• Hayley Bessell

Why Tanzer should compete at 'Eurovision - Australia Decides'


Photo credit: Liz Sunshine

Now that the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest season is well and truly over, we are starting to look forward to 2023, and in particular, who Australia should send as our representative next year.


Aussievision team members are looking at some Australian artists who we think would be good choices to compete at the 2023 edition of Australia Decides.


Today we introduce you to Tanzer, and if you don't already know her, you certainly will want to by the end of this article!


Tanzer already has some Eurovision related experience under her fabulous sequinned belt, so let's dive in and get to know her and why she is the perfect choice for Australia Decides!


Who is Tanzer?


Going by the stage name of Tanzer, Hayley Tanzer, is a Melbourne-based multi-dimensional performing artist.


As a child, Tanzer moved to Italy with her family for several years and this is where she first saw the Eurovision Song Contest on TV. Tanzer was instantly attracted to the Contest, and the drama and glamour she saw on TV fuelled her deep affection for the competition.


"The contest was a source of comfort and inspiration for me - because Eurovision felt like a safe space to be joyfully strange. This private dream world of campery ended up manifesting into my real life."

These days, it is now Tanzer that is on the stage and she has built herself a dynamic career around all that is shiny, glittery and camp. She is a regular on the performing arts scene both locally in Melbourne and Australia, and also overseas. On her resume is a formidable variety of work including DJing, drag, music videos, a radio gig, not to mention her incredible style and costumery, and of course, her music!


Tanzer's music


Listening to Tanzer's music, it is easy to see the influence that Eurovision has had on her life. If you enjoy galactic disco themed bop, then we seriously recommend you check out her discography.


Tanzer released her first music in 2016, an EP titled 'Four Love Songs by Tanzer'. On this EP was single 'Johnny' which is accompanied by an absolutely divine video clip!


This EP is also available on glittery red love heart shaped vinyl.


In 2020 and 2021 respectively, Tanzer released singles 'Tango', and 'Deep Fried Disco' and in 2022, her album 'Disco Automatic' was released with these two songs as well as 'Destination Love' and her amazing love song 'Fantasy'.



What Tanzer offers is in hot demand and she travels both locally and around the world to perform live and do her DJ sets. Notable mentions include performances at the Falls Festival, Vivid Sydney, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and the Laneway Festival, just to name a few. Overseas, she has toured as part of a drag cabaret, and competed in the 2022 Una voce per San Marino (San Marino National selection for Eurovision) - more on that in a minute...


Aside from her being a glam disco queen, Tanzer has also dabbled in fashion and has released two collections in collaboration with another designer and in 2022, she appeared on the catwalk as part of Rome Fashion Week in Italy.


She wants to do Eurovision


Tanzer openly admits her quest is to represent Australia at Eurovision. She has in fact applied all three years to be one of the contestants at Australia Decides. However, her submissions have not been successful and to date, she has been not selected. I think 2023 should be the year the Australia Decides panel sits up and takes notice of her!


"I try to instil that feeling of escapism, play and magic into everything I do. And everything I do also happens to look and feel like a Eurovision entry. What a coincidence!"

Tanzer does already have some experience on the Australia Decides stage when she played bass for Ella Hooper and her song 'Data Dust' at the 2019 inaugural event.



Tanzer's attempt to represent San Marino


The force in this one is strong and in 2022, Tanzer searched for another way to fulfil her Eurovision dreams and she found an avenue through 2022 Una voce per San Marino (One Voice for San Marino) national final selection process as the artist does not need to be from San Marino to compete for the country.


"I’d resigned myself to being an alternate universe Eurovision icon in my own mind - ha! But I got a brief to write a song for a potential Polish entry this year - and started googling national selections out of curiosity. And there was glorious San Marino - the eccentric underdog of Eurovision, beckoning to the eccentric underdog of Australia."

Tanzer submitted two songs to the Sammarinese panel and was she accepted to audition!


Before she knew it, she was packing her bags and heading off to San Marino, making her dreams to go to Eurovision one step closer.


San Marino held quite the process for their National Selection this year which included several months of auditions, semi finals and then the final. 299 artists were invited to take part of this process and Tanzer was one of them. From these artists, only 60 would be chosen to progress to the semi finals.



On January 11, in San Marino, Tanzer performed her song 'Fantasy' dressed in a silver body suit (theme: "disco cowgirl"). As can be seen from the clip below, Tanzer was having the time of her life in San Marino!



Disappointingly for Tanzer, she was not selected from the auditions to advance to the next part of the selection process. Talk about a robbed queen! If you have enjoyed this story so far, below is a great little video on her San Marino-Italian Eurovision journey.


In conclusion


So in closing, I think the description from Tanzer's website gives you a glimpse into the wonderful world that is Tanzer and why she is exactly what Eurovision needs!

"Tanzer is in the business of escapism - and escape you shall. The musician/director/diva/drag king is also a shimmering DJ force, injecting romance and glamour into dancefloors in Australia and beyond. She’s a connoisseur of the ‘deep fried disco’ genre and a master of holding a dancefloor - transporting ecstatic crowds to another time and place. Her deliciously broad music knowledge comes from a life ruled by music."

I believe Tanzer's dream to go to Eurovision should be picked up from where it was left off in San Marino, by Australia. This is one story that is just screaming for a happy ending. Tanzer ticks all the boxes; she has a strong brand, makes fantastic music and she understands Eurovision. So let's give Tanzer a shot at the 2023 edition of Australia Decides and Australian Eurovision glory!




Would you like to see Tanzer compete at Australia Decides?

  • Yes!

  • I need to find out more first...

  • Unfortunately not



Check out our other article where Emma makes the case for Vera Blue to compete.


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