As of today, Tony Abbott has a fresh global accomplishment to chalk up alongside his three free trade agreements and whatever is happening with those submarines.
This year, Australia will be allowed to compete in Eurovision in honour of the song contest’s 60th anniversary – despite the country being thousands of kilometres away from Europe, and further away still in terms of musical taste.
We are the only ones being so honoured, presumably in reflection of the great loyalty we have displayed by watching in large numbers each year. I can only imagine the Eurovision organisers don’t realise that 97 per cent of viewers watch for the purpose of sniggering at the many inadvertently hilarious entries. After all, Europe may be the cradle of Western civilisation, but it is also the cradle of pop music so heinous that it only gets played in gyms in order to encourage people on treadmills to run away as quickly as possible.
I have always imagined we watched so avidly because it makes us feel better about ourselves. Even our immense cultural cringe cannot help but be diminished whenever we observe bodysuited Bulgarian peasants twerking with a giant pink tractor.
So, Eurovision is precious to us here in Australia, and it’s deeply flattering for our nation to be invited to compete. It’s kind of like getting invited to Kim and Kanye’s wedding – a massive honour, even though you’ll be sniggering up the back all night.
Nevertheless, there is a flaw in the plan, a flaw as self-evident as the need for the Francophone countries to give up on delivering their Eurovision scores in French, because it’s starting to look le petulant.
If Australia competes in Eurovision this year, we, as the nation that gave the world not only Kylie but also Jason, will obviously win. When we do, we will gain the right to host next year’s song contest at Melbourne’s Federation Square (I was going to suggest the Sydney Opera House, but SBS is based at Fed Square, and somehow its fractured puce architecture seems more appropriately Eurokitsch).
So it won’t just be the one time that we’ll be competing, will it? In fact, by chalking up win after win, our involvement could continue in perpetuity.
So, in anticipation of our inevitable victory, the only thing that remains for us to decide is who will represent Australia. While once this would of course have been determined by captain’s pick, we are a more consultative and collegiate nation in this new era of good government. So unless the Australia Day council decides, I assume the singer will be determined by some kind of excruciating national pageant.
In the hope of influencing that, I offer the following suggestions.
In recent years, veteran artists have appeared at Eurovision in increasing numbers, so who better than our very own Engelbert Humperdinck? There’s also a chance of a reverse transportation-type deal that would see him permanently returned to the UK.
She is from New Zealand, but so were the Finn brothers, and that didn’t stop us from claiming them since forever. (Note that if she is unavailable, Russell Crowe is not an appropriate Kiwi muso replacement.)
The immensely talented Hottest 100 winner could sample all the other entries, and somehow fuse them into something listenable.
The Rose Tattoo frontman was unable to win a seat in the last federal election, so this would be another way for him to represent the Australian people. He could delight and baffle Europe with ‘Suddenly’. What better anthem for Eurovision than the song that played as Scott and Charlene walked down the aisle on Neighbours?
The ‘Ring My Bell’ singer’s suitability for Eurovision can be proven in just one word: Lycra.
Will be the contestant if the competition is administered by triple j.
Eurovision voters are OK with a black sheep entrant offering a darker vibe, having flocked to the terrifying Finnish monster Mr Lordi in 2006. Furthermore, Nick Cave would surely never mean one of his murder ballads more sincerely than when looking out at a room full of Europop singers.
Russia recently came second with an act featuring six grandmothers, and we can top that with our most prominent great-grandfather. He could sing a Prince cover, or perhaps a song in recognition of two of his many titles, Stevie Wonder’s ‘Sir Duke’.
As committed environmentalists, the Oils have long railed against waste of all kinds. Who better to deliver a passionate indictment against the enormous resources that go into broadcasting Eurovision? The smoke machine emissions alone are surely scandalous.
She’s probably ruled out because she did the Aussie cameo at last year’s Eurovision, but she would be really great. Which is another reason why she won’t be chosen, because that’s just not how Eurovision works.
This is who should probably do it if we want to guarantee a win. Plus, her tendency to cover up her face may prove influential, improving future Song Contests for years to come.
So, musicians of Australia, sally forth and make our country proud with your brilliance and artistry! Or, if you’re not in the mood for that, why not apply to represent us in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest?