What made you want to step up for Eurovision - Australia Decides 2020?
Look, I mean, it's lots of little things actually.
I came into this thinking that if I couldn't find a song that I could emote and perform, I probably wouldn't do it. And then I stumbled across 'Proud' and just completely fell in love with this song. And Justine, the writer, is just such a beautiful writer, and it really spoke to my heart. And I thought, "You know what?" I'd love to put this onstage in Eurovision Australia Decides and see what happens..."
You opened the show with a guest performance of 'Tonight Again' at last year's Eurovision - Australia Decides.
I did. I did and it was awesome! The plethora of talent that comes together for this event is just absolutely amazing, and it's the same this year. You've got everything from pop to indie to electric and eccentric songs that are amazing, catchy, and beautiful. All the songs are just faultless. They're just, they're so different. We're such different artists. And I think it's an amazing thing to have 10 different artists on stage in Australia. I think really shows the diversity, the talents of the artists.
And being a song contest too, it also shines a light on young up and coming Australian writers, which I think is absolutely amazing.
Have you been a big Eurovision watcher throughout your life?
Yes, on and off. Growing up, Eurovision wasn't massive in our house, so it wasn't until I hit my mid-20s where people were like, "This is a thing." I was like, "Oh, this is a thing," and it's magical. It's where people can just go and express themselves and just be happy and celebrate music and writing. Right across the world.
If Australia decides that it's you on Saturday night, what would representing Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest mean to you?
I think it would be an absolute honour to represent our country. It would definitely put the nerves right back up in there, for me! But yeah, it would just be an honour and a privilege to take an Australian writer's song overseas and give it my best crack.
I think whoever takes the crown is absolutely deserving of it. And with all of the songs, I think anyone of them will be absolutely amazing.
You're not letting yourself think about that yet?
Definitely not. One day at a time.
Have you had much chance to mingle with some of the other performers?
No. I haven't. Kind of just in passing hallways, except I did some media stuff with Vanessa the other day. I've admired, Vanessa Amorosi since I was a kid. She is one of the reasons that I sing and it's just, yeah. It's so amazing to be able to share the stage with her.
And how do you prepare for getting on stage? Do you have any rituals that you go through to get yourself in the zone?
Obviously, I think an important warm-up is always good. I just try and stay grounded and mentally focused on what I have to do and where I have to stand, and as much as it is a song contest, you're also going out there to perform. But I think at the end of the day, it's just to breathe and have fun. And enjoy the moments because you get so, I get so swept up in the nervousness and the anxieties that by the time I hit the stage, the last thing before I open my mouth is, I just take a breath and go, "Well, there's nothing you can do now, let's just have fun!" I think, a lot of people forget to enjoy the little moments.
Can you give us some hints about how you'll perform your song, 'Proud'?
Look, I think we've kept it quite simple with 'Proud', this song is all about, or for me, it's about rising up and rising above it all, overcoming obstacles, but are still finding a reason to get up and to keep striving for better. I love the simplicity of what we're doing with the staging and one might say, it's a reflection of one's self. I'm just here enjoying the experience and at the end of the day, to perform a beautiful song for an audience is one of my biggest joys and passions. So as long as I can achieve that, I'm a pretty happy girl.
I've been lucky to catch the rehearsal, and the notes you were hitting were amazing
It was nice to actually sing it. Everyone's like, "Oh, just you know, do what you need, you don't have to go all out." But I'm either all in or I'm all out. Like, me doing 80% is probably hurting me more than doing me good. So I was like, "You know what? I just want to sing it." I've been playing Mama Morton [in Chicago] for the last eight months, so it's nice to sing something else!
Watch the Live TV Final at 8.30pm AEDT on SBS and On Demand tomorrow and cast your vote. Stay tuned to the SBS Eurovision website for updates: sbs.com.au/Eurovision