It feels a very odd time to be writing a Eurovision national selection preview – given the terrible situation in Europe at the moment with war once again coming to the continent. This isn’t the place to discuss that but it provides a very sobering backdrop to the first of the two national finals taking place this coming weekend. First up, returning for its third edition, is Australia Decides 2022, allowing Eurovision fans in Europe to watch a national selection show while they have their breakfasts or brunches.
There are 11 competing artists in this selection, and as with many national finals, voting is done 50/50 split between jury and public vote. The jury show has already taken place, but it will be the live televised final that will see the public vote and results revealed. We’ve got a familiar face in the line up – Isaiah Firebrace, Australia’s 2017 Eurovision entrant with “Don’t Come Easy“. He’s in a duet this time, but it seems he isn’t one of the favourites to win the national final.
The likely favourites
Until the jury show, there had been no live performances to go on, so the three favourites here are drawn from fan website voting/polls, the Eurovision scoreboard app and the pre-show betting odds.
Favourite 1: Sheldon Riley “Not the Same
Favourite in the app, the fan polls and clear leader in the betting odds is Sheldon Riley and his avant-garde ballad. It’s undoubtedly an impressive vocal, and is haunting and emotional – though it may lose out to Poland at the actual contest should this win through. But he will certainly put on an interesting staging/costume for Eurovision.
Favourite 2: Voyager “Dreamer”
This is an energetic electro-rock-metal number and stands out in the line up given the genre of the song, and the fact that it’s a band (something Australia has not yet sent). They are described as a progressive metal band and while some might say they are a bit too close to last year’s contest winners genre-wise, there hasn’t been anything like this in 2022’s line up. I think this has a chance of going through and is in a great spot in the in the running order.
Favourite 3: Charley “I Suck At Being Lonely”
Appearing high up in the fan polls and scoreboard app, this melancholy and slow female ballad is currently 4th in the betting odds. The small clip from the jury show I saw left me a little underwhelmed but perhaps the full performance will prove moving for juries and the audience.