HOURS before getting on stage as the first Australian to compete at the Eurovision Song Contest, Guy Sebastian is clear: he is going to rely on his vocal skills and his song to represent Australia.
There will be no kangaroos, no koalas and no boomerangs on stage.
Q: What kind of questions was the European press asking you during your Eurovision experience?
A: Pretty much about Australiana. They asked me if I'm going to have kangaroos on stage, koalas or didgeridoos. They also asked me if I was going to throw boomerangs.
Q: Are you?
A: I don't think I'll do any of that.
Q: What else?
A: They were intrigued about the fact that Eurovision is so big in Australia. A lot of them couldn't believe it. They had no idea. I explained to them that SBS has supported it for years.
Q: Why do you think Australians love Eurovision so much?
A: Australians love music. We don't ourselves have a show that is so diverse. Eurovision goes from performers in a suit or a dress delivering a great ballad, and then suddenly you get a metal band dressed up like zombies, or milkmaids stirring butter as part of their props, or a bearded lady. You never know what are you going to get, and Australia loves great performances. We love a show that is bright, happy, camp, and colourful, and Eurovision is all of those things.
Q: How are you preparing to perform on stage and entice people to vote for Australia?
A: I have to be true to who I am. Yes, I am at Eurovision but I have to take my set of skills and adapt them to a different format to what I am used to. I haven't been in a competition for a very long time, and for me music is not a competitive medium. I have to play up on my strengths. I am not weird. I am not strange, but I do stand out at a vocal level. I feel like I have worked on my craft for it to stand on its own.
Q: By being Australian, aren't you inevitably going to be the bearded lady or the different one this year?
A: You may have a point on that one.
Q: What do you think of reports saying you are a favourite?
A: I don't think I am a favourite. I am an invited guest. I almost feel like saying that that would be rude. I am going to be humble and represent my country. When I get on stage I am going to turn my vocal inner-beast on.
The Eurovision grand final airs tomorrow at 5am AEST on SBS 1. It will be replayed at 7.30pm.
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