Our 10 key takeaways from Australia Decides 2022
The third edition of 'Eurovision - Australia Decides' is over for another year! We take a look at some key takeaways from this year's contest.
We have a winner Sheldon Riley who will go on to represent Australia at Eurovision, but there was a lot more stories out of the contest this year for 2022.
Here's our 10 key takeaways from Australia Decides 2022.
1. This years selection of artists were true Eurovision fans
Many of this year’s Australia Decides artists really showed their love for Eurovision in the lead up to Australia Decides. Sheldon has wanted to go to Eurovision since, forever, even mentioning it to Delta Goodrem during his time on 'The Voice' (shown above). He has a strong passion for the contest, with Conchita Wurst being his inspiration.
For the past seven years Voyager have been campaigning to go to Eurovision, with Danny from the band sharing how he watched the Contest when he was young and and revealed one of his favourite entries being by Icelandic queen Silvia Night with ‘Congratulations’.
Jaguar Jonze also feels passionate about the Contest being brought up to speed by her amazing fandom she calls “cubs”. Andrew has watched the Contest as a child with his grandparents and learnt to play Serbia’s Eurovision winning song ‘Molitva’ in 2007 on the piano and sing it. Just to name a few,
2. Diversity in music and many 'firsts'
This year we got a range of musical styles and even with a few ballads, each of them offered something different.
G-Nat!on were the first girl group to compete in Australia Decides delivering a K-pop inspired number.
Voyager are the first rock group to compete at Australia Decides with a prog metal, electronica number (and were also the first West Australian act to compete).
Andrew delivered a Europop banger with Spanish lyrics, the first time a language other than English or an Indigenous language competed.
And Isaiah and Evie were the first duet to ever compete at Australia Decides. Isaiah was also the first Eurovision artist to return for another attempt and Jaguar Jonze was the first former Australia Decides artist to come back.
When it came to the ballads this years artists gave us different styles of ballads from the powerful by Sheldon, the vulnerable by Jaguar, the emotive by Charley and the Disney-esque by Jude York.
3. Artists with diverse cultural backgrounds
This year we got artists with a diverse cultural backgrounds. Three artists had Filipino heritage Seann Miley Moore, Erica Padilla and Sheldon Riley. Sheldon's win makes him the second artist in a row to win Australia Decides with Filipino heritage.
With the Fijian-born pop diva Paulini Australia Decides got it's first artist from a Pacific Island background. Andrew Lambrou has a Greek Cypriot background and his appearance in the contest makes him the third artist of Greek decent to compete at Australia Decides.
And continuing the long history with Eurovision, we also had an Indigenous artist compete for the third year running, in Isaiah Firebrace.
4. We got a green room host and it worked!
Hot of the heels of his 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here' win, the former host of music show 'Recovery', Dylan Lewis, was this years green room host. He replaced Myf Warhurst who looked after the artists back stage in 2020.
Dylan Lewis is a national treasure in Australia and resonated with Aussies and his comic relief and let Myf and Joel concentrate on their great chemistry on stage.
5. A year with no obvious winner
Polls, betting odds and voting ahead of Australia Decides gave varying results but ultimately showed us it was a three horse race. All those artists considered frontrunners, Sheldon, Voyager and Jaguar Jonze finished in the Top 3.
This year we had two different winners of the jury and public vote, Jaguar Jonze only won the jury vote by one point but the win is a great achievement for her as in Australia 2020 she came ninth with the juries. Voyager won the televote receiving the maximum 60 points in the new televote approach. Sheldon essentially "did a Jamala" (coming second in jury and televote at Eurovision 2016 and then win the whole thing).
6. The TikTok Wildcard competition paid off
TikTok Wildcard competition proved itself as an interesting way to showcase new music talent in Australia. Erica Padilla who has 1.3 million followers on TikTok and won the competition with her amazing rendition of 'River' by Bishop Briggs. Erica scored big, she got to perform a song of her own written by herself, her sister and friend. She got to showcase herself as an artist. 'To The Bottom' saw Erica finished 8th place with the jury and 7th place with the televote. We have witnessed a new music star in the making!
7. Prog metal never dies!
Voyager may not have taken out the show but winning the televote showed us how popular they are and how everyone resonated with a prog metal electronica song reminiscent of The Presets. They were the first act to represent Western Australia and did the state proud. The band themselves have also won over a new allegiance of fans. They have engaged in multiple ways - days before Australia Decides the band did covers of other competitors songs and now they are auctioning off one of their jackets signed by the Australia Decides artists to raise money for the Queensland Flood Relief. Absolute legends! They would have every shot of representing Australia if they were to compete again.
8. Staging and those HUGE LED screens
The staging was next level this year with the three huge sliding LED screens giving the performances that Eurovision flair at the Gold Coast. Along with the huge screens there was an abundance of props this year and choreography to engage with us.
Paulini gave us back up dancers and FLAGS reminiscent of Melfest, Sheldon gave scale to his performance with the large three industrial fans, Jaguar delivered a burning dress which has to be a first during the Eurovision national final season and Andrew gave us some choreo with back up dancers with a reveal of his guns!!
9. Australians lose it over international guests
The performance of KEiiNO put the Gold Coast crowd into a frenzy. The trio also delighted fans with a show of their own part of their Australian tour after the Australia Decides jury show. The Australian public gave KEiiNO douze points and the Norwegian pop group showed their love back with a cover of Kylie Minogue's 'On A Night Light This', with the premiere live performance at Australia Decides
10. Timezones can be tricky!
During daylight savings time there are five timezones across Australia and unfortunately for SBS there was a slight hiccup when then on screen graphic in small text said the votes closed at 945pm AEDT when it should have been 1045pm AEDT or 945pm AEST.
Voting was still open and it was announced during the show that voting was still going, some fans on social media did complain. SBS told TV Tonight that “The public vote was administered and audited by Ansible, who confirmed all eligible votes throughout the official voting period were accounted for.”
Ultimately it didn't stop Voyager, who competed second to last, from taking out the public vote overall.
Special mention: Amazing Australian Eurofans and #ImAEurofanGetMeOutOfHere
This year beats 2020 as the most wet and wild Australia Decides ever! There was so much rain that some of the fans made it to the arena a bit drenched.
This didn't stop the determined Aussies fans from dressing up (including a very impressive Subwoolfer tribute), celebrating in the arena and in the after parties after!
But the rain caused such severe weather that flights were delayed which left Eurovision fans stranded, with some still waiting for flights back home. Unfortunately the rain also caused flooding in parts of Queensland and New South Wales. Here's praying for a sunny Australia Decides in 2023.
That's it for another year, we can't wait for Australia Decides 2023!
Aussievision - Australia Decides coverage
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