X Factor 2013 winner Dami Im was announced as Australia’s entrant for the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm’s Globe Arena in May.
The decision was announced by the 2014 Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst at the Sydney Opera House last night just before her concert with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra with guests Courtney Act, Trevor Ashley and Paul Capsis.
The announcement was streamed through SBS’s Facebook page. Im performed Waterloo by Abba, whose first success was at Eurovision.
In the run-up to the announcement, rumours ran the gamut from the possible (Delta Goodrem, Jessica Mauboy, Tina Arena) to the ridiculous (a reunion of girl band Bardot).
The 27-year old South Korean born Brisbane based singer songwriter follows Guy Sebastian’s appearance last year in Vienna, who was a wildcard entry for his song Tonight Again and finished fifth at the grand final.
Although Australia’s inclusion in a European contest was met with apprehension and derision in some quarters, last year’s competition drew a total of 4.2 million metro and regional viewers in Australia through SBS (up from 2.7 million in 2014). Globally the three live shows reached 197 million in 40 countries – 2 million more than in 2014.
The grand final posted 592,000 Australian metro viewers in the evening repeat (up from 476,000) with 263,000 watching it live in the early hours. There were over 215,000 Eurovision-related tweets from Australians. Globally, 6 million Eurovision tweets were sent.
The second semi-final on a Saturday night had 1.07 million Australian viewers – Eurovision's biggest-ever peak audience on SBS.
Last October when it was announced that Australia would compete again this year, Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the contest on behalf of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) explained, "The feedback we got from viewers, fans, press and the broadcasters after Australia's participation in Vienna was overwhelmingly positive.
“We strongly believe the Eurovision Song Contest has the potential to evolve organically into a truly global event. Australia's continued participation is an exciting step in that direction.”
SBS will screen the contest on May 10, 12 and 14. Im will be up against competitors from 41 countries.
"I just want to say a huge thanks to Conchita for having me at her concert and also Guy for being so supportive and encouraging — he will be a tough act to follow," Im said last night at the announcement. "Watch out Sweden, the Aussies are coming."
The song Dami will sing at Eurovision will be released globally by March 11.
Although she scored a #1 album and two platinum singles in the wake of the X-Factor win, late releases failed to gain chatter with consumers.