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Australia Decides 2022: Getting to know Paulini

Newcomer to the Eurovision scene Paulini Curuenavuli is one of the biggest names in the Australian entertainment industry.

From her debut on the inaugural season of 'Australian Idol' to her appearances on the theatrical stage, Paulini has been impressing the Australian public for almost two decades.

Before she makes her way to the 'Eurovision - Australia Decides' 2022 stage in February, we take a look at her entertainment career in Australia.

Who is Paulini?

Paulini was born in Suva, the capital city of Fiji, on 15 October 1982. She now lives in Sydney, New South Wales. Her family moved to Australia when she was just 4-years-old.

Paulini has had a stellar career as a singer, songwriter and actress. She performed from a young age, learning to sing within her musical family. Her talent didn't got unnoticed performing in music quests, and shows which led her to appear on the second season of Channel 9's 'StarStruck' back in 2001, which she ended up winning.

In 2003 she was part of a Fijian band called Mixx with 11 other people including her two sisters. The group performed in the opening of the 12th South Pacific Games held in Suva. She went on to leave the band to audition for Australian Idol.

Australian Idol and the Young Divas

Paulini shot to stardom during the first season of 'Australian Idol' on Channel 10 back in 2003. She impressed the judges and all of Australia with her amazing vocals. She performed covers of hits like 'Don't Leave Me This Way' by Thelma Houston, 'Chains' by Tina Arena and 'At Last' by Etta James. Paulini finished in fourth place behind Australian Eurovision 2015 representative Guy Sebastian (Australian Idol 2003 winner), Shannon Noll, and Cosima De Vito.

Following her appearance on 'Australian Idol', Paulini went on to release music under the Sony BMG label. She earned a No. 1 debut single 'Angel Eyes' and a No. 1 debut album 'One Determined Heart' on the ARIA charts.

In 2006, she would go on to form part of the supergroup Young Divas with Ricki-Lee, Emily and Kate, all from various seasons of Australian Idol. They had a No. 2 hit single in Australia with their cover of Donna Summer's 'This Time I Know It's For Real'. They also released an album 'Young Divas' which reached No. 4 on the ARIA album chart. Paulini also released her sophomore album 'Superwoman' in 2006.

Ricki-Lee left the Young Divas and Paulini, Emily and Kate would be joined by Jessica Mauboy (who went on to represent Australia at Eurovision 2018) for the bands follow up album 'New Attitude'. The album peaked at No. 10 on the ARIA album chart.

In 2009 Paulini signed with independent label Albert Music, and went on to appear in multiple theatrical performances.

Song writer and television star

In 2004 she got the opportunity to appear in the Aussie soapie 'Home and Away', where she performed two songs. In 2006 she was a mentor on the Australian music talent show 'It Takes Two' for two seasons, based on the UK version 'Just the Two of Us'.

Denmark’s 2009 Eurovision entry ‘Believe Again’. The pair performed the song together for the first time on ‘The X Factor Australia’ where Ronan was a judge. The single reached No. 73 on the ARIA Singles chart in Australia.

After Paulini departed the Sony BMG label she absorbed herself into song writing. As a song writer she wrote for many artists throughout Europe, the Philippines and South Africa. Her songwriting also brought her a Eurovision connection. In 2010 Paulini co-wrote 'Culpable' for Spanish artist Edurne who went on to represent Spain at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 with the song 'Amanecer'.

Paulini also got to release an album in 2015 called 'Come Alive' in which she was heavily involved in the songwriting process, something she wasn't able to do in her earlier album releases.

Along with her song writing talent Paulini also has TV skills with her fair share of time on the small screen.

In 2019 she competed in the first season of 'Masked Singer Australia' as the spider. Paulini sung covers of Britney Spears' 'Toxic', 'Titanium' by David Guetta & Sia and 'Someone You Loved' by Lewis Capaldi. The cover of Capaldi's song saw her eliminated on the seventh week.

This year Pauline competed in season seven of 'I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here' in Australia, the same season Australia Decides 2020 artist Jack Vidgen competed in. Unfortunately she was the 5th eliminated celebrity.

The world of musical theatre

Paulini has graced the musical theatre stage around Australia over the last five years, appearing as Rachel Marron from 'The Bodyguard', Dionne from 'Hair', and Svetlana from 'Chess' (created by ABBA's Benny and Bjorn).

This range of characters she has had to portray has provided her with a wealth of experience and newfound talent in her singing abilities.

She is set to play the role of ‘Killer Queen’ in We Will Rock You Arena Experience in Australia throughout 2022 and 2023. The show features the band Queens greatest hits with over 500 performers on stage. It is described as a unique collaboration between the legends of rock, Queen, and one of the U.K.’s most phenomenally successful writers, Ben Elton.

Award-winning singer

Paulini has been a chart-topping, award-winning performer within Australia.

She won two ARIA Awards (for her No. 1 single 'Angel Eyes' and No. 1 album 'One Determined Heart' back in 2004), and one Nickelodeon Australian Kids' Choice Award (for fave song for 'This Time I Know It's for Real' with Young Divas in 2006).

She's also received nomination nods at the Australia/New Zealand Urban Music Awards and the Awards.

We cannot wait to see Paulini showcase her amazing voice and skills on the Australia Decides stage in a song she has described as definitely having a DIVA moment. Her song is set to be revealed at a later date.

Article written by Ford Carter and Kyriakos Tsinivits

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