This year Montaigne will be the Australian representative at the ESC in Rotterdam. She has been chosen last year already, but as we all know, that ESC has been cancelled, because of the Corona pandemic. Luckily, she did not have to qualify again, Montaigne has been directly nominated by the Australian broadcaster SBS for 2021.
Montaigne, whose original name is Jessica Alyssa Cerro was born Sydney, New South Wales in 1995. Her father Gus Cerro was a football player in the National Soccer League in Malaysia and Australia. Montaigne also love to play football. Montaigne is a moniker of course it refers to the French philosopher Michel de Montaigne. Additionally, she also is a special person which can’t be put in draw of a cupboard. This can also be counted for her music style which is “art pop” and indie. Have a look at “I’m A Fantastic Wreck” or her first published single “I Am Not An End” . She released two studio albums “Glorious Heights”, which reached #4 in the Australian charts and “Complex”, #26.
Montaigne has won several awards and toured around the country, also as an opening act for singers like Cindy Lauper and Blondie. With her extraordinary outfits she always falls out of the ordinary and provokes. She also utilizes her position to open the eyes for environmental movements. The new song “Technicolour” is another masterpiece for Montaigne in her typical indie art pop style, or baroque pomp. The premiere took place at the Mardi Gras Festival in Sydney, the biggest LGBTQ+ event of the country.
The song is about doing things together, hold to each other. This message has a certain actuality in the Corona Pandemic. The atmosphere of the song is not easy to get by first hearing, it appears a bit unwieldly. With her extraordinary personality she will get a lot of attention at Eurovision.
Chances for Top 10: 67%
Chances for Grand Final: 100%
This will be the sixth time for Australia participating in the Eurovision Song Contest. Due to the Corona virus pandemic the entire 2020 ESC has been cancelled. The 2020 singer Montaigne will have the right to start again this year with a new song.
In 2015 it was announced that it should be a unique exception to have Australia on board. At that time nobody could have imagined such a positive echo and a great acceptance to have Australia as an official participating country in the ESC. It has now been granted that Australia is going to participate at least until 2022. But it seems that it will be extended.
In the debut entry “Tonight Again” by Guy Sebastian, Australia could make a wonderful 5th place in the Grand Final. And in the following years Dami Im could even reach a 3rd place, even the juries voted her on #1, an unbelievable success for Australia and the 2017 entry “Don’t Come Easy” by Isaiah Firebrace, who made another Top 10 position (9th rank in the Grand Final).
Even if Australia is another continent and does not belong to Europe geographically, there are strong bounds which have grown over centuries. A lot of Europeans live in Australia or have European ancestors and family and the ESC has always been a very popular TV show, which brought a lot of people in front of their televisions early in the morning, despite of the zone problem. The Australian broadcaster SBS has been transmitting the ESC since 1983. The enormous time difference was never a problem for the Australians. There is also televoting in Australia early in the morning, but there is always a reprise on Sunday night for those, who prefer to watch in the evening.
Nevertheless, there have already been some more or less well known Australians singing in the Eurovision Song Contest in the past as well: Olivia Newton-John born in 1948, who is originally from England, but moved with her family to Australia when she was five years old. In 1974, when ABBA could win the contest for Sweden, Olivia made a great 4th place in Brighton with “Long Live Love”.
There is Johnny Logan, a guy who has won the Eurovision Song Contest three times for Ireland two times as a singer and one time as a composer. Johnny Logan was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia in 1954 as a son of Irish immigrants. His songs “What’s Another Year” in 1980 and “Hold Me Now” in 1987 were very successful all over the world. “Why Me” was sung by Linda Martin in 1992, where Johnny acted as composer.
Gina G., who was born in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia in 1970, has represented the United Kingdom with the dance song “Ooh...Aah...Just A Little Bit”. This song came 8th in Oslo 1996.
Jane Camerford, who was born Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia in 1959. She has been representing Germany with the band Texas Lightening with “No No Never” in Athens 2006, where a 14th place could be made.
In 2014, Australia had a first guest appearance in the ESC in Copenhagen with this year’s singer Jessica Mauboy, who was born in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia in 1989. She had the chance to represent Australia in the interval act of the Semi Final 2 with the song “Sea Of Flags”. In 2018 she could only reach the 20th place.
In the case of winning, what would happen to the ESC? Australia lays 10 time zones away from the Central European Time zone, do all the participants have to travel to Australia? The biggest time difference so far could be noted in the ESC’s from Moscow and Baku with 3 hours’ time-delay. In this case there is a special rule. The Australian broadcaster SBS will be organizing the ESC in the following year, but the event has to stay in Europe. Hence SBS can collaborate with a European broadcaster of its choice. So it could be that the ESC will take place in Germany or UK, but the organizer would be the Australian SBS.
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About me: As one of the founders of eurovisionlive.com I am responsible for the interviews with the singers and the editorial content. My passion for the Eurovision Song Contest exists since my early childhood. The exotic music, different cultures and languages have given a lot of inspiration to me. Since my very first ESC in Dublin 1994 I particularly appreciate the get together and friendship of all the nationalities and Riverdance was a thrill!