Amidst droops of shrugged indifference, news of Guy Sebastian’s selection as Australian representative to the 2015 Eurovision Song Content landed this week with swathes of fury and confusion—“what about Kamahl?” punters jeered on the twitter sphere. “Or Angry Anderson?”
In the fallout, alternative options were flung about like wet bog roll—Dan Sultan, Client Liaison, Tina Arena, Machinegun Fellatio. Bananas in Pyjamas. Joe Dolce. Anyone.
To the 14,000 who signed a change.org petition to lure industry stalwarts, TISM out of retirement for the one-off gig, news of Sebastian’s crowning came as a serious blow:
Given Australia’s proud, long and storied history of voting for incredibly stupid shit and somehow taking pride in it…this can’t be allowed to happen again.
Yet it did. It has been a trying time for Australia. Many saw the Eurovision selection as a chance to spice things up, to turn around the pervasive national mood of “stop fucking things up and doing things we all hate”.
No offense to Sebastian—the fella can sing and sing well, it’s just that many felt his blend of safe, middle of the road pop might be better served elsewhere, rather than a song contest that prides itself on being quite the opposite.
Shock spectacle can be the clinching factor— Finnish hard rock orc outfit, Lordi, dressed as monsters, zombies and freaks, not only wowed audiences at Athens in 2006 but smashed the competition to take home the top prize.
Most Australians probably haven’t realised that, deep in the shag of Melbourne’s inner suburbs, a homegrown answer to Finland’s foremost has been slowly gestating, waiting in the wings for the opportunity to plunder the international stage.
Theatrical cock metal outfit, Barbariön were amongst the deeply disappointed over SBS’s decision this week. Their anthemic power submission, “Rock Down Under”—hailed by insiders as the answer to Lordi’s “Hard Rock Hallelujah”—was overlooked by the national broadcaster for a yet to be decided Sebastian ‘epic ballad’. The outfit spoke frankly about the situation:
Sending Guy Sebastian to represent Australia at Eurovision is the equivalent of entering the ‘Bocuse d’Or’ with a 6″ Meatball Subway sandwich.
Barbariön or not, what pained those opposed to the Sebastian selection the most was the fashion in which Australia’s incredibly vibrant music scene was left out of the conversation.
Indeed, all of us were. Other Eurovision-competing nations whittle down their final artist choice from a rigorous process of heats—Sweden broadcasts Saturday night TV shows from arenas around the country, giving almost 30 unknown local acts invaluable prime time exposure. Winners are selected through popular vote—not a captain’s pick by a roundtable of record label suits and broadcast heads.
“We already have the ARIAs to fulfil the needs and massage the egos of the liquid luncheoning, self congratulatory major label dinosaur brigade,” Barbariön added. “(They) are wasting a genuine and scarce opportunity to have real, non manufactured, proper old fashioned fun”.
SBS recently gave 7 reasons why Guy Sebastian is a born Eurovision contestant. To counter, here are 8 reasons why the choice ought to be reconsidered, with Barbariön to be sent instead:
- They plundered Spicks and Specks
To the point of axing. You may have see Barbariön feature on the final episode of the last Spicks and Specks’ run. As well as pillaging the set, they destroyed One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” with a smashing cover, rocking out so furiously that ABC cancelled the program hours later.
- They live on a diet of pork knuckle and Jägermeister
And so does much of Europe. They’re practically natives.
- Umlaut factor
A truth universally recognised, all musical outfits, metal or otherwise, harness previously inaccessible powers when they adorn their stage titles with at least one set of rock dots.
- Europe conquerors
In 2013, Barbariön’s war ship (and historically inaccurate über show) sailed into continental waters—across Germany, Poland and Scandinavia, they drank, ate, partied, voyaged, conquered and built things like none before them. While abroad, former lead singer Frank all but demoralised the Mauerpark competition at Berlin’s infamous Sunday karaoke bear pit.
- A stage show to rival Lordi
As well as sonic razing and costumes of fur, leather, studs, armour and lube, Barbariön are infamous for leaving venues a smouldering mess through an irrepressible and barely legal pyrotechnic show. Before it became ‘Bony’, the band came very close to burning late night Melbourne venue, ‘Pony’ into a cindering pile during a rogue Saturday night 2am slot.
At Meredith Music Festival in 2011, bassist, Pavlinov dodged Darwin award notoriety after surviving the performance with homemade flamethrower attached to his instrument. Austria Wiener Stadhalle stage is aching for Barbariön’s pyro moxie.
- They still fly Ansett
As consummate patriots, if given the nod, Barbariön have stated publically that they will journey to Vienna via West Berlin Templehof on Ansett’s newest 727, the Sir Prince Phillip.
- Born on a winter solstice in a baptism of fire
Guy Sebastian was brought here by angels; Barbariön were delivered through prophecy by Odin.
- Savvy with the LGBT
Camp theatrics are a huge point scorer in Eurovision. As David Rowley of the Sydney Morning Herald attests, a good Eurovision performance requires “Faux ‘ethnicity’… a song that sounds sort of contemporary… and something for the gays”. Barbariön’s popularity across the Australian bear and leather scenes is well documented.
The decision is salvageable; suggestions are doing the rounds that the former Australian Idol join forces and co-front the Eurovision performance alongside Barbariön vocalist/cod-piece slinger, Myles Harald-Tauchert.
Sebastian and SBS director Paul Clarke were unavailable for comment.