2016 X Factor winner Isaiah Firebrace is the chosen act to represent Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, Ukraine.
He will perform the ballad ‘Don’t Come Easy’ written by DNA Songs duo David Musumeci and Anthony Egizii, the same team who wrote Dami Im’s Sound of Silence.
Firebrace, 17, was revealed at the Paris Cat Jazz Club in the Melbourne CBD today.
“I’m so proud to be representing Australia as our entrant for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017,” he said. “Even though it has been a dream of mine, never did I think for one minute it would be a possibility. To be able to share this news with my family and friends is unbelievable. I can’t wait to go to the Ukraine to perform ‘Don’t Come Easy’. I will make Australia proud. Thank you to SBS and my label Sony for believing in me and giving me the opportunity of a lifetime.”
SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid said: “The theme of Eurovision this year is ‘Celebrate Diversity’ and we are once again thrilled to be participating in a global event which could not be more aligned with SBS’s own purpose. Isaiah is a young artist who beautifully embodies the Australian spirit with his passion, hard work and humility, not to mention immense talent at just 17 years old. We are proud to have him represent our country, and can’t wait to see him shine in Kyiv.”
Australian Head of Delegation, Director of Blink TV, SBS’s Eurovision production partner, Paul Clarke said: “It was exciting for all Australian Eurovision fans to come so close to winning last year. We wanted to come up with something totally different for this year, yet just as powerful as Dami. With Isaiah we have an artist who has a unique ability to cast a spell with his voice, and we will build our stage production around showcasing his quite staggering vocals. DNA’s composition is a perfect vehicle for Isaiah, and it was such an exciting collaboration to be part of. It literally gave me tingles to hear it completed. We can’t wait to present it on the stage in Kyiv.”
Firebrace will perform in Semi Final 1, which will be broadcast on Wednesday 10 May Live at 5am on SBS, and in primetime Friday 12 May 7.30pm on SBS. He will still need to qualify for the Eurovision Final.
But he will have big shoes to fill following the second-place by Dami Im in 2016 with Sound of Silence. Australia was previously represented by Guy Sebastian in 2015, with Jessica Mauboy as a special guest in 2014.
Isaiah is not the only Aussie competing with former winner of The Voice Anja Nissen representing Denmark.
SBS is yet to announce its new commentators following the sudden departure of much-loved hosts Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang.
Eurovision Song Contest begins in Kiev from May 9 – 13.
This post updates.