Montaigne looks ahead to “unreal” Eurovision opportunity

Montaigne at Australia Decides (Credit: SBS)

After winning Australia Decides 2020, Montaigne speaks to ESCDaily about her excitement, staging and preparation for Eurovision.

Montaigne will represent Australia at Eurovision 2020 in Rotterdam with her song ‘Don’t Break Me’. She won Australia Decides in the Gold Coast with a total of 107 points, edging out Casey Donovan in a tight finish.

Representing Australia in Rotterdam

Montaigne was lost for words to explain how excited she is to go to Eurovision, but expressed that it is an “unreal” opportunity. She was offered a spot in last year’s Australia Decides competition, but declined the opportunity because she simply did not like the song that she was offered.

However, she spoke about how Kate Miller-Heidke competing in Eurovision encouraged her to participate this year. As fellow independent artists, Montaigne hopes that Australia Decides “encourages Australian commercial radio to play more Australian artists”.

Montaigne will take a large supporter backing with her to Rotterdam, and highlighted how “it was really lovely” to see fans in the live audience cheering for her. Many audience members wore blue wigs and tulles in support of the singer-songwriter, and this did not go unnoticed by Montaigne.

Performance aesthetic

The song ‘Don’t Break Me’ has been, overall, positively received by Australian and European Eurovision fans. However, there appeared to be a mixed reaction and some confusion in regards to the staging. Montaigne resembled a clown on-stage, and the entire performance was filmed using one camera shot.

Creative Director of Australia Decides, Paul Clarke, emphasised how Montaigne “had all the ideas” when it came to the staging. Not professionally trained in dance, Montaigne features a large amount of movement during the performance. This, combined with the unique clown aesthetic, was a purposeful decision.

‘Don’t Break Me’ is a song about contrasting perspectives in a faulty relationship, and Montaigne aimed to subvert this emotional message through her staging.

“It’s important to show seriousness through a sense of humour”, said Montaigne. “It’s fun to offset it [a serious message] through a sense of play”. She has been toying with make up and a clown aesthetic in recent live shows, and the Australia Decides performance was a culmination of this.

Staging changes

Alterations to the staging of her song are likely, however. Montaigne alluded to the fact that she has “some ideas we might play with” for her performance in Rotterdam in May. She highlighted how it will be a considerably larger stage, which may require her to rethink how to tells the story of her song.

What will remain though is “the energy and physicality” that we saw in the Gold Coast. Montaigne stressed how much she had been exercising in the lead up to the national final in order to deliver a high-energy and vocally impressive performance. Now, the physical and mental preparation begins for Rotterdam.

You can watch the full press conference here on our Facebook page.