2016 Review: Australia

All of the “Wait, Australia isn’t even in Europe” comments aside, Australia is back again after being invited last year as a guest entrant for the 60th contest, though this time as a semi-finalist. I’m going to guess that it was a combination of their enthusiasm for the contest, their willingness to try and send something at least decent, and someone in the EBU realizing that more participants=more entry fees, and more entry fees = more money. Given all of the three mentioned reasons, there’s a chance that SBS is probably going to return to ESC as a regular entrant.

Prior to SBS announcing Guy Sebastian, one of the heavily rumored artists was Dami Im, who won the X Factor in 2013. Excluding the entire month where everyone thought it was Delta Goodrem due to Junior Eurovision, the rumors were right, except they were a year early. She’ll be singing to the Sound of Silence. And a) there’s no connection to Simon and Garfunkel, and b) for any literalists, she’s not singing an a cappella track.

When the track starts, the verses remind me a lot of Switzerland’s entry last year with the thumping/pulsing bass at about the same speed, and the refrain pulses harder. But unlike Switzerland, which emerges into the light from the darkness, Australia’s version goes dark and says that due to some relationship issue the, Dami’s heart beats to a bunch of numbing white noise (because silence…doesn’t make any noise). I really like the baseline tune, but I don’t care much for the lyrics (*cue the “as an American, the lyrics…” rant by Julie Frost back in Austria*). There’s no issue with the face time/FaceTime lyrics, but something sounds weird when she sings “and it beats to the sound of silence.” Instead of singing “SI-lence” by emphasizing the first syllable, she emphasizes the second syllable as “si-LENCE” and it just sounds kind of weird. Then again, Finland’s also got “all my trou-BLES away”, which sounds just as jarring but I didn’t really care then…

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