Weeks after it was announced that the 2020 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest had been cancelled due to COVID-19, it’s been revealed that Montaigne is set to represent Australia at the 2021 event instead.
Originally announced as the country’s representative in early February, 25-year-old Montaigne managed to beat out the likes of former Australian Idol performer Casey Donovan and pop legend Vanessa Amorosi for the honour.
Noting that she was “happy and joyful and full of beans” to be heading over to the Netherlands in May, Montaigne’s joy was short-lived, with COVID-19 causing Eurovision to announce its first-ever cancellation.
Taking to social media soon after the announcement, Montaigne thanked all of her supporters, admitting she was devastated by the news, but understanding of the situation.
“The truth is that cancelling Eurovision this year is the most responsible and ethical decision that the EBU could have made,” she explained. “A decision they have to make. It is best that we all practice the measures that will stop COVID-19’s ravaging effects from going on any longer than they could.”
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Eurovision 2020 has been cancelled. I’ve had my cry. I spent a couple of hours paralysed in bed, despondently scrolling through the many lovely tweet mentions from people expressing love and support. I imagine I’ll probably have a lot more cries in the next little while, for me and for the wonderful team who were working with me to make our vision come to life. But the truth is that cancelling #Eurovision this year is the most responsible and ethical decision that the EBU could have made. A decision they *have* to make. It is best that we all practice the measures that will stop COVID-19’s ravaging effects from going on any longer than they could. The team at Eurovision are still working through plans, as is SBS, so we will have more info to share soon. Thank you to @paulclarketv and everyone at @blinktvco and @sbs for making the process of devising a campaign for a Eurovision performance so easy and fun, for really listening to me and understanding who I am and wanting to figure out how to combine that with Eurovision. Thanks to Marko Panzic and Sasha Mutch who were an integral part of the second phase of staging, I wish we could have presented our ideas. Thank you to @WonderlickEntertainment who have always been there for me in more ways than one. Thank you to @SonyMusicAustralia and especially to @ollylbr for helping me through every overwhelming public moment and supporting me through everything. Thank you to my family, friends, and partner who have cradled me in the twinkle of their eyes. A tip of the hat to Eurovision fans who are so passionate, I know this is just as much of a loss for you as it is for me. And a final tip of the hat to the other Eurovision contestants this year who were working their butts off to make their dream come true. I’m sorry it turned out like this. I’m gonna try figure out how to make the best of this situation creatively, see if there’s something I can present to you, the fans, that will feel satisfying, or will feel anything like closure, or at least coping. I’ve got a lot of fucking time on my hands so. Let’s get to work.
Now, SBS has announced that Montaigne is set to get her chance to represent Australia next year when Eurovision returns in 2021.
“I’m so happy to receive this good news during such times,” she explained in a statement. “At home, we’ve started this ritual of cracking open a fortune cookie daily and reading our fortunes to each other and I got one that read, ‘You will be sharing great news with all the people you love.’ I’m so glad it came true!”
While Australia joins the likes of Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Israel, Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, and the Ukraine in a growing list of countries giving their artists a second chance, Eurovision rules stipulate that this year’s songs won’t be eligible to compete in 2021.
“Although SBS and fans alike will miss Eurovision – Australia Decides 2021, this will honour Australia’s decision and give Montaigne the chance to show the world what we already know – that she is an incredibly talented, exciting and original artist,” explained Josh Martin, SBS’ Commissioning Editor and Australian Head of Delegation.
“Our focus will now shift to a new song for 2021 and Montaigne is not wasting a moment of this period of isolation with many new ideas already on the table!”
“It’s great to know for certain that Australia will be able to cheer for Montaigne at Eurovision 2021, and we’re excited to be working with her on a new song and staging,” added Creative Director of Eurovision – Australia Decides and Director of Blink TV Paul Clarke.
SBS is currently looking towards alternate Eurovision programming for 2020 in an effort to keep fans who had been looking forward to the May event entertained.