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  • Writer's pictureDale Roberts

The Eurovision artists and songwriters of the Asia Pacific



Over the years many Eurovision artists have competed for nations that aren't their own.


From Australia's own Olivia Newton-John, Gina G and Andrew Lambrou (plus many others) competing for another nation to Canadian Celine Dion winning for Switzerland, it's something that has always been part of the Contest.


Even down here in the Asia Pacific, artists who were either born, grew up or have strong heritage in the region have competed or written songs for Eurovision.


So let's take a look at the connections (outside Australia) from the region:



French Polynesia



Jean Gabilou was born and raised in French Polynesia/Tahiti and competed for France at 1981 with 'Humanahum' finishing 3rd.


Vanessa Roche was a dancer from French Polynesia who performed on stage as part of Monaco's 2006 entry 'La Coco-dance'. The entry also contained Tahitian lyrics. It finished 21st in the semi-final, missing out on the Grand Final.



Indonesia



Anneke Grönloh was born in the Dutch East Indies (modern day Indonesia) and spent time in a Japanese concentration camp. She moved to the Netherlands later in life and finished 10th place at Eurovision 1964 with 'Jij bent mijn leven’ (I Am My Life).



The Maessen Sisters were the Dutch-Indonesian trio of Bianca, Patricia and Stella. In 1970 Patricia competed at Eurovision with her sisters as backing vocalists finishing 7th with the song 'Waterman'.


In 1977, the competed for Belgium as 'Dream Express' and finished 7th again with 'A Million in One, Two, Three.'


Stella would compete at Harrogate in 1982 with 'Si tu aimes ma musique’ finishing in an impressive 4th place.



Sandra Reemer was born in Indonesia and represented her new homeland of The Netherlands on three occasions in 1972, 1976 and 1979.


In 1972 she competed with Andres (fellow Dutch-Indonesian singer Dries Holten) with 'Als het om de liefde gaat’ finishing in 4th.


In the 1976 contest, Sandra Reemer performed as a solo singer with ‘The Party's Over’ finishing in 9th place.


She then went on to form the band Xandra and they finished in 12th place in 1979 with the song ‘Colorado’.



Justine Pelmelay is of Indonesian heritage and she competed at the 1989 Contest in Lausanne with ‘Blijf zoals je bent’ ('Stay the Way You Are') finishing 15th place.



Linda Wagenmakers is a Dutch singer of Indonesian heritage who competed at Eurovision in the year 2000 with 'No Goodbyes'. She finished 13th in Stockholm but went down in history due to her enormous black and white dress that was hiding two of her backing dancers.


Eric Papalaya is an Austrian singer of Indonesian heritage. In 2007 competed with 'Get a Life - Get Alive' finishing 27th in the semi-final. The song did have a deeper meaning as the official 2007 theme song of the AIDS charity event Life Ball.



Anggun was born, raised and began her career in Indoneisa before relocating to France. in 2012 she represented her new home with the song ‘Echo (You and I)’ finishing in 22nd place.


Jessica Mauboy was born in Darwin to an Indigenous mother and an Indonesian Father from West Timor. She competed at Eurovision 2018 for Australia with 'We Got Love' finished 20th in the Grand Final.


Japan



Stephanie Topalian is an American singer and actress of Armenian and Japanese descent. She competed for Armenia in 2015 as part of the group Geneaology finishing 16th with 'Face the Shadow'.



Malaysia



Guy Sebastian was born, and spent his early life, in Malaysia. He was the debut entry for Australia at Eurovision 2015 with 'Tonight Again' finishing in an impressive 5th place.



New Zealand


Dave Hammer is a producer from New Zealand who was a songwriter for 'Technicolour', Australia Eurovision 2021 entry. The entry had to be performed remotely by Montaigne and missed out on making the Grand Final.



Philippines



Montaigne has Filipino heritage and competed at the Eurovision 2021 Contest with 'Technicolour' for Australia. She was also meant to take part in 2020 before the cancellation.


Vincent Bueno was born in Austria but has Filipino heritage and was selected twice for Austria in 2020 and 2021. He competed in Rotterdam with 'Amen' just missing the Grand Final finishing 12th in his semi-final.


Sheldon Riley is another performer with Filipino heritage who competed for Australia at Eurovision 2022. With his song 'Not the Same', he finished 2nd in his semi-final before placing 15th in the Grand Final.




Samoa


Angel Tupai is a Samoan-Australian songwriter who was one of the writers of 'Where I Am', the Danish entry for Eurovision 2017. The song, performed by Anja Nissen, finished 20th in the Grand Final.



South Korea



Dami Im was born and spent her early life in South Korea before moving to Australia. She competed at Eurovision 2016 for her new nation, finishing in an incredible 2nd place with 'Sound of Silence'.



Thailand



Christina Chanée (aka Christina Ratchanée Birch Wongskul) is a Danish-Thai singer who represented Denmak at Eurovision 2010 with 'In a Moment Like This'. Her and her singing partner N'evergreen finished in 3rd place.


Is there something we missed? Let us know at aussievisionnet@gmail.com!



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