17-year-old Isaiah Firebrace has been announced as Australia’s contender in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
On Tuesday afternoon he was unveiled as the singer Australia will send to the Ukraine in May. He performed his Eurovision song, the new ballad “Don’t Come Easy”, at a small concert in Melbourne that was streamed on SBS’ Facebook page.
Isaiah, who hails from the country town of Moama in regional Victoria, won The X-Factor Australia in November. He’ll follow in the footsteps of previous Eurovision performers Jessica Mauboy, Guy Sebastian and Queensland’s Dami Im, who finished second last year.
“I’m so proud to be representing Australia as our entrant for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017,” he said.
“Even though it has been a dream of mine, never did I think for one minute it would be a possibility. To be able to share this news with my family and friends is unbelievable.
“I will make Australia proud.”
The big reveal comes after Australian-born Anja Nissen was recently named as Denmark’s representative in this year’s competition.
But Isaiah and Anja won’t be joined by SBS’ Eurovision commentary team Sam Pang and Julia Zemiro, who announced last week that after eight years they would pass the sequined baton to a new team.
Julia said it had been a “wonderful and hilarious ride” and an “absolute joy”.
“Growing up in a French household in Bondi Junction, I fell in love with this amazing contest ever since Abba won the competition,” she said.
“The languages, the characters, the songs and the sequins have always held a warm place in my heart… It’s hard to say goodbye but thrilled to be handing over to the next team on a high – douze points.”
Sam said: “I’d like to thank SBS for the opportunity to explore the world and share that experience with all those back home.
“But there are only so many sequins, burning pianos, power ballads and singing Russian grannies one man can celebrate in a career. The time has come for me to pass that privilege on to a new team.”
— SBS Australia (@SBS) March 2, 2017
The Semi-Finals of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest will take place on Tuesday May 9 and Thursday May 11, with the Grand Final on Saturday May 13.