SBS has confirmed art-pop singer-songwriter Montaigne will still represent Australia at the rescheduled Eurovision Song Contest, in May 2021.
Montaigne was chosen to represent the country after winning Eurovision: Australia Decides with her performance of Don’t Break Me in February. But the European Broadcasting Union ruled that 2020 songs could not be re-entered in 2021, which has triggered a backlash from songwriters and performers, and throwing the onus back on broadcasters.
Australia joins Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Israel, Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine in a growing list of countries who’ve given their 2020 artists a second chance.
An elated Montaigne said: “I’m so happy to receive this good news during such times. At home, we’ve started this ritual of cracking open a fortune cookie daily and reading our fortunes to each other and I got one that read, ‘You will be sharing great news with all the people you love.’ I’m so glad it came true!”
It also means SBS will not be staging Eurovision: Australia Decides next February, which is a cost saving for the broadcaster. It also means Dami Im’s hopes to return to Eurovision contention will be set back by a further 12 months.
SBS Commissioning Editor and Australian Head of Delegation Josh Martin said: “Although SBS and fans alike will miss Eurovision: Australia Decides 2021, this will honour Australia’s decision and give Montaigne the chance to show the world what we already know – that she is an incredibly talented, exciting and original artist. Our focus will now shift to a new song for 2021 and Montaigne is not wasting a moment of this period of isolation with many new ideas already on the table!”
Creative Director of Eurovision: Australia Decides and Director of Blink TV Paul Clarke said: “It’s great to know for certain that Australia will be able to cheer for Montaigne at Eurovision 2021, and we’re excited to be working with her on a new song and staging. Meanwhile, it’s important to appreciate what’s been achieved with Eurovision: Australia Decides. We’re so grateful to our key partners Tourism and Events Queensland, City of Gold Coast, Screen Queensland, Moroccanoil and APRA AMCOS for their commitment to building a major TV event for artists and songwriters who, like all of us, are facing unprecedented challenges this year. To our music community we say – write the perfect Eurovision song! We have every intention of bringing the show back to the Gold Coast in 2022 bigger and better than ever.”
SBS is currently exploring alternative Eurovision programming for 2020, expected in May. In Europe the the EBU have also revealed plans for an alternate show for May, called Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light.