• Dale Roberts

Asia Pacific connections to Eurovision national finals



With the upcoming national final season almost upon us, we're looking back at past editions to find connections to the Asia Pacific.


In recent history there have been many artists who were born or have heritage from the region, who have competed in national selections all over Europe and Australia.


We'll go through some of these from recent history (featuring artists who haven't been to Eurovision) so let's take a look by country:


Fiji


Paulini - 'We Are One'



Paulini Curuenavuli, known as her stage name Paulini, was born in Suva, Fiji before moving to Australia at four-years-old. Paulini found fame through Australian Idol and would go on to compete at 'Eurovision - Australia Decides' in 2022.


Her song 'We Are One' placed 6th out of the 11 artists competing.



French Polynesia


AMUI - 'Maeva'



The Tahitian trio of Ken Carlter, Eva Ariitai and Vaheana Fernandez competed in the French national final in 2021 'C’est vous qui décidez!' They performed the song 'Maeva' which means "welcome" in Tahitian. The group finished in an impressive 6th place in the final, including 3rd in the public vote.


Ken spoke to Aussievision about competing saying,


"I wanted to show to the European audience, that France is not only Paris and the Eiffel Tower, or the baguette and the beret... but it is also enriched by its overseas Islands, territories, cultures and people."


Ugo - 'Ce qui me blesse'


Although Ugo Benterfa was born in mainland France, he moved to Tahiti when he was 14 years old. In 2019 he took part in the French national selection 'Destination Eurovision' with his song 'Ce qui me bless' which translates to "what hurts me".


He finished 5th in his semi-final, missing the grand final by a single point.



Malaysia


Suriya - 'Forever I B Young'



Suriya is the stage name of Heidi "Suriya" Sørensen, who was part of the Danish duo act S.O.A.P best known for their song 'This is How We Party' in 1998. The sisters were born in Perak in Malaysia before relocating to Denmark. Their father is originally Danish and their mother originally from Malaysia.


Fourteen years after their initial success, Suriya competed as a solo act at Dansk Melodi Grand Prix with 'Forever I B Young'. Unfortunately for Suriya, the song didn't make the top three superfinal.



Jordan-Ravi - 'Pushing Stars'



Jordan-Ravi competed at 'Eurovision - Australia Decides' with the song 'Pushing Stars'. Before Australia Decides, the 22-year-old from Darwin had competed on America's Got Talent impressing Simon Cowell himself.


Jordan-Ravi's connections to Malaysia come through his father Devan Sabaratnam, who was born in Malaysia before migrating to Australia in 1978.



New Zealand


iOTA - 'Life'



iOTA was born in Pinjarra, Western Australia to an English mother and to a New Zealand-Māori father.


He competed at 'Eurovision - Australia Decides' 2020 with 'Life', opening the show and finishing 9th overall.



Papua New Guinea


Sheppard - 'On My Way'



The Sheppard siblings of George, Amy and Emma were born and raised in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The family eventually moved back to Brisbane, Australia and formed their internationally successful group.


They competed at 'Eurovision - Australia Decides' in 2019 with 'On My Way' finishing 3rd overall behind Kate Miller-Heidke and Electric Fields.



Philippines


Bella Santiago - 'Army of Love' & 'Auzi Cumbate'



Resciebelle "Bella" Barrios Santiago is a 32-year-old singer who was born in Dasmariñas, Philippines. In 2016 Bella moved to Romania to be with her Romanian boyfriend who she met while working in Malaysia.


She competed in Romania's Eurovision national final Selecția Națională on two occasions. In 2018 she performed with Jukebox with their song 'Auzi cum bate' which placed 4th in the final and in 2019 she went solo with 'Army of Love', finishing in 3rd place.


Seann Miley Moore - 'My Body'



Seann Miley Moore is an accomplished performer who has appeared on X Factor UK, The Voice Australia and also at this year's 'Eurovision - Australia Decides'. His mother, Mimi, is Filipino, and the family lived across Indonesia, Thailand and Australia due to his father's work.


Seann performed the song 'My Body' at this year's 'Eurovision - Australia Decides' on the Gold Coast finishing in 11th place.


Erica Padilla - 'To the Bottom'


'Eurovision - Australia Decides' 2022 performer Erica Padilla has Filipino heritage. Erica won her spot at the contest through the TikTok wildcard competition where she has over 1 million followers.


She finished 9th place at 'Eurovision - Australia Decides' with her song 'To The Bottom' which included her sister Isabella as a co-writer.


LIAMOO - 'Last Breath', 'Hold You' and 'Bluffin'



Liam Cacatian Thomasse, aka LIAMOO, is a Swedish singer who has Filipino heritage. He has competed at Melodifestivalen on three occasions and the made the final each time.


'Last Breath' in 2018 finished 6th, his duet on the song 'Hold You' with Hanna Ferm placed 3rd and this year with 'Bluffin' he finished in 4th place.


Camille Cabaltera - 'Move 'Em Like You Never Did'



Camille was born in Manila but moved to Italy when she was 8 years old. In 2022 she competed in Una voce per San Marino with 'Move 'Em Like You Did'.


She made it all the way to the final where she finished 7th place.



Taiwan


Jaguar Jonze - 'Rabbit Hole' and 'Little Fires'



Deena Lynch (aka Jaguar Jonze) was born in Yokohama, Japan to a Taiwanese father and an Australian mother. Her family relocated to Australia when she was seven years old and she went on to become an accomplished artist in Australia.


She competed in 'Eurovision - Australia Decides' on two occasions: in 2019 with 'Rabbit Hole' placing 6th and in 2022 with 'Little Fires' finishing 3rd.



Vietnam


Alice Svensson - 'Running with Lions'



Alice Svensson was born in Hanoi, Vietnam and was adopted by a Swedish family when she was 10 months old.


She was runner-up on Swedish Idol in 2008 and competing in Melodifestivalen in 2017. Her song 'Running with Lions' finished 5th in her heat, missing out on advancing to Andra Chansen by just 0.17%.


 

That's all the recent national final connections to the Asia Pacific we have, although we're sure there's some gems out there that we've missed.


Let us know and connect with us via Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube and Instagram. All the links can be found at: https://linktr.ee/aussievisionnet


If there's any songs you think deserve a place in our National Final Countdown on November 12, make sure you vote by Friday 28 October. Get details here.