Review: “Australia Decides 2020”

On Saturday, the 8th of February 2020, Australia will hold its national final – “Australia Decides 2020“.

10 acts will compete for representing Australia in Eurovision 2020.
The identity of the winner will be determined by a combination of 50% international jury and 50% public voting.

In this post, I will review the 10 competing acts.

Australia Decides 2020 – Gold Coast, Eurovision

#1. Casey Donovan – Proud

Casey Donovan

It’s a power ballad. The song starts with the violin and piano playing. Afterward, the melody is being almost muted to a gentle piano playing. Casey uses her impressive voice while singing. The message of the song is being proud of who you are and standing on your own. The whole style fits into a Disney movie. It’s a little bit old-fashioned.
I suppose that it will have a strong staging which will lift it up. There is no doubt that Casey is a good performer, but I think that it won’t be the right song for Eurovision 2020.

#2. Diana Rouvas – Can We Make Heaven

Diana Rouvas

It’s a power love ballad with Soul and Gospel motives. The melody is based on the piano. Diana has an impressive voice and she easily excites the listeners. The chorus is pretty monotonic but catchy and strong. One of the advantages of the song is the use of the gospel choir which should be more massive. It’s hard to point out a “peak” in the song. The song is effective. I can’t draw it as one of the original songs in the line-up, but it stands out.

#3. Didirri – Raw Stuff

Didirri\

It’s an Indie Rock ballad. The style reminds me of the early 2000s British mainstream music. It’s personal and emotional in many ways. The first word in the lyrics is “Rachel” which hints that he dedicated the song to a woman named Rachel. The song can be a part of a romantic movie’s soundtrack. It’s romantic, sincere and lyrical. I suppose that Didirri will play the piano on stage. The problem is that the song may be liked only by a small group of listeners. In other words, it’s too eclectic.

 

#4. iOTA – Life

iOTA

It’s opened with a joyful keyboard playing. The production itself contains electronic guitar playing. I have difficulty to find the musical connection between the chorus and the verses. The verses have more Pop vibes, while the verses are an unsuccessful version of the 1980s rock song. It seems to me like an unfinished demo version of the wishful final outcome.

#5. Jack Vidgen – I Am King I Am Queen

Jack Vidgen

Jack describes his life as a homosexual teenager in the world. It’s an R&B Pop powerful ballad. The melody is based on piano playing. The lyrics contain some cliches like “big boys don’t cry”. The chorus is exciting even though it isn’t powerful (at his first occurrences on the song). We have heard songs like this in other national finals. In my opinion, the production itself lifts the song up. The singer should be aware of his mannerisms which sometimes is just too much. On one hand, the song grows on me. ON the other hand, I am still seeking an interesting switch point in the song that should probably come after one of the “peaks”.

#6. Jaguar Jonze – Rabbit Hole

Jaguar Jonze

It’s a brave Indie Rock song. It resembles a lot of the excellent style of PJ Harvey.
The song has the potential to be “MTV hit”. The genre isn’t that modern, it connects to the golden age (which I miss a lot) of the Rockenroll in the 1990s. The production is well planned. The melody is based on electronic guitar, bass, and keyboards. The performance should have a moderate volume, so Jaguar‘s voice won’t be hidden.
The melody even contains pleasure moments of the violin.
The song must have a proper staging unless it won’t have a chance of ending in the top of the table.

 

#7. Jordan-Ravi – Pushing Stars

Jordan Ravi

It’s a Country Pop folk song. The genre reminds me of modern boy bands. The melody is based on guitars and keyboards. The production is blended in some way. Jordan isn’t one of the singers with the standout voices. The use of “Autotune” is dominant which makes me concern about his vocal abilities in a live show.
The song is fine and decent, but I can’t find something special in it. 

 

#8. Mitch Tambo – Together

Mich Tambo

It’s a mid-tempo Pop. The song is sung in two languages: English and Gamilaraay (one of the native languages of Australia). The opening is interesting and original.
Mich has got a warming, pleasant and powerful voice.
However, the English lyrics are kitschy. It becomes a powerful ballad that its only uniqueness is the use in another native language.

 

#9. Montaigne – Don’t Break Me

Montaigne

It’s a mid-tempo Indie – Pop song. The verse is very catchy. The melody is based on keyboard, piano, and electroproduction. Montaigne sings very fast in the verses. The melody of the verses lacks an edginess. The singer has got a special stamp in her interpolation and voice. The chorus and the bridge has the potential to be captivating.
The studio cut is awesome, but I’m afraid of the translation into the live show, where the blending will have to be reduced significantly.

#10. Vanessa Amorosi – Lessons Of Love

Vanessa Amorosi

It’s a Pop Rock power love ballad. The melody, in the beginning, is very basic, but sometimes simple is beautiful. You can feel how much Vanessa is connected to the lyrics. The lyrics itself are touching and have the beauty of poetry. The chorus is powerful, surprising and convincing. She expresses vulnerability in her singing.
The chorus has the biggest wow factor of the Australian selection.
The song builds up in a sophisticated way.
Vanessa is well known as a professional singer who we can rely on. With the right staging, it can be the right choice for Australia.

My Ranking

#1. Vanessa Amorosi – Lessons Of Love
#2. Jaguar Jonze – Rabbit Hole
#3. Montaigne – Don’t Break Me
#4. Diana Rouvas – Can We Make Heaven
#5. Jack Vidgen – I Am King I Am Queen
#6. Didirri – Raw Stuff
#7. Casey Donovan – Proud
#8. Mitch Tambo – Together
#9. Jordan-Ravi – Pushing Stars
#10. iOTA – Life

My Prediction
First of all, I think than jury voting and public voting won’t be that similar.
Actually, I see a scenario where they won’t agree about the winner.

In my opinion, the potential winner can be one of the following artists:
Vanessa Amorosi, Jaguar Jonze, Montaigne, Jack Vidgen .

I live in Israel and watch Eurovision since the early 2000s. I work as a mathematician but have a big interest in singing, music, and writing

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