Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017

Eurovision Song Contest 2017
Country  Australia
National selection
Selection process Internal Selection
Selection date(s) 7 March 2017
Selected entrant Isaiah
Selected song « Don’t Come Easy« 
Selected songwriter(s)
Finals performance
Semi-final result 6th 160 Points
Final result 9th 173 Points
Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest
◄2016 2017

Australia participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 with the song « Don’t Come Easy » written by Anthony Egizii, David Musumeci and Michael Angelo. The song was performed by Isaiah Firebrace, who was internally selected by the Australian broadcaster Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) to represent the nation at the 2017 contest in Kiev, Ukraine. Firebrace was announced as the Australian representative on 7 March 2017. The song Isaiah performed, « Don’t Come Easy », was presented to the public on the same day.

Australia was drawn to compete in the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest which took place on 9 May 2017. Performing during the show in position 3, « Don’t Come Easy » was announced among the top 10 entries of the first semi-final and therefore qualified to compete in the final on 13 May.

Background

Australia debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2015 by invitation from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) as a « one-off » special guest to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Eurovision. On 17 November 2015, the EBU announced that SBS had been invited to participate in the 2016 contest and that Australia would once again take part. In 2015, Australia was guaranteed a spot in the final of the contest and was allowed to vote during both semi-finals and the final; however, for the 2016 contest, Australia would have to qualify to the final from one of two semi-finals and could only vote in the semi-final in which the nation was allocated to compete. On 1 November 2016, SBS confirmed Australia’s participation in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest after securing an invitation for the third year in a row.[1] In 2016, Australia was represented by Dami Im and the song « Sound of Silence« . The country ended in second place in the grand final with 511 points.

Before Eurovision

Internal selection

Isaiah Firebrace and « Don’t Come Easy » were announced as the artist and song that would represent Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 on 7 March 2017. Firebrace performed his entry « Don’t Come Easy » live during the announcement event, which was held at Paris Cat Jazz Club in Melbourne hosted by Mark Humphries. SBS streamed the announcement online through Facebook Live.[2][3][4]

At Eurovision

Isaiah Firebrace during a press meet and greet

According to Eurovision rules, all nations with the exceptions of the host country and the « Big 5 » (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) are required to qualify from one of two semi-finals in order to compete for the final; the top ten countries from each semi-final progress to the final. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) split up the competing countries into six different pots based on voting patterns from previous contests, with countries with favourable voting histories put into the same pot.[5] On 31 January 2017, a special allocation draw was held which placed each country into one of the two semi-finals, as well as which half of the show they would perform in. Australia was placed into the first semi-final, to be held on 9 May 2017, and was scheduled to perform in the first half of the show.[6]

Once all the competing songs for the 2017 contest had been released, the running order for the semi-finals was decided by the shows’ producers rather than through another draw, so that similar songs were not placed next to each other. Australia was set to perform in position 3, following the entry from Georgia and before the entry from Albania.[7]

In Australia, both semi-finals and the final will be broadcast live on SBS with commentary by Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey.[8][9] The Australian spokesperson, who will announce the top 12-point score awarded by the Australian jury during the final, will be Lee Lin Chin.[10]

Semi-final

Isaiah Firebrace took part in technical rehearsals on 30 April and 4 May, followed by dress rehearsals on 8 and 9 May.[11] This included the jury show on 8 May where the professional juries of each country watched and voted on the competing entries.

At the end of the show, Australia was announced as having finished in the top 10 and subsequently qualifying for the grand final.

Final

Shortly after the first semi-final, a winners’ press conference was held for the ten qualifying countries. As part of this press conference, the qualifying artists took part in a draw to determine which half of the grand final they would subsequently participate in. This draw was done in the reverse order the countries appeared in the semi-final running order. Australia was drawn to compete in the second half. Following this draw, the shows’ producers decided upon the running order of the final, as they had done for the semi-finals. Australia was subsequently placed to perform in position 14, following the entry from Croatia and before the entry from Greece.[12] In the likely event that Australia should win the contest, the EBU have confirmed that in accordance with the rules, they would co-host the contest in Europe, with Germany announced as the first choice, and United Kingdom the back-up hosts should Germany decline.[13] In the final Australia received 171 Points from the juries and 2 Points from the televote receiving a total 173 Points placing 9th overall.

Voting

Below is a breakdown of points awarded to Australia and awarded by Australia in the first semi-final and grand final of the contest, and the breakdown of the jury voting and televoting conducted during the two shows:[14][15]

Points awarded to Australia

Points awarded by Australia

Split voting results

The following five members will comprise the Australian jury: [16] On 9 May 2017, it was announced that Natasha Cuppit had replaced Jordan Raskopoulos as a member of the Australian jury.[17]

  • Steven Capaldo (chairperson) – university music education lecturer, conductor, composer, CD producer
  • Lucy Durack – performer, actor
  • Natasha Cuppit – voice coach, performer, conductor
  • Jackie Loeb – singer, comedian, actor
  • Peter Hayward – music teacher, music director, creative director

References

  1. ^ SBS Guide (7 March 2017). « Australia to compete in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest ». Special Broadcasting Service. Retrieved 1 November 2016. 
  2. ^ Dwyer, Genevieve (7 March 2017). « Watch the LIVE announcement of the 2016 Australian Eurovision artist ». sbs.com.au. SBS. Retrieved 7 March 2017. 
  3. ^ Dwyer, Genevieve (7 March 2017). « Watch the LIVE announcement of the 2016 Australian Eurovision artist ». theguardian.com. The Guardian. Retrieved 7 March 2017. 
  4. ^ Mercereau, Damien (7 March 2017). « Eurovision 2017 : Isaiah Firebrace, l’espoir de l’Australie » (in French). Le Figaro. Retrieved 15 March 2017. 
  5. ^ Jordan, Paul (25 January 2017). « Semi-Final Allocation draw to take place in Kyiv ». eurovision.tv. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  6. ^ Jordan, Paul (31 January 2017). « Results of the Semi-Final Allocation Draw ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 31 January 2017. 
  7. ^ Jordan, Paul (31 March 2017). « Semi-Final running order for Eurovision 2017 revealed ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  8. ^ Guide, SBS (2 March 2017). « Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang farewell The Eurovision Song Contest ». Special Broadcasting Corporation (SBS). 
  9. ^ « SBS’s new Eurovision hosts are… ». SBS Guide. 24 March 2017. Retrieved 24 March 2017. 
  10. ^ Knox, David (1 May 2017). « SBS appoints Eurovision jury 2017 ». tvtonight.com.au. TV Tonight. Retrieved 1 May 2016. 
  11. ^ « Press ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  12. ^ Jordan, Paul; Nilsson, Helena (12 May 2017). « EXCLUSIVE: Running order for the 2017 Grand Final released! ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  13. ^ Granger, Anthony (13 May 2017). « What happens if Australia wins the Eurovision Song Contest? ». eurovoix.com. Eurovoix. Retrieved 13 May 2017. 
  14. ^ « Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 First Semi-Final ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 14 May 2017. 
  15. ^ « Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 Grand Final ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 14 May 2017. 
  16. ^ Jordan, Paul (29 April 2017). « Who will be the expert jurors for Eurovision 2017? ». eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 3 May 2017. 
  17. ^ Granger, Anthony (9 May 2017). « ESC’17 changes to juries in five countries ». eurovoix.com. Euroviox. Retrieved 9 May 2017.