One of the benefits of having a Eurovision entrant who came up through The X Factor school of hard knocks is that we’ve seen him perform a range of songs, so we know what to expect when he stands up to rock the faces off Europe.
Isaiah Firebrace will be performing “Don’t Come Easy” in Kiev, and to fully appreciate his song selection, we've taken a look back on previous songs he's chosen to perform. It's a playlist of the tracks that led to this moment. We’ve included the original artist and Isaiah’s version, so you can enjoy both.
1. Adele, “Hello”
As introductions go, saying “Hello” is a good opening gambit. In Isaiah’s case it was also a risky one, given this was his return to The X Factor stage after forgetting the lyrics to Tracy Chapman’s "Fast Car" the year before. (Sorry for bringing it up, Isaiah.)
2. Alicia Keys, “If I Ain’t Got You”
He received a standing ovation from the judges for his rendition of Alicia Keys’ post-9/11 hit, which dismisses life’s more superficial offerings in favour of a true emotional connection.
3. Rudimental featuring Ed Sheeran, “Lay It All On Me”
“If it hurts and you can’t take no more, lay it all on me.” Even as a teen, Isaiah brought a feeling of authenticity to these weighty lyrics.
4. The Beatles, “Let It Be”
Really, if you’re going to show off your pipes in a weekly singing contest, at some point you have to belt out a ballad everyone else can join in on. There’s some words of wisdom right there.
5. Pharrell Williams, “Happy”
Dramatically changing the pace here, Isaiah took on the catchiest earworm of 2013 for a feel-good moment.
6. Sam Cooke, “A Change Is Gonna Come”
A soul classic with a social message that resonates today, Sam Cooke’s timeless hit works just as well on the stage here as it did in 1964.
7. Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul McCartney, “FourFiveSeconds”
For the semi-finals, Isaiah went acoustic, sitting backwards on a chair and showing off the stagecraft he had learnt over the course of the series. Go back to “Hello” up there and spot the difference!
8. Beyoncé, “Halo”
Fierce has nothing on Firebrace, who took Queen Bey’s power ballad and made it his own, fitting her lyrics to that baritone he rocks like it’s NBD.
9. Avicii, “Wake Me Up”
For the duet portion of the evening’s events, Isaiah mounted the stage with personal hero and Eurovision alumnus Jessica Mauboy. Together, they ensured the audience wouldn’t need waking up. Because, like, they were already paying attention to the great song.
10. Himself, “It’s Gotta Be You”
Finally, as the triumphant victor of The X Factor, Isaiah performed an original song – the first track to appear on his self-titled album. That first link is the album version, so you can compare it to his live performance.
The Eurovision Song Contest will be broadcast over SBS’s Eurovision weekend - Friday 12 May, Saturday 13 May, and Grand Final Sunday 14 May at 7.30pm on SBS with LIVE early morning broadcasts begin Wednesday 10 May at 5am on SBS.