Australia, your Eurovision 2022 champion has officially been crowed. Say hello to your newest Supreme of camp Christmas: Sheldon Riley!
Sheldon’s song “Not The Same” won 50 jury votes and 50 public votes at SBS’s Eurovision – Australia Decides 2022.
This year’s competition was a tight fkn race. Perth metal band Voyager came in second with “Dreamer” and Jaguar Jones’s “Little Fires” came in third.
Honestly, every song performed was an absolute bop, banger or power ballad. As a nation we had an extremely tough choice.
But ultimately Sheldon Riley was selected as our nation’s finest. Well deserved indeed.
He spoke to PEDESTRIAN.TV about the win and what it meant.
“This is the stage I have watched for years and years and years and now I’m going to be standing on it!” Sheldon said.
He reflected on his experience in competitive singing shows and they way they tried to mould him into personas he didn’t identify with.
“Now I’m standing on a stage being respected as an artist not as a competitor. That means the world to me,” he explained.
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He also touched on the meaning of his song “Not The Same”.
“There is such an unseen community in Australia who have no idea who they are and what they’re capable of,” Sheldon said.
“I come from a very religious and reserved family [and I’m also] a kid of public housing.
“I didn’t know what I was going to be able to achieve and create. Now I work with Australia’s best and I’m about to represent the country!
“It’s just a little crazy, isn’t it?”
Sheldon took over the crown from certified legend Montaigne, who performed her new song “Always Be You” at Eurovision – Australia Decides. It’s a collab with David Byrne from Talking Heads. Yep, it’s rogue. Yep, I dig it.
We also chatted to some of the other competitors in Eurovision – Australia Decides 2022.
Jaguar Jonze first competed for the Australia Eurovision trophy back in 2020. She told PEDESTRIAN.TV that her 2022 Eurovision song “Little Fires” was a reflection of her continuing activist work in Australia’s #MeToo movement.
“[The song] was written as a way for me to acknowledge myself after advocating and sacrificing my career and my artistry for two years. [I was] raising awareness of sexual harm, sexual harassment and systemic discrimination in the Australian music industry,” she said.
“That was really taxing for me and took away my ability to be an artist, which is the reason why I went into the music industry in the first place.
“This song is a reminder for me — and for anyone else that it resonates with who is fighting for something bigger than they are —to keep on fighting and to work together to find their voice.”
And yes, that was real fire on her skirt.
Another hot contender was SBS’s first TikTok Wildcard winner Erica Padilla. Erica has a cool 1.3 million TikTok followers (impressive!) plus wrote her song ‘To The Bottom” in two days (double impressive!).
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Erica told PEDESTRIAN.TV that her banger reflected coming back from a rock bottom period in her life.
“The point in time where I wrote the song was just after they told me I won the TikTok Wildcard. I was on this huge high,” she said.
“I was reflecting on all of the points in my life where I thought I was going to miss an opportunity … or where I felt like I was hitting rock bottom.”
She highlighted a moment where she was supposed to get signed to a label and then they changed their minds.
“I’d prepared myself for this amazing opportunity and then it was taken from me. I felt like I was at rock bottom and that’s kind of what I wrote [this song] about.”
She also said her TikTok fans had been super supportive of her Eurovision dreams.
“They’re really excited to be on this journey with me because they’ve seen me grow,” she said. Aww, we love a supportive fandom.
Also repping Gen Z was girl group G-Nat!on, who you might recognise from The Voice 2021. Band members Isla and Alessia said they hoped their song “Bite Me” — written by Leea Nanos — would be empowering. I won’t lie, it’s already been added to my pump-up playlist.
“It’s very upbeat, it’s very confident,” Isla said. “To sing a girl power anthem is really fun.”
So look. While there can only be one Aussie rep for Eurovision 2022, you now have eleven new absolute certified bangers to add to your playlists. You’re welcome!
I’ve personally had Voyager’s “Dreamer” stuck in my head for a week.
You can catch Sheldon Riley in the second Eurovision semi-final on May 13 Aussie time on SBS!