With the first Australia Decides just around the corner, Blink TV and SBS have revealed a wish list of candidates, including Delta Goodrem, Ricki-Lee and Peking Duk.
‘Hundreds of songs submitted’
As anticipation builds for the newest addition to the national final calendar, new details are beginning to emerge. Such is the hype that the novelty of Australia being in the Eurovision Song Contest draws, it has been rewarded in the level of interest shown by Australian composers.
Songwriters and composers were given three weeks to prepare songs for the inaugural national final. Following which, the winner will be the next representative for Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Tel Aviv. This song submission window came to its conclusion yesterday. Despite this short deadline, it didn’t limit the number of entries received. Just last week SBS revealed that hundreds of songs from a range of genres had been submitted.
Hundreds of songwriters across Australia have already submitted a diverse mix of songs – from pop to country, ballad to thrash metal, novelty to opera and everything in between.Josh Martin, SBS Commissioning Editor of Entertainment
Prior to Christmas these songs will be made available to the public. This will enable wider feedback for the entries and promote the upcoming show.
Australia’s leading music artists approached
Not stopping there, Blink TV and SBS wants the biggest names in the Australian music industry to take part in the first Australia Decides. From the proposal made to the Gold Coast City Council for the format, a list of names have been recommended. Included on this list are Delta Goodrem, Ricki-Lee and Peking Duk.
Further to this Australia’s Head of Delegation and Director of Blink TV, Paul Clarke also confirmed top names have been approached. Both in the selection process and to promote the show. Listen to the full interview conducted with fellow Eurovision media site Aussievision here.
Will Delta Goodrem, Ricki-Lee and Peking Duk compete?
Of course it is expected that broadcasters and TV companies will lead with their biggest names to secure interest in a new concept. However it is not completely out of the realms of possibility that a popular Australian artist could compete.
Many will remember Delta Goodrem’s connection to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Deciding not to use the song written for her own album, Delta’s ‘My Girls’ was eventually recorded by young starlet Bella Paige. Thus becoming Australia’s debut entry in the 2015 edition of the contest. Therefore offering a small chance perhaps, that Delta could at least feature next February as a songwriter.
No stranger to competition, Ricki-Lee Coulter auditioned for Australian Idol and Popstars Live in the early days of her career. More recently in 2014 Ricki-Lee put her rhythm and musicality to the test and came third in Dancing With The Stars Australia. Moreover it seems Ricki-Lee came close to being selected last year and has also expressed interest in competing in Eurovision herself. However music label Universal has not yet been the preferred choice to collaborate with SBS.
Every year we absolutely scour all the record labels. We actually came very close to going with Universal last year. But at the end of the day what I look for is best artist possible, and not the record label. Sony has just happened each year to put forward the best person possible.Michael Ebeid, former SBS Managing Director.
With the Gold Coast expected to host the party of the season in February, who better than Electronic-House duo Peking Duk to provide the show? Rising to fame in 2014 their signature style has born a string of chart hits and seen the duo collaborate with artists from around the world. Such as Elliphant, AlunaGeorge and Icona Pop.
Australia Decides 2019
Now submissions have closed and the process begins to shortlist entries for the selection, all eyes will be on what the Gold Coast has in store for February. Therefore a draft schedule of the Australia Decides time line was presented to the council by Blink TV.
- November – December 2018 – Staggered announcements of artists.
- December 2018 – Songs matched with artists and released prior to Christmas. Tickets go on sale.
- January 2019 – Tease special guests and announce hosts.
- February 2019 – Media activities. Announcement of voting procedure.
- Friday 8th February – Jury Show.
- Saturday 9th February – Matinee Show.
- Saturday 9th February – Live broadcast of Australia Decides.
As the production partner for SBS, Blink TV have secured the rights for the event until 2029. Thereby ensuring that the Gold Coast will be the ‘home of Eurovision’. Due to hosting both Australia Decides and the first Eurovision Asia Song Contest due in 2019. Although the national final will go on rotation, with various cities in Australia set to host over the coming years. It was suggested in the council meeting that for the next 12 years the Gold Coast will host on a four year rotation. Further considerations will be made after a review of both the Gold Coast’s inaugural events.
Are you looking forward to the first Australia Decides? Which other names would you put forward? Let us know in the comments and on social media @ESCXTRA