• Dale Roberts

FAQs on Montaigne not performing live at Eurovision 2021


Photo credit: Jess Gleeson

As the action for Eurovision 2021 heats up, many people are asking questions about what's happening with Australia's entry for this year and why we're not in Rotterdam.


In these FAQs, we've tried to answer some of these with what we know so far.


So Australia isn't performing live at Eurovision this year?


Correct. Instead of performing live at the arena in Rotterdam, Australia's entry will be a recorded 'live-on-tape' entry.


What is a 'live-on-tape' entry?


In March all 39 Eurovision entries had to supply the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) with a 'live-on-tape' performance in the event that the live Contest couldn't go ahead, the artists couldn't travel to Rotterdam or if they got COVID-19 and couldn't perform.


The live-on-tape was recorded under strict conditions with the EBU and an Independent Voting Observer (Ernst and Young) observing the process. Three recordings could be done within a one-hour time frame.


So far Australia is the only nation to be providing a 'live-on-tape' performance. However if a delegation were to have COVID-19 in rehearsals, it is likely their tape will be used.


What do we know about Montaigne's 'live-on-tape' performance?


Not too much at this stage! It was recorded at a studio in Sydney and we got a glimpse of what it looked like this week during Eurovision rehearsals.


In an interview with press yesterday Montaigne said there was a "Lighting rig sort of behind me and then just a mirrored floor", while Creative Director for the Australian Delegation, Paul Clarke told us in a previous interview that the performance was "simple, classical but with a couple of really good products that give us something that hopefully no one else has got. We have a style that I'm really happy with, I call it contemporary retro. It's got a great retro edge to it. It has some real contemporary elegance about it as well."


So why do we have to do this, why isn't Montaigne travelling to Rotterdam?


There is a number of a reasons associated with the pandemic including health and safety risks for the broadcaster and delegation, five weeks of hotel stays and quarantine and the risk of bringing the virus back to Australia. The artists and the delegation have explained this in a number of statements below.


Montaigne stated in a Eurovision live Q&A in April that,


"SBS hired an independent risk assessor, to try and figure out if it would be safe or not for me and the delegation to go overseas from Australia. And ultimately they said it wasn't. It was their job to find any kind of option that made sense for us to go and they couldn’t. We wouldn’t want to bring anything back that would absolutely suck, and it would just, it would suck to be the people who like brought coronavirus back to Australia."


We also chatted to Australia's Head of Delegation from SBS Josh Martin about this at the time and he stated that,


"There's no one reason, you can't pin it on any one reason, we did an extraordinary amount of work... (we looked at) what are the challenges we need to overcome.... and there was quite a number of challenges to get from this side of the world to the other side of the world in the middle of a global pandemic. We tried every single thing we could including, 'do we just do commentary from Australia'.. but again there was no one reason."


Paul Clarke, the Creative Director in the delegation and Director of Blink TV, told us that, "We are hugely disappointed, we worked so hard to make it happen and look at a pathway where we could be safe...It's been a mutual decision with the network, our production company and Montaigne and her management. "


You can listen and read our interviews with them here


This must be really difficult for Montaigne?


Understandably it is.


She told press that "It's just been a rough two years to do Eurovision, because any expectations I had for it was always crushed by circumstance which is annoying but again very grateful to be here and really proud of 'Technicolour'."


She then went to share a very emotional TikTok video with fans saying "It just hit me while I was doing it (the press conference), I want to be there so badly"


You can watch her TikTok here


She also shared a Tweet about the situation as well.


How can I support Montaigne?


Photo credit: Jess Gleeson

Montaigne is super active online and you can follow her across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Twitch.


Also stream and buy her music, that's always the best way to support an artist.


All links for social and music here: https://linktr.ee/actualmontaigne


And finally if you're in Europe - vote for 'Technicolour' and Montaigne!