Australian pop idol and Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University graduate Dami Im will fly the flag for Australia at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in Sweden.
Im was revealed as the Australian representative at a special concert at the Sydney Opera House featuring 2014 Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst.
SBS had led speculation in the lead up to the announcement, posting a series of cryptic messages on Instagram. Im was the clear leader in the betting, with an SBS viewer poll placing her well ahead of Tina Arena, Delta Goodrem, Kylie Minogue, Sia and others.
Im is an award-winning pianist who won the popular reality television show The X Factor Australia in 2013. Her self-titled debut album reached number 1 on the ARIA charts, as did her lead single, Alive.
Director of Queensland Conservatorium, Professor Scott Harrison, says it’s another fantastic example of our local talent on the world stage.
“It’s a wonderful achievement for Dami to represent Australia in this way and we wish her every success,” he says.
During her time at Queensland Conservatoirum, Dami trained with the renowned Dr Irene Bartlett – who also taught Megan Washington, Katie Noonan, Elly Hoyt and Kristin Berardi.
Irene’s students have been recipients of prestigious industry and academic awards including: seven Aria Awards, The Freedman Jazz Fellowship (the Music Council of Australia), the Montreaux Jazz Festival international vocalist competition, five James Morrison Generations in Jazz Scholarships, and two Churchill Fellowships.
The Eurovision Song Contest is watched by approximately 200 million viewers, and this year will feature 43 countries including Australia — the largest number to date.
Australia was a surprise inclusion in the 60th anniversary event in 2015, with Guy Sebastian’s credible fifth place earning the nation another opportunity to compete.
“We strongly believe the Eurovision Song Contest has the potential to evolve organically into a truly global event,” Eurovision’s Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand said.
“Australia’s continued participation is an exciting step in that direction.”
Im will sing in the second semi-final in Stockholm on May 12. She needs to place in the top 10 via popular vote to advance to the grand final on May 14.
The announcement comes shortly after fellow Conservatorium graduate Tim Munro won his third Grammy for his work with sextet eighth blackbird.
SBS viewing schedule (Australian Eastern Standard Time)
Semi-final 1 — SBS live broadcast Wednesday May 11 5am
Semi-final 2 — SBS live broadcast Friday May 13 5am
Grand final — SBS live broadcast Sunday May 15 5am