Eurovision 2022 Australia profile: 'Not The Same' by Sheldon Riley
Australia in Eurovision
Australia made their debut at Eurovision in 2015 when Guy Sebastian competed directly in the Grand Final in Vienna with the song 'Tonight Again'. Australia competed as part of the Contest's 60th anniversary. Guy went on to finish in an impressive 5th place.
Australia were invited back yet again the following year in Stockholm were Dami Im competed with the song 'Sound of Silence'. She managed to win her semi-final and then in the Grand Final took out the No.1 spot with the jury votes and finish in an overall runner-up spot in the Contest. It is our best result in the Contest ever.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the Australian broadcaster SBS confirmed that Australia will be competing at Eurovision until 2023.
In 2019 Australia went on to host its first Eurovision national final 'Eurovision - Australia Decides' in the Gold Coast, where the public and a jury would go on to select their representative for Eurovision.
2022 Entry: Sheldon Riley - 'Not The Same'
Semi-final: Sheldon will be perform from position eight in semi-final 2
My Eurovision Scoreboard ranking: 15th
Odds to win ranking: 10th
(Rankings as of 12 April 2022)
About the artist
The now Melbourne-based artist was born on 14 March 1999 to an Australian mother and Filipino father. He grew up in the Gold Coast, where he started watching Eurovision.
The self confessed Eurovision fan is well known to Australian audiences following visual impactful performances on two seasons of 'The Voice Australia' including a third place finish in 2018. He previously competed on 'The X Factor Australia' in 2015 and also competed in the US on 'America's Got Talent' in 2020.
He is a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community and has been open about his struggles growing up with the notion of masculinity and what it meant to be a man in Australian culture. His life has shaped him into the incredible artist he is today, not afraid of showing a more androgynous front to his exuberant persona.
About the song
'Not the Same' was written by Sheldon back in 2015. He wrote the song six years ago and has continually been working on it. He went on to give it a major revamp turning it into a "dark Bond movie-inspired orchestral pop number".
About his Australia Decides entry Sheldon stated in an interview with Aussievision:
"This song that I've just written. Well, I've written it a while back now but the song that I wrote that I'm going to be performing in Australia Decides is the most proud I have ever been of a song in my life. It just it feels like everything I've ever wanted to release. It almost makes up for all of the negotiating I have had to do with you know, my team or my partner, my manager like the producers, like I'm always changing little things to make sure that it's appropriate for lots of different audiences and this song, because it's Eurovision, I'm like, I just I want it to be me and I don't want to have to change anything to fit someone else or fit the year even fit, you know, Eurovision I want to write and I’m really excited about it.”
Sheldon further shared in other interviews that the song is about his memories as a child who at age 6 was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. The song came from lyrics he had written on his old Facebook account.
After Sheldon's win on March 7, 'Not The Same' reached No.1 on the AIR 100% Independent Singles chart.
How he was chosen for Eurovision
Sheldon won the Australian Eurovision national final ‘Eurovision - Australia Decides’ 2022 performing his entry ‘Not The Same’ where he competed again 10 other artists.
Sheldon came second with the juries with 50 points and second with the televote with 50 points to finish with 100 points and win the competition.
He delivered an epic performance filled with emotion and drama, where he wore his heart on his sleeve, and shared with Australia one of his most personal songs. It earned him the opportunity to represent Australia at Eurovision in Turin this year.
Our interview with Sheldon Riley
Aussievision review and rank podcast episode
Or wherever you get your podcast.
Australia will compete in semi-final 2 on May 12 (European time) in Turin.