HomeArticlesArts & CultureMusicMontaigne crowned Eurovision – Australia Decides 2020 winner on the Gold Coast
Montaigne, Eurovision Australia Decides

Montaigne has been crowned the winner of Eurovision - Australia Decides 2020

Montaigne crowned Eurovision – Australia Decides 2020 winner on the Gold Coast

Maxine Steinmetz | February 2020

Art pop performer Montaigne has been crowned Eurovision – Australia Decides 2020 winner after taking out nine other Australian acts with her song, Don’t Break Me.

The 24 year old artist – well-known for her regular appearance in Triple J’s Hottest 100 – received a roaring reception from the Gold Coast crowd during the Live TV Final on Saturday 8 February.

Montaigne’s emotional performance of Don’t Break Me – a song about the breakdown of a relationship – featured local backup dancers and contemporary choreography.

“We initially had five dancers in Sydney that we rehearsed it with, we filmed them and then we brought it to five dancers here on the Gold Coast and rehearsed it on the Wednesday night.”

Despite the heavy lyrics, Montaigne dazzled the audience in her usual enchanting costume-adorned style. This time she chose a bold blue wig, which many die-hard fans in the audience imitated, creating a beautiful wave of cobalt.

“I find my music is quite serious, grim and dark, and I think it’s fun to offset that on-stage with a sense of play,” she said.

The jury awarded the act 54 points, followed by the Australian public vote of 53, which brought her total score to 107 points. In a nail-biting finish, powerhouse entertainer Casey Donovan took out second place with a total of 100 points, leading the public vote by seven points for her performance of Proud. While Aussie icon Vanessa Amorosi finished third with 82 points for her power ballad Lessons of Love.

The major event, held at the Gold Coast Convention Centre in Broadbeach highlighted the amazing artists, and the host city’s natural beauty also received some well-deserved air time during the Live TV show on SBS. Iconic landmarks, experiences and hidden Gold Coast gems were broadcast in the artist’s pre-performance packages, including Sailing in Paradise, The Pink Hotel in Coolangatta, Paradise Country in Nerang, Hot Air Ballooning, and The Village Markets in Burleigh.

Eurovision boss Jon Ola Sand said promotion of the city was priceless.

“I think it brings a lot of attention to the city. Gold Coast is mentioned several times in the program but also in online blogs and press articles.

Eurovision – Australia Decides is only broadcast here in Australia but these national selection shows are widely picked up through YouTube channels and through online social media. Last year there was a huge fuss about this in Europe because a lot of people watched it online.”

The city also received plenty of praise from the ten Australian performers.

“The Gold Coast is a great place to come, it’s got the iconic beach and beautiful high rises,” said Rising First Nations artist Mitch Tambo.

“During my Eurovision visit, I got to explore culture, and learn real authentic culture from lands around the area which was beautiful, and it was great to be a part of the community,” Tambo added.

Vanessa Amorosi has visited the Gold Coast many times over the past 20 years, not just for family holidays but also for gigs, including the popular Blues on Broadbeach Festival.

“I feel a lot has changed, but it still feels Gold Coast; it’s got that earthy, country feel with the beach being there, but then the city has the ‘hustle’ going on,” said Amorosi.

Emerging singer-songwriter Jordan-Ravi enjoyed his short time in the city, having visited The Village Markets in Burleigh for some pre-show footage.

“It just felt like I was back in Darwin. I grew up near a market and it has that beach-vibe, salty air and I felt totally at home.”

Brisbane-based multi-media artist Jaguar Jonze frequently visits the city, and for years she travelled the one-hour commute from the state’s capital whilst studying business at Bond University. Jonze, who’s performed at numerous Gold Coast gigs, including the city’s signature arts festival Bleach*, said there’s plenty of opportunity for local musicians.

“I think the City of Gold Coast is really supportive of their musicians, like you’ve got your own Gold Coast Music Awards which celebrates your local Gold Coast musicians, and as well as that I know that there’s funding available, grants, and opportunity and events are so plentiful!”

Australia Decides winner Montaigne is also a familiar face on the Gold Coast. In 2019 she headlined at the Bleach* Festival’s popular music event at Burleigh beach. Montaigne said it was a nice change of pace to performing in her hometown of Sydney.

“Bleach* was cool, very family-friendly vibes which was nice. It was one of those gigs where you can sit down and enjoy and be anywhere along the beach to hear it and see it.”

Montaigne will now go on to represent Australia at the 65th Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam, the Netherlands in May 2020.

Previous Australian Eurovision Song Contest performers include Kate Miller-Heidke, Jessica Mauboy, Isaiah Firebrace, Dami Im and Guy Sebastian.

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