’s Eurovision song entry be strong enough to stop him being “captured and eaten”? Check out the video for Tonight Again, below.
Watch: Guy Sebastian: Tonight Again
Gallery: 13 Acts Australia Should Have Sent To Eurovision (But Probably Wouldn’t Have)
Tkay Maidza - Why she should: She's emblematic of rising Australian talent and would help put an end to the world's clichéd views of Australian art and culture.
Why she won't: Not cliché enough.
Kirin J. Callinan - Why he should: Apart from the fact that he has a killer voice, Kirin J. Callinan's shows are known for being abrasive, surreal and often chaotic, pushing the limits wherever possible. Given the opportunity, Callinan can show the Europeans they're not the only ones with built in quirk.
Why he won't: OK perhaps he's too quirky, even for Eurovision.
Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu - Why he should: We have a captive audience on the world stage, a perfect platform to share the beautiful voice and music of a treasured Indigenous Australian.
Why he won’t: Not enough sequins.
TISM - Why they should: The people have spoken, give them what they want.
Why they won’t: Presently, they're broken up. (You might be able to change that though…)
Nick Cave - Why he should: No one can command a theatrical stage like our man Nick and in terms of European fans he's got them.
Why he won't: Too Brechtian for Eurovision. Still there's always the cameo option, if Kylie gets it.
B1 and/or B2 - Why they should: They're national treasures goddammit and with those cuts to the ABC they're going to need some international exposure.
Why they won't: If the Dustin The Turkey experience taught us anything, it's that the Eurovision is not kind to puppets.
Empire of the Sun - The Australia electro pop kings know how to put together a visual feast of a stage show.
Why they won't: It's likely they won't stick to Eurovision's maximunm of 6 people on stage rule. Plus no-one can find Nick Littlemore.
The Red Paintings - Why they should: Experimental art rock is their game and the Geelong act know how to work a costume department and a crowd, known for getting the audience up on stage to paint on human canvases during their shows.
Why they won't: Eurovision's not really big on the whole "audience participation" thing.
Hiatus Kaiyote - Why they should: They're a Grammy-nominated Australian future-soul band with a huge international following. Their music borrows ingredients from far-reaching places across the world and throws them together to create a distinctive soul-infused sound, like no other.
Why they won't: Hiatus Kaiyote's future soul stylings might just be too out of this world, even for Eurovision. And there's no way they'll be able to stick to that 3 minute song time limit.
Tripod - Why they should: They’re the perfect musical representation of our typically dry humour, and the idea of three laid back middle-aged smart arses singing about the Girl In The Comic Book Shop amongst the often deadly serious Euros speaks to our penchant for disrupting the status quo.
Why they won’t: Eurovision might be populated by a bunch of dags, but it’s just not the same if you’re aware of how daggy you actually are. Sorry, guys.
Courtney Barnett - Why she should: If you're after the quintessential Australian voice, Courtney Barnett has it and it's wonderful. She's a modern Australian storyteller, stringing together narratives with signature deadpan puns.
Why she won't: Given it's our first year competing, maybe we should ease up on the Aussie puns.
Ne Obliviscaris - Why they should: This Melbourne outfit are one of our most promising metal exports. Their dark, dramatic visage and cinematic brand of orchestral thrash proves that Aussies can metal with the best that Europe has to offer.
Why they won’t: Mainstream Australia might shrivel into their couches and turn to dust when they discover Aussie heavy metal bands with this much flair actually exist.