• Australian singer Guy Sebastian poses for a photograph in Sydney, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. Sebastian has released a new single titled 'Come Home With Me', and is embarking on an arena tour of Australia. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING
Eurovision might sound like a Europeans-only song contest, but we Australians like to bend the rules. And when it came to choosing the ideal Aussie candidate for 2015, how could we look past a singer who’s collaborated with hip hop’s finest and learnt to climb ev’ry mountain (The Sound of Music reference) during his televised rise to fame? Guy Sebastian is that guy.
By
Siobhan Hegarty

5 Mar 2015 - 9:46 AM  UPDATED 30 Apr 2020 - 4:04 PM

1. Angels brought him here

From ‘kid with an afro’ to internationally-acclaimed singer and songwriter, Guy Sebastian’s rise to fame reads like a Gen Y fairytale. Gracing our TV screens in 2003, Guy auditioned for music contest Australian Idol with Stevie Wonder's "Ribbon in the Sky”. Despite his lack of formal training, the gifted 22-year-old went on to win our hearts (and the competition’s top spot) with his vocal dexterity and fondness for Motown beats. Guy’s debut single as Idol winner, "Angels Brought Me Here", became the top selling track in Australia in the 2000s. Pretty decent effort for a newbie. 

2. He's bros with the Pope

Well, “bros” might be an over exaggeration, but Guy Sebastian co-wrote the official anthem for the Roman Catholic Church's XXIII World Youth Day in 2008. Our man performed gospel song “Receive the Power” with fellow Australian Idol alumnus Paulini Curuenavuli (yes, Paulini has a last name) at the celebration’s Final Mass and the Pope’s Farewell. Pope Benedict XVI wasn’t available for comment, but we suspect he’ll be barracking for Guy come judgement day (a.k.a. the Eurovision Finals).

3. Lupe loves him and everybody loves Lupe

It’s time for some name dropping. Guy’s co-written songs with Brian McKnight and Mýa, jammed with John Mayer, opened for Taylor Swift and even released the track “Mama Ain’t Proud” with hip hop bad boy 2 Chainz (formerly Tity Boi). Best known internationally for his bromance with Lupe Fiasco, Guy and the American rapper performed their hit “Battle Scars” on Conan, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and even Australia’s The X Factor following its 2012 release. 

4. The guy is (kind of) European!

If there was ever a poster child to represent Australia (and SBS) at Eurovision it would surely be Guy Sebastian. Despite his Anglo-Saxon-sounding name, the migrant musician is basically a walking, well-used passport. Born in Malaysia to a Malaysian-Sri Lankan Tamil father and an Indian-raised English-Portuguese mother, Guy was seven when the family moved to Australia. We hope his multicultural make-up and magical voice disbands the European voting blocks and leads to Aussie love. 

5. He’s no stranger to Eurovision talent 

In 2008, Guy Sebastian was one of the “friends” to perform at fundraising concert Olivia Newton-John & Friends. The pair sung “Summer Nights”, brought to life by Olivia and the conscientiously quiffed John Travolta in the 1978 film Grease. We bet backstage banter at the Sydney show revolved around the following: Travolta’s slicked-back ‘do’ and, more importantly, Newton-John’s Eurovision performance in 1974. The British-born songstress represented the United Kingdom with “Long Live Love" and didn’t fare too shabbily, despite not liking the tune. Our Olivia placed fourth behind ABBA with the legendary track “Waterloo”, Italy’s Gigliola Cinquetti and Dutch pop duo Mouth & Macneal. 

6. Norwegians dig his scars (and tatts) 

Unlike other singers whose talents were ‘discovered’ on television, Guy’s success isn’t girt by sea. His 2012 track “Battle Scars”, featuring Lupe Fiasco, spent 20 weeks on the US Billboard Hot 100 and placed number six status in the Norwegian music charts. We can’t work out a formula to the nation’s music tastes – former Norwegian Eurovision winners include pop duo Bobbysocks! (1985) and the violin-wielding Alexander Rybak (2009) – so we’re putting Guy’s popularity down to his impressive tattoos. 

7. Jess Mauboy’s got Guy’s back

Another successful student from the school of Australian Idol, Jessica Mauboy became the first non-European Union solo artist to grace the Eurovision stage as a guest. Singing at last year’s contest, Jess wooed the crowd with patriotic pop song “Sea of Flags”.

If you want to relive Guy's incredible performance at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 tune into SBS on Monday 11 May at 1:30PM. Available to catch up at SBS On Demand after broadcast.

Check out all the details for Eurovision Week 2020 on SBS and SBS VICELAND
SBS is uniting music fans with Eurovision 2020: Big Night In!
Plus, we have a whole week of Eurovision programming from 10–17 May.