Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
Cohesiveness of Package
Can Australia's song stand out and leave a lasting impression beyond the "it's Australia" narrative?
This morning, Australian broadcaster, SBS, have published Guy Sebastian’s song, Tonight Again.
Having being granted automatic qualifier status, Australia will perform in May 23rd’s final, but will vote in both semi-finals.
My immediate view of Guy Sebastian’s selection was one of scepticism. The Betfair market reacted swiftly and demoted Australia’s winning odds to around 40/1 from circa 16/1. Following the unveiling of Tonight Again, the Aussie’s odds halved, then drifted, before shortening again to around 14/1. At the time of writing, Australia have nudged out to around 18/1.
These sudden movements suggest an element of both panic and groupthink. The market was expecting a mediocre song, but was caught off guard by Tonight Again’s soulful, upbeat sound. When people started posting positive messages suggesting an Australian win, the groupthink reaction took aim at the market for a second time.
On my first listen, I got about as far as 30-seconds before dismissing Guy as a potential winner. I found his voice grating and the arrangement jarring. To me, the song brings together Gnarls Barkley and the UK’s Andy Abraham. I have no problem with that genre of music, but I don’t think it has the strength to win Eurovision.
Vocally, Guy Sebastian is top drawer, so the juries will have no trouble ticking that box, but to the average European televoter, will Australia’s song stand out and leave a lasting impression beyond the “it’s Australia” narrative? Will the East be inspired by Aussie-soul? I’m not so sure, and in my opinion, I’m not hearing a song that could be considered stronger than Eurovision’s big-hitting nations.
I wouldn’t discount a top-10 finish, but I definitely won’t be banging the top-5 drum!
How well will Australia do in Vienna?