AUSTRALIA – Australia’s Eurovision darling Dami Im has accepted the decision of the “umpire” despite claims she was robbed of victory in the wildly popular mega eisteddfod. Reports emerged earlier this week that the Ukraine’s winning entry, 1944, was illegal and should have been disqualified, vaulting the Aussie from the Queensland city of Logan into number one spot. But Korean-born Im wasn’t complaining as she made duelling, simultaneous appearances on rival morning shows Today and Sunrise thanks to the magic of television.
“I did, you know, read about that and all of the controversy but, you know at the end of the day, you know, the Australian spirit is to be, you know, good sports,” she told Sunrise, in response to the controversy. “And whatever the umpire says is, I guess, that’s what it is. So I’ve got to accept it and for me, I still had such a good time. I still got, you know, to show the world my music and, you know, I have this new opportunity that’s opened up for me and I have got all this support from Australia and that was everything for me, so I’m not complaining about anything.”
On Sunday, News Corp reported the Ukraine’s winning number had breached competition rules because it had been performed publicly three years ago. Organisers defended the victor, saying “the video of a small concert had only been viewed by a few hundred people before it was discovered in the past few days”.
The 27-year-old flew back into Queensland this week and admitted to feeling a bit jet-lagged as she fielded questions from Richard Wilkinson and the mob at Today in front of a whirling space-age background as Kochie and co spoke to her in front of a green screen projection of Brisbane. Her first TV interviews back in Australia came as the X-Factor winner prepared to return to her childhood school, John Paul College in Daisy Hill, for a two-song set on Tuesday, ahead of a 35-date national tour.
Im’s performance of Sound of Silence was watched globally by more than 200 million and sat atop the leaderboard for much of the night, until Ukraine’s entry pipped her at the post. She described her Eurovision moment, the second and most successful performance from an Australian in the unsurprisingly Eurocentric competition, as feeling like Cathy Freeman’s gold-medal-winning performance at the Sydney Olympics.
“I feel like I’m still kind of, you know, trying to work out what happened in the last two weeks because – yeah, it was just really crazy and, you know, I never thought I would be representing my country in any way because I’m not an athletic person,” she told Today. But, yeah, to feel like Cathy Freeman is amazing.”