SMH.COM.AU REPORTS (LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM) – Guy Sebastian has opened up over his self-doubt about representing Australia at Eurovision minutes after coming off stage at a warm-up party in London.
“When I was announced [in March] there were mixed feelings … it made me evaluate my role in it,” the soul-pop singer said minutes after singing three songs, including his Eurovision entry, Tonight Again.
“[I thought] so many other Australians would kill it [including] Kate Miller Heidke, Katie Noonan.
“I [also] thought ‘Am I strange enough?’ But I’ve learned to concentrate on what I am and not what I am not. I feel confident in my vocal ability and my ability to write a good song, which we did in three days.
“People are excited about the quality of acts this year … they love the kitsch value of it but I think [organisers] are excited so many good singers [are] raising the quality and taking it so seriously, that’s the general vibe I’m getting.”
Sebastian says the pre-Eurovision parties in Amsterdam, Moscow and London have been ideal preparation for the Eurovision final, which is on May 23 in Vienna. The London party was hosted by last year’s winner Conchita Wurst, whom Sebastian met.
“Tonight went really well. The crowd seemed to know the song, it was a great feeling … they knew Battle Scars too.”
The audience of about 600 at Café de Paris in London sung the chorus to Tonight Again, although they were also familiar with other contestant’s songs.
“I didn’t know what to expect to be honest, this is a bit of an anomaly for me. At first I had a bit of anxiety [there is a] that spirit of competition and ambition in the air,” Sebastian admitted. “It took me back a bit, rewound the clock. I haven’t been in that sort of environment haven’t been in that environment for a long time.
“Now I’ve done [these gigs] I don’t think this is a good platform for someone who is … up and coming or has no experience. It’s pretty daunting … back in the day I was green … I was rubbish on American Idol … it was rubbish.
“I didn’t have enough runs on the board I wasn’t exposed to as many high pressure gigs … [Since then] I’ve done Letterman, [Jimmy] Fallon, Oprah. “I can see why SBS thought it was safe to have me perform and not risk it.”
His two favourites for the competition so far are the Norwegian duo Mørland & Debrah Scarlett, who sing A Monster Like Me and the Swedish entrant Måns Zelmerlöw, with Heroes.
Sebastian says he is relaxing and enjoying the journey, enough to tease Russian reporters when they asked about his planned choreography for Vienna.
“We are still working that out [but] I said, ‘I’m gonna build huge robotic kangaroo that shoots lasers out of its eyes and smoke out of tail and I’m going to sling live koalas at the audience’. The interpreter was translating this back and the Russian reporter was like ‘oooooook’.”
DID YOU KNOW?
SBS will broadcast both Eurovision semi-finals and the grand final live on Wednesday May 20, Friday May 22 and Sunday May 24 from 5am. Australians will be able to vote in the contest in the early broadcast then join in the conversation using the Twitter hashtag #sbseurovision during the interactive evening prime-time broadcasts.