Home Music Music News

Adelaide’s Teenage Joans Crowned triple j Unearthed High 2020 Winners

The Adelaide duo are the second South Aussie act to win the coveted honour in as many years.

Image of Teenage Joans

Adelaide duo Teenage Joans have become the latest winners of triple j's Unearthed High competition.

Evie Wonder*

South Australia is on a hot streak, with Teenage Joans becoming the state’s second triple j Unearthed High winner in as many years.

Launching its annual Unearthed High competition in July, triple j revealed just last week the finalists who were in with a chance of taking out top honours for 2020. While Rudeboy E was named as the Unearthed High Indigenous Initiative winner, it was the likes of Aodhan, ok2222, Raymondouu, Sam Windley, and Teenage Joans who found themselves in the top five.

Now, the wait is over, with Teenage Joans taking out the competition thanks to their track “Three Leaf Clover”. Past and present students of Golden Grove’s Gleeson College, Teenage Joans are made up of Tahlia Borg and Cahli Blakers, and already have a number of accolades to their name, including a top spot in the “Heaps Good 50” by local station play/pause/play, and being named the Best Live Act from South Australia at the 2019 National Live Music Awards.

The news was received by Tahlia, who heard it first from Breakfast hosts Sally & Erica following her final Year 12 trial exam. Breaking with tradition, COVID-19 restrictions meant that the annual schoolyard gatecrashing had to be put on hold, with the news delivered via a post-exam PSA.

“I’m crying and I’m shaking but it’s really cool and I’m really excited,” Tahlia explained to Sally & Erica. “I’m so grateful!”

triple j Unearthed Music Director Dave Ruby Howe, also weighed in on the pair’s success, describing winning song “Three Leaf Clover” as a track that “really gets you a vision of what is ahead for the band.”

“You can already picture the heaving moshes at their live shows, loose road trips in the tour van and the cult fandom that’s sure to spawn stan accounts and inspire tattoos of their lyrics,” he added.


Since it first launched 13 years ago, triple j’s Unearthed High initiative has managed to uncover some of the best and brightest artists who are barely old enough to enter the venues they’re booked to perform in. Over the years, names such as Snakadaktal, Stonefield, Japanese Wallpaper, Asta, Arno Faraji, and Gretta Ray have all won the competition, while last year saw fellow Adelaide artist George Alice introduced to the world.

“I didn’t expect anything at all to come from Unearthed High, I honestly just wanted to be a part of it and to hopefully learn a thing or two from experience!” George Alice explained upon the launch of this year’s Unearthed High competition.

“Not only did I meet so many great people along the way, but I get to do what I’ve always wanted to do and be who I really am.

“It’s still sinking in a year later, but winning Unearthed High really changed my life and gave me countless opportunities to succeed.”

While it remains to be seen when fans around the country will get a chance to catch the newly-crowned Unearthed High winners live, Teenage Joans will be playing an acoustic hometown show at the Fat Controller on Friday, September 12th.