He was the first ever Australian Idol winner and now he’ll be the first ever Australian entrant at the Eurovision Song Contest.
After weeks of speculation and conjecture, Guy Sebastian has been named as the artist who will represent Australia at Eurovision on May 23 in Vienna.
“I’m pumped,” Sebastian said soon after Thursday’s announcement at the Sydney Opera House.
“It beats the local RSL,” he said about the coming event, which is viewed by more than 200 million people across the globe.
Sebastian, who rose to fame after winning the first season of reality show Australian Idol in 2003, now has the daunting task of choosing a song.
“I’m not quite sure what song yet … it will be something off my last album (Madness) that I haven’t released as a single,” Sebastian said.
“I want it to be epic … I just want it to represent us as a nation well. But also just be fun or be emotional.”
The singer has been performing on a bigger stage recently during his arena tour and feels like a ballad is the way to go.
“I want to go huge with the screens,” he added.
Kylie Minogue, Delta Goodrem, Jessica Mauboy and even `90s punk band TISM (This is Serious Mum) were among the possible contenders, so it was no surprise the choice of Sebastian left some people disappointed.
“I think you all know which side of the TISM/Sebastian debate I would have come down on,” Davydd Griffiths @davyddgriffiths tweeted.
“You have Kylie but chose Guy Sebastian…. ????” said @ThatDudeKyam.
Sir Gump @Gump5000 wrote: “what an underwhelming choice …who picked this? I can’t even name one song his done.”
But Sebastian is unfazed by the haters and says you just have to ignore the critics.
“There’s way too many positives about his, you know. A huge audience, a massive production.
“It’s a huge event, and, you know, the plus side is so much more than the negative. Of course, there’s going to be people saying whatever.”
Last year, Jessica Mauboy was the first artist from outside the Eurovision contest to be asked to perform.
SBS managing director Michael Ebeid says Mauboy’s performance definitely helped Australia earn a place in the contest.
“Jess’ performance really raised the bar,” Ebeid said.
Ebeid said Australia is a multicultural society and really deserved to be a part of this contest.
“Australians love competing,” he said.
Bearded Austrian drag performer Conchita Wurst won the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest.
Sebastian says he has no plans to follow in Wurst’s footsteps and won’t don a dress for his performance.
“It’s very open, there’s no real boundaries and that’s what I love,” the singer said.