It has been announced a few hours ago that the Australian representative, Montaigne, will not be flying over to Rotterdam to perform her song Technicolor live. Therefore, Australia will be presenting their “live-on-tape” performance instead. All of the Australian delegation will not be travelling to Rotterdam also. This announcement makes Montaigne the first artist confirmed to be using their “live-on-tape” performance for Eurovision 2021.
Why is Montaigne not travelling to Rotterdam?
No official reason was given by the Australian broadcaster, SBS, to why the delegation is unable to travel to Rotterdam this year. However, it has been widely known that Australia has one of the strictest border controls in the world during this pandemic. Since March last year, international travel has been extremely limited, with Australian citizens generally being unable to leave the country since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, in recent days they have slightly opened their border as they have formed a so called “travel corridor” with neighbouring country New Zealand.
If the delegation were to fly to Rotterdam however, all of them would need to do a two week quarantine upon returning to Australia, which can be very expensive. So expenses could have also been a factor into their decision.
What has the delegation said about this decision?
On the official Eurovision website, Australia’s head of delegation, Josh Martin, made a statement on the decision for Montaigne and the delegation to not travel to Rotterdam this year:
Australia has embraced the Eurovision spirit for more than 35 years on SBS, and our affection and excitement for the contest has continued to grow since we first competed in Vienna in 2015. In 2021, Australia will once again compete in the world’s biggest song contest but this time our artist, Montaigne, will perform from home and not abroad.
After a comprehensive assessment, SBS has decided not to send an Australian delegation and artist to Rotterdam for the Eurovision Song Contest this year. We came to this difficult decision after considering the challenges of the ongoing pandemic, including the many factors involved in travelling to and from the event from Australia.
SBS and Montaigne are appreciative of the European Broadcasting Union’s ongoing support for Australia’s involvement in the event, and their commitment to ensuring Eurovision continues amid the challenges COVID-19 presents. Congratulations must also go to the Host Broadcaster for the outstanding work that is being done to create a successful Eurovision Song Contest this year. We are working with them to assist in creating a memorable and successful broadcast.
In true Australian spirit, Montaigne will still be fiercely competing in this year’s event with her uplifting and powerful anthem Technicolour, which is set to surprise and delight Europe, and show everyone we’re in it to win it. We are thrilled to be back and look forward to showing Europe our very best!”
Montaigne also delivered a statement on the matter:
“Naturally, I’m sad that for two years in a row I have been unable to participate in the live spectacle of Eurovision. My partner and I had been discussing what video games we would bunker down with in a hotel room in Rotterdam between rehearsals for the final event, and we were excited about it. Despite that disappointment, it is still an immense privilege to be able to participate and compete in Eurovision, in its fandom and its processes, two years in a row. I have been able to submit two songs that I’m proud of and that have meant significant things to people. I am still absolutely stoked that I can present Technicolour this year, in whatever form my final performance may come in! It’s such a beautiful festivity and not even a pandemic can put it to bed. Eurovision will live forever.”
Of course we are sad that Montaigne will not be able to travel to Rotterdam this year to perform, however we are still pleased that she is still able to compete and is able to use her live on tape performance. We look forward to seeing her next month!
Australia in Eurovision
Australia is the country that most recently joined Eurovision, when the EBU invited them to participate in 2015. They debuted with Guy Sebasian with the song Tonight Again, placing 5th. After their one-time automatic qualification in 2015, they have qualified to the final in all of their participations. Their highest placing was in 2016, when they finished second, just 23 points behind the winner Ukraine. Montaigne won the latest edition of Australia Decides with Don’t Break Me, and was due to represent Australia in Rotterdam in 2020 before the contest got cancelled. She will be compete in the 2021 edition with the song Technicolor in the first semi final on the 18th May.
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Photo: Jess Gleeson
Video Source: Eurovision Song Contest & Eurovoxx Youtube Channels