17-year-old Sony Music Australia-signing Isaiah Firebrace is through to the final of the 62nd annual Eurovision Song Contest.
Firebrace’s performance of ‘Don’t Come Easy’ in the Ukrainian capital Kiev last night (May 9) guaranteed him one of just 10 spots to be put forward for the final.
— franck hellström (@franckhells) May 8, 2017
The other finalists are Moldova, Azerbaijan, Greece, Sweden, Portugal, Poland, Armenia, Cyprus and Belgium.
Votes from the Eurovision jury from each country count for 50% (they’re decided upon during the dress rehearsal), with viewers’ votes deciding the other 50% during the live show.
The competition is split into two semi-finals, with 18 countries competing in each. The second Eurovision semi-final is set to be broadcast live on SBS on Friday morning.
The aforementioned 10 winners, along with the 10 winners from Friday’s semi-final then enter the grand final. They’ll be joined by the Eurovision “big five” – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK – and hosting country, Ukraine.
One country which was noticeably absent is Russia. The country withdrew from the competition after their artist Yulia Samoylova was banned from entering Ukraine. Ukraine’s SBU security service said she would not be allowed to enter after she ‘illegally’ visited Crimea in 2015. Crimea was annexed by Moscow in 2014.
Last night’s semi-final saw the debut of SBS’ new host pairing of Joel Creasey and Myf Warhurst, who took over the reins from Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang.
Warhurst, who is also a presenter at digital radio station Double J, said of Firebrace’s performance:
“Dami shocked everyone last year, that was noticeable and people have lifted their game […] Listening to what happened in the room it’s really clear, they love him, they love Australia.”
Im claimed second place in the contest last year and Guy Sebastian placed fifth in 2015. In 2014, Jessica Mauboy was invited to perform at the second Eurovision semi-final.
— Brett Mason (@BrettMasonNews) May 9, 2017