GO­ING FOR GOLD

Can Guy Se­bas­tian bring Euro­vi­sion home for Australia?

Herald Sun - Switched On - - FRONT PAGE -

Over the course of his ca­reer, Guy Se­bas­tian has per­formed for the Pope, played live on Let­ter­man and head­lined sta­di­ums.

But de­spite this pedi­gree, the sea­soned per­former ad­mits the thought of per­form­ing his song Tonight Again on the Euro­vi­sion stage has him feel­ing “def­i­nitely ner­vous”.

“It’s one of those things you can’t pre­pare for,” he says as he read­ies to start the com­pe­ti­tion this week.

“But I feel I nailed those (prior high pres­sure) per­for­mances be­cause I had enough runs on the board not to be over­come by my nerves. So I’m hop­ing that even though Euro­vi­sion is for­eign ter­ri­tory, I’ll be able to draw on my ex­pe­ri­ence and nail that per­for­mance, too.”

Co-host Ju­lia Zemiro, who has com­men­tated Euro­vi­sion for SBS since 2009, agrees it takes a spe­cial per­former to get out in front of not just the sta­dium, but the 180 mil­lion peo­ple watch­ing from home.

“Singing com­pe­ti­tions are weird, aren’t they?” she spec­u­lates.

“Your favourite song won’t be mine, you won’t vote for peo­ple that I might vote for.

“But with Guy, he knows how to han­dle that kind of com­pe­ti­tion. Plus know­ing he’s singing a song that he’s proud of will make such a dif­fer­ence.”

It’s been a long time though since Se­bas­tian found him­self be­ing judged in a singing com­pe­ti­tion.

In fact, the last time he did so was on the back of his Aus­tralian Idol win when he came a dis­ap­point­ing sev­enth in the first (and last) World Idol.

“I was rub­bish on stage,” he re­calls of the time. “And I didn’t get to sing the song I wanted to sing, I had to do a rub­bish ver­sion of (Louis Arm­strong’s) Won­der­ful World.”

Hav­ing now moved into a judg­ing seat him­self on X Fac­tor — Se­bas­tian will re­turn to the show this year — he says that per­form­ing in a com­pet­i­tive man­ner is some­thing he failed to take into ac­count when he said yes to Euro­vi­sion.

“I didn’t think about it and then I got to Europe to do a press jun­ket and I felt that sickly feel­ing again,” he says.

“I’m not a com­pet­i­tive per­son, es­pe­cially when it comes to mu­sic … It’s a pretty weird headspace.

“I ac­tu­ally had a bit of a mo­ment where I had to try to re­move my­self from it and put it into per­spec­tive. And go, ‘OK, it is what it is, it’s my mind frame that mat­ters and it’s not a com­pe­ti­tion to me. I’m just do­ing an­other gig, rep­re­sent­ing Australia.’ But it re­ally messed with me for a bit.”

But while Se­bas­tian may not be look­ing at Euro­vi­sion as a com­pe­ti­tion, Zemiro says his chances are look­ing pretty good. Hav­ing done a pre-tour of

Europe in the lead-up to Euro­vi­sion week, “peo­ple know the words al­ready,” says Zemiro.

“Guy’s rat­ing at No.4 to win,” she adds. “It’s an up­beat song which makes a dif­fer­ence. There are a lot of bal­lads in this year’s com­pe­ti­tion so it’s re­ally im­por­tant to get peo­ple danc­ing. His song will to­tally do that.”

Se­bas­tian adds: “I don’t think I’ll win but I don’t think I’ll come last. But we’ll see.” The Euro­vi­sion stage can feel like “an Olympic cer­e­mony,” says Zemiro. But de­spite that, we’re very un­likely to see live kan­ga­roos or other Aus­traliana flora and fauna when Se­bas­tian per­forms. “I said I

wanted

“I’m not a com­pet­i­tive per­son, es­pe­cially when it comes

to mu­sic”

GUY SE­BAS­TIAN KNOWS HIS LIM­ITS

kan­ga­roos as a joke,” he laughs of the ru­mours that have swirled around his al­leged bizarre on­stage re­quests.

“Of course I’m not go­ing to fling live koalas into an au­di­ence. No, there will prob­a­bly not be didgeri­doos.”

What we will see is his proud wife Jules beam­ing from the side­lines. The pair has de­cided to have an adults’ only mini­break in Aus­tria once the show has wrapped, leav­ing their sons Hud­son, 3, and Archer, 1, at home.

“Par­ents don’t get a break,” says Se­bas­tian of the planned two day hol­i­day. “When you’re on hol­i­days with your kids you’re con­stantly en­ter­tain­ing them. It’s pretty tough to get alone time. So it’ll be nice to have a few days to take in the beauty of Aus­tria to­gether.”

THE EURO­VI­SION SONG CON­TEST, SBS FROM MAY 20. GUY SE­BAS­TIAN WILL COM­PETE IN THE GRAND FI­NAL, TO BE SCREENED LIVE ON MAY 24, FROM 5AM ON SBS ONE AND RE­PEATED AT 7.30PM

Our man in Euro­vi­sion Guy Se­bas­tian; (be­low) with wife Jules and new­born Archer;

with pre­vi­ous Euro­vi­sion win­ner

Con­chita Wurst.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.