Earlier this year, SBS the national broadcaster of Australia announced the return of their live selection format, Eurovision – Australia Decides 2022. Tonight, SBS have revealed that PAULINI, Isaiah Firebrace and Jaguar Jonze are the first big names that will be performing at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on February 26.
Eurovision – Australia Decides 2022
Everyone will be saying ‘good morning, Europe!’ once more on February 26 2022, as the Australian national final returns for its third year. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic the show has been on hiatus since 2020. During that time Australia Decides 2020 winner, Montaigne, was internally selected for the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 after the cancellation of the 2020 edition. Now, with travel restrictions set to be lifted, Australia is once again ready to take over the Gold Coast and showcase its best up and coming talent to Europe.
In total, ten entries from the 700 submissions received, will be selected to take part in the national final, with the winner being selected by a combination of public and professional jury voting. Now, the first three acts competing for a chance to represent Australia in Turin 2022 have been revealed!
Pauline Curuenavuli also known as PAULINI is a Fijian-Australian singer who rose to fame on the first series of Australian Idol in 2003. With a number 1s in the ARIA charts for her debut single ‘Angel Eyes’ and her debut album One Determined Heart. The Sydney-based star is an all-rounder, and has taken her singing craft to the musical theatre world. Successfully paying tribute to the Whitney Houston classic, The Bodyguard. More recently Paulini has returned to the limelight in the recent series of I’m A Celebrity Australia and regained her competitive singing spirit as ‘The Spider’ in the first season of The Masked Singer Australia in 2019.
Eurovision to me is like the Olympics for singers! It brings together so many countries and cultures— and while it’s a competition I see it as uniting much of the world through music.Paulini
Also no stranger to competition or indeed Eurovision, X Factor 2016 winner, Isaiah Firebrace makes his Australia Decides debut. Previously Isaiah was internally selected to represent the country in 2017 with ‘Don’t Come Easy’. During the Kyiv contest Isaiah finished in 9th place. Although he’s used to performing as a solo artist, at the Gold Coast he’s switching things up and performing with an as yet unnamed singing partner!
When I first represented Australia at Eurovision in 2017, I was 17, it was my first time in Europe and I feel like everything was a blurry dream that went by so quickly. I’ve grown so much as a singer, a performer and as a person. Since then and I’ve definitely got unfinished business! I can’t tell you anything more except that I’m singing a duet with someone incredible and that we co-wrote the song.Isaiah Firebrace
Today’s third act is also a familiar name. The talented Triple J artist, Deena Lynch, also known as Jaguar Jonze returns from the ‘Rabbit Hole’ to Australia Decides. After previously participating in the 2020 edition of the national selection. The Brisbane native with Taiwanese roots will be the home-town hero looking to take the crown this time around. Since 2020 Jaguar has been touring in New York and recently released the acclaimed EP ANTIHERO.
My song is going to be a moment that celebrates our resilience and the little steps that lead to big change. As well as push my creative boundaries to another level. So much has happened since we were all together, and being back with the added strength of my Eurovision family and fanbase will make it a show worth waiting for. I can’t wait to see you on the Gold Coast!Jaguar Jonze
Songwriter – Jude York
Moreover, in a surprise twist on the usual reveals, SBS are introducing us to the songwriters as well. Jude York is 22 and from Toowoomba, Queensland. Although he started out as a Jazz crooner, he also has a passion for songwriting. The rousing ballad called ‘I Won’t Need To Dream’ will not have to wait much longer for its artist. Of course, Jude will be dreaming his composition makes it all the way to Turin!
To think of my song being shared on such a monumental platform is truly mind-blowing. I wrote it with the amazing Billy Stonecipher about staying hopeful that dreams can come true. And now to have this opportunity as a queer artist in regional Queensland, I’ve never had a better reason to believe in that message! I can’t wait for everybody to hear this!Jude York
When and where to watch Australia Decides 2022
Expect to see the seven remaining acts revealed over the coming weeks. However, one name we can rule out early is Dami Im. Despite heavy interest, even declaring her intention to return in 2021, on the Australia Decides stage, more recently Dami has revealed she is ‘unsure’ whether she would extend her interest to 2022.
Eurovision – Australia Decides 2022, hosted by Joel Creasey and Myf Warhurst, will be broadcast live on SBS on 26 February 2022 at 20:30 AEDT (9:30am GMT/10:30am CET). Meanwhile, Australian fans can purchase tickets from today, here.
Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest
Although many Australians have performed on the Eurovision stage, it wasn’t until 2015 the nation took part ‘as a guest’. Guy Sebastian flew the flag with the uptempo ‘Tonight Again’, finishing in 5th place. Due to the resounding success and positive response, Australia have been doing tonight again ever since. In 2019, the EBU guaranteed Australia’s ability to participate until 2023. So far, Dami Im holds the crown for ‘best Australian result’. Almost winning the contest with ‘Sound of Silence’ in Stockholm 2016.
Last year, Montaigne was selected as Australia’s representative after winning Eurovision – Australia Decides 2020 with her song, ‘Don’t Break Me’. After the contest was cancelled, SBS invited Montaigne back to compete in the 2021 Rotterdam contest. Her entry ‘Technicolour’ placed 14th in semi-final one with 28 points. Unfortunately resulting in Australia’s first non-qualification.
Are you excited for the first names of Australia Decides 2022? Let us know! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter, @escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! Also, give us a follow on Spotify for the latest music from your favourite Eurovision acts. As well as subscribing to YouTube for our reactions in the run up to the national final season and the Turin 2022 contest!