SBS decides against Montaigne travelling to Rotterdam

Montaigne to compete at Eurovision 2021 through 'Live on Tape' option.

Montaigne will not be performing on the ground in Rotterdam for the Eurovision Song Contest, after a decision by SBS to take up the option of a Live on Tape entry for 2021.

SBS Commissioning Editor and Australian Head of Delegation, Josh Martin said, “Australia has embraced the Eurovision spirit for more than 35 years on SBS, and our affection and excitement for the contest has continued to grow since we first competed in Vienna in 2015. In 2021, Australia will once again compete in the world’s biggest song contest but this time our artist, Montaigne, will perform from home and not abroad.

“After a comprehensive assessment, SBS has decided not to send an Australian delegation and artist to Rotterdam for the Eurovision Song Contest this year. We came to this difficult decision after considering the challenges of the ongoing pandemic, including the many factors involved in travelling to and from the event from Australia.”

This year each country will record a ‘live-on-tape’ version of their planned performance with a one hour recording session of 3 x performances. Acts unable to attend are permitted to use the performance they are most happy with. To ensure competition fairness, a ‘Declaration of Compliance with the Production Guidelines’ must be signed and submitted within the hour, along with every specific audio file and every single isolated camera shot.

Australia is the first country to confirm it will not perform in Rotterdam.

“SBS and Montaigne are appreciative of the European Broadcasting Union’s ongoing support for Australia’s involvement in the event, and their commitment to ensuring Eurovision continues amid the challenges COVID-19 presents. Congratulations must also go to the Host Broadcaster for the outstanding work that is being done to create a successful Eurovision Song Contest this year. We are working with them to assist in creating a memorable and successful broadcast,” Josh Martin continued.

“In true Australian spirit, Montaigne will still be fiercely competing in this year’s event with her uplifting and powerful anthem Technicolour, which is set to surprise and delight Europe, and show everyone we’re in it to win it. We are thrilled to be back and look forward to showing Europe our very best!”

For indie-pop singer Montaigne, who was first selected in early 2020 with “Don’t Break Me,” the decision represents a second halt to her performing on the ground in Europe.

“Naturally, I’m sad that for two years in a row I have been unable to participate in the live spectacle of Eurovision,” she said.

“My partner and I had been discussing what video games we would bunker down with in a hotel room in Rotterdam between rehearsals for the final event, and we were excited about it. Despite that disappointment, it is still an immense privilege to be able to participate and compete in Eurovision, in its fandom and its processes, two years in a row. I have been able to submit two songs that I’m proud of and that have meant significant things to people. I am still absolutely stoked that I can present Technicolour this year, in whatever form my final performance may come in! It’s such a beautiful festivity and not even a pandemic can put it to bed. Eurovision will live forever.”

Paul Clarke, Creative Director of Eurovision: Australia Decides and Director of Blink TV, said: “Just because we are performing from the other side of the world, doesn’t mean we won’t be competitive. I’m very proud of Montaigne’s fighting spirit and we have a terrific creative concept to present – we can’t wait for you to experience Technicolour brought to life for Eurovision 2021. It’s an exciting challenge that we all want to rise to. We’re excited that it’s the first time part of Eurovision will be on Australian soil, and hopefully it won’t be the last! We’d also like to thank our friends at Eurovision for allowing us to compete from half a world away, and we are all sorry not to be there with you.”

Martin Österdahl, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, added: “We regret that we are not able to welcome Montaigne to Rotterdam in May. However, we understand the unique challenges presented to the hard working Australian delegation who have until the very end tried their utmost to make their presence in the Netherlands possible. We are pleased that we are still able to let them compete with the other 38 participants thanks to the ‘live on tape’ recording of Montaigne’s song Technicolour. Australia have always brought diversity, excitement and energy to the Eurovision Song Contest and despite their team being far away this year they will be close to all our hearts in Rotterdam.”

Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey will helm of SBS’s Eurovision coverage again this year, commentating from Australia.

The 2021 Eurovision Song Contest will be broadcast exclusively on SBS from 19 to 23 May.

11 Responses

  1. While unfortunate, it’s the right call. From an optics perspective, it’s not a good look for a delegation returning from a song competition on the other side of the world to be getting back into the country when there are arrival limits and 30,000+ people have been waiting months to get home.

    1. What about the tennis players and their teams who are currently playing in Europe, not to mention the Australian cricket team that is in India now, where the COVID situation is really bad.

  2. Its disappointing honestly. I’m not a huge fan of the song but every artist deserves to perform on the actual Eurovision stage. I get COVID and everything but yeah she should be there. I bet she’s gutted to not be able to go not once but twice. The feeling of Eurovision in person is so much more. Just ask the artists who have gone before her. They bring the best out of them. We might not even qualify now.

  3. I wonder if that would put at risk the chances of success in the competition as sending a delegation shows serious intentions for contending. I would have preferred Because I Love You as Montaigne’s entry as it was her most popular solo single in the ARIA and Triple J Hottest 100 charts. It’s the type of tune that would also go well in Eurovision.

  4. This sucks and places us at risk of non-qualification. Hope the on tape performance is better than the Don’t Break Me taped performance created last year. Would be curious to know how they came to this decision. Right now there are dozens of tennis players competing across Europe so surely it wasn’t the government’s decision.

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