Arts

Isaiah Firebrace to represent Australia at Eurovision 2017

Isaiah Firebrace has been announced as Australia's entrant in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. Source: SBS

SBS World News Radio: Isaiah Firebrace has been announced as Australia's entrant in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest.

This is 17-year-old Isaiah Firebrace, a young singer with a big voice.

And he has a big task ahead of him - representing Australia at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest with Don't Come Easy.

The song was written by the team responsible for Dami Im's hit song, Sound of Silence, which won second place in Sweden last year.

Isaiah Firebrace says it has been his dream to represent Australia at Eurovision, and to inspire other young people.

"My message is, 'age is just a number and if you have a dream and if you have the drive and determination to follow that dream, it can come true'. And I want to inspire non-Indigenous kids and Indigenous kids around Australia and the world."

He got his break on the The X Factor Australia, winning the television talent show last year.

And he has already had some success overseas.

His debut single It's Gotta Be You reached number four on the Finnish iTunes charts after hitting the top spot in Australia in 2016.

Australia is competing in the Eurovision Song Contest for a third time.

Although it is not a part of Europe, the event has gained a huge following here partly due to the large migrant population.

After a long-running campaign, the organisers allowed Australia to participate, with Jessica Mauboy giving an intermission performance in one of the semi-finals in 2014.

But it wasn't until the following year that Australia was allowed to enter and vote in the competition.

This year's Eurovision Song Contest has faced some early challenges.

Twenty one members of the Ukrainian organising team resigned last month, citing difficulties with the organising committee.

There were some fears the capital Kyiv wouldn't be ready to host the event in time.

But the European Broadcasting Union, which launched the Contest in 1956, says the show must go on.

Eurovision rules stipulate the competition must be held in Europe, so even if Australia wins it can't host the next Song Contest.

Australia would have to partner with an EBU broadcaster to co-host the event in a European country.

SBS coverage of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest begins on May 11.

 

 

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