Meet Australia’s Eurovision 2021 act Montaigne as she preps for contest
Six years on, it might not seem it – but Australia was only supposed to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest once.
The country made its debut in 2015 and has since been in the top ten four times.
Australia is the only country other than Morocco outside of the Eurasia region permitted to enter the contest, with the European Broadcasting Union confirming it will be allowed to participate until at least 2023.
Australians have made it no secret that their love for Eurovision is strong. From 2010 until 2014, the country was even allowed to have its own televoting system – though votes didn’t count to the official scores.
But in 2021, Australia will be sending its latest act Montaigne to the semi-finals on May 18 – via video link.
Montaigne will perform her track "live-on-tape" as a pre-recorded performance played out as though it were live.
Montaigne was born in Sydney in 1995 to a footballer father Gus, who played in the Australian National Soccer League.
The 25-year-old songstress, real name Jessica Alyssa Cerro, has since become a certified star in her home country. She’s already produced two studio albums and ten singles, and managed to take away the Best Breakthrough Artist award at the ARIA Music Awards.
Her debut album Glorious Heights peaked at number four in the Australian charts in 2016.
She was originally intended to represent Australia in 2020 with her track Don’t Break Me, until the contest was called off due to coronavirus restrictions.
The songstress took her alias from the renaissance philosopher Michel de Montaigne, who has been credited with the invention of the essay (and thus is the bane of students' lives worldwide).
Montaigne actually penned her Eurovision song herself, alongside Dave Hammer.
The song, Technicolour, is billed as a pop self-empowerment anthem, which is essentially perfect for the campy goodness of the ESC.
She will perform Technicolour via video link at the Eurovision semi-finals on May 18, which will broadcast on BBC Four.
Australia won’t be flying out to Rotterdam this year due to pandemic restrictions, with Montaigne tweeting earlier this month: "I’m mostly upset that I don’t get to be in Rotterdam and have fun with everyone."
But she added: "I wanna state that I’m sad as hell that I don’t get to be in Rotterdam for Eurovision but this fact co-exists with the other fact that it just wouldn’t have been safe for me to go."
She said Australian broadcasting service Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) is an "innocent party", adding: "It is no one’s fault but the idiot virus."
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But she doesn’t seem to have much of an inclination to live it up with a full Eurovision experience in 2022 either, and seems to be intending to step back and let someone else take the stage.
"Also… I do not need to do Eurovision again next year, I think I need to do other things for a little bit," she wrote on Twitter.
However, if Montaigne does take home the crown, 2022’s contest won’t actually be hosted in Australia – mainly because jetting all the Europeans across would be too costly.
Instead, it would be co-hosted in another country, with 2019 entry Kate Miller-Heidke hinting that she wants the honour to go to the UK.
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