Editorial: Six artists who could represent Australia at Eurovision 2018

After SBS have made an unexpectedly early announcement, revealing that Australia’s entrant for Eurovision 2018 will be announced on Monday, 11th December, Joshua Mayne discusses the possibilities for artist selection.

The promotional video published on Twitter did not give any extra details, leaving Aussie Eurovision fans in a state of rumour and prediction frenzy.

The past three years of participation have seen only Sony Music artists being selected for Australia, due to SBS and Blink TV’s partnership with Sony.

Potential artists for Australia

Jessica Mauboy

As Australia’s artist for their 2014 ‘display act’, Jessica Mauboy is a firm favourite to represent Australia at Eurovision in Lisbon. Her loveable, charismatic personality has already won the hearts of many, and another opportunity on the Eurovision stage is sure to win her more fans (and possibly votes).

Her origins lie in outback Australia, with the Indigenous tribe KuKu Yalanji. Australian Idol in 2006 kick started her career in music, and she has gone on to sell over 2.5 million units in Australia, receiving a number of ARIA Awards along the way. Gifted with a beautiful, rich and unforgettable voice, Jessica Mauboy has proven time and time again to be one of Australia’s strongest live performers.

With a diverse catalogue of songs to her name, Mauboy would allow the songwriters and delegation to be flexible in song selection, arguably the most important aspect of any Eurovision performance. For a performer in this contest, she ticks all the boxes. She has an amazing voice, great stage presence, outstanding live performance ability and experience on the Eurovision stage – a strong candidate indeed…

The Veronicas

Best described as a dynamic duo with edge, The Veronicas have recently returned to prominence in the Australian music scene. Songs from 2016 including ‘On Your Side’ and ‘In My Blood’ have propelled their status, and proven their intentions to keep making music.

The duo, consisting of twin sisters Jessica Origliasso and Lisa Origliasso, are immediately recognisable by their unique styling and voices. Their main strength for Eurovision, however, would be their chemistry. Australia is yet to send a group to Eurovision, and the Veronica’s have had almost two decades of experience singing together professionally.

It would be a selection that would please many fans, and for good reason. Performances from the pair are memorable, and when it comes to Eurovision voting, that’s what you want your performance to be (for the right reasons, of course). Each year, the Veronicas have been rumoured to compete for their nation. With Australia’s participation confirmed again, this year could be their year.

Anthony Callea

Like Jessica Mauboy, Anthony Callea started his career on Australian Idol, finishing runner up in 2004. Having won ARIA Awards throughout his career, Callea is an established and successful Australian artist. The 34-year-old has also recently re-united with Sony Music Australia, placing him in a position to be selected to represent Australia at Eurovision.

His vocals are particularly strong and well controlled, with emotion always evident in his performances. Callea’s ability is, simply, very impressive, and would be sure to captivate the European audience.

‘Backbone’ (2016) was his latest album release, with Callea remaining relatively quiet in the industry since. Competing in Lisbon could quite possibility be another highlight in what has been a very successful and sustained career.

Delta Goodrem

Goodrem has been prominent in the Australian pop scene for almost fifteen years, receiving numerous platinum accolades domestically and internationally. Like some other artists in this article, she has been consistently rumoured as an option for Australian selection at Eurovision.

An Australian favourite, Delta’s biggest strength is her versatility. She has the gift of being able to begin a song with an angelic, delicate tone, only for a powerful and groovy voice to be revealed when the chorus begins. Her ability is highlighted in the song ‘Sitting On Top Of The World’, comprising of the type of energy that could win the competition. Her incredibly vast skillset is displayed in this track as she contrasts soft verses with an energetic and joyful chorus.

Goodrem’s experience places her in great footing in the lead up to Australia’s artist selection. Her personality, experience and ability on stage are only some of the attributes that make her a more than suitable candidate for Eurovision.

Ellen Reed

Placing fourth in The Voice Australia Season Five, Ellen Reed is the least well known out of the artists on the list, however, there is merit to the possibility of her selection. A press release (https://prwire.com.au/pr/74120/brisbane-singer-to-take-world-stage) revealed her intentions to compete for Australia at the song contest, with the Brisbane Mayor (Graham Quirk) and Queensland Premier (Annastacia Palaszczuk) supporting the bid. The statement further elaborated on how Reed is “well positioned and firmly set to take on the challenge” of performing at Eurovision”.

With a voice that has the ability to be powerful and subtle, Ellen Reed has the capacity to sing an emotional song, lending herself to numerous genres. She would also be suited to the Eurovision stage with experience in an array of live performances with orchestras and bands at events.

Maybe not the strongest and most accomplished singer on paper, but for Eurovision, that isn’t necessarily a limiting factor. Many European artists have boosted a previously small career by competing in the song contest.

Ricki-Lee Coulter

Simply known as ‘Ricki-Lee’, her fun, upbeat songs have characterised the majority of her career. Recently, however, we are seeing a rawer, less refined aspect of her capacity as an artist, best seen in her 2017 song ‘Not Too Late’. Like Anthony Callea and Jessica Mauboy, Ricki-Lee also began her career on Australian Idol in 2004.

Apart from the fact that she is vocally strong and a charismatic performer, rumours about Ricki-Lee’s participation in 2018 were sparked by an Instagram live chat in November, where she revealed that participating in the contest would be “amazing”. Ultimately, this is just a rumour that doesn’t prove much, but it’s something.

If selected, it would be an exciting and interesting exercise for fans to mull over what song she would perform. She would dazzle and entertain with a dance song, but most definitely would have the ability to perform an emotional ballad. Does the Eurovision stage in Lisbon await Ricki-Lee?