Singer-songwriter Montaigne will represent Australia at Eurovision with Don’t Break Me after she won the Australia Decides national final.
- Montaigne won ahead of Casey Donovan and Vanessa Amorosi
- The youngest performer, 20-year-old Jordan-Ravi, finished 10th with 23 votes
- Dami Im announced she would be putting her hand up for 2021, after finishing second at Eurovision in 2016
She topped the jury vote with 54 points, and added 53 from the public televote to win with a total of 107, seven votes clear of former Australian Idol winner Casey Donovan, singing Proud, and third-placed Vanessa Amorosi on 82.
Montaigne, whose musical talents were discovered in triple j’s Unearthed project in 2012, is an ARIA-winning artist who has collaborated with the likes of the Hilltop Hoods.
She took Australia’s Eurovision challenge in a different direction after Kate Miller-Heidke’s now-famous aerial staging in 2019.
“I think Kate doing Eurovision last year was what tipped me over to say ‘yeah, I’m going to do this’,” Montaigne said.
The art-pop performer appeared on stage in a form of clown costume with a blue wig, and her performance of the song — about the breakdown of a relationship — was very physical, interacting with the cameras and featuring lots of dynamic movement with her backing dancers.
“I exercised, man. I did yoga, soccer, I was running all the time. I was doing shows in between, and my shows are that level of physical if not more,” she said.
Donovan’s brilliant vocals had stood out in the jury show on Friday night, but the ballad was seen by some pundits as too safe.
Meanwhile, there was no shortage of staging for Amorosi’s performance, which began with Amorosi lying next to an upturned car, and as she belted out her song, storm clouds gathered on the screen projection behind her before turning to rain — as the singer herself was sprayed with water on-stage.
There was a surprise announcement minutes before the winner was revealed, with Dami Im telling the crowd she would be “throwing her hat in the ring” for 2021, after she finished second overall in 2016.
The broadcast opened with Miller-Heidke performing an acoustic version of her winning song from 2019, which was met with a standing ovation.
Singer-songwriter and actor Iota then kicked off the show with plenty of energy with his song, Life, which had shades of Miller-Heidke’s own staging with two backing musicians performing in the air on wires. He finished ninth with 32 votes.
Jack Vidgen’s self-penned song I Am King I Am Queen, which references his internal struggles after his time on The Voice last year, came eighth with 34 votes.
Another alumnus of The Voice, Diana Rouvas — who won the competition last year — came seventh with her song Can We Make Heaven.
Darwin-based guitarist Jordan-Ravi performed the song Pushing Stars — co-written by two entrants in last year’s Australia Decides, Tania Doko and George Sheppard from the band Sheppard.
The youngest entrant in the field at 20, Jordan-Ravi showed no nerves as he interacted with the crowd, high-fiving the front row — he finished 10th with 23 votes.
Jaguar Jonze’s dramatic performance of her song Rabbit Hole — dealing with her life coping with complex post-traumatic stress disorder — brought her 46 votes overall. Pushing out the walls of her yellow room, Jonze held the crowd’s attention amid a psychedelic backdrop.
First Nations performer Mitch Tambo, who competed in Australia’s Got Talent in 2019, sang his song Together in both English and his native Gamilaraay language. His Indigenous-themed performance went down well in the hall and he polled a total of 57 votes.
Singer-songwriter Didirri completed the entries with an entry that stood out among the energy and the big staging, nailing a quiet solo piano ballad, Raw Stuff. He did well with the juries and finished with 63 points for fourth place.