AUSTRALIA – He is about to perform in front of a 200-million-strong television audience but the biggest concern Isaiah Firebrace has ahead of Eurovision is getting enough sleep. Fresh off his supporting role on Jessica Mauboy’s national tour, Isaiah was spending his last few days before flying out in Melbourne resting.
“I am a big sleeper. When I sleep in, I sleep in, quite later into the afternoon,” he said, hoping he would find time for enough shuteye while taking on the world’s best in Kyiv.
In another move to help him focus on the task at hand, Isaiah’s family will not travel with him to Ukraine, watching from their Echuca-Moama lounge room instead. He described the border town community as “super supportive”.
“My dad tells me every time he goes down the street, to the supermarket, he has so many people asking, ‘How’s Isaiah, what’s he doing?’,” Isaiah said.
Asked about the staging of his song, Isaiah remained tight-lipped but did let slip he would perform from atop an object he had “never been on before, and never imagined singing on”. “It’s something really cool and I can’t wait to show everyone.”
Isaiah listed the Netherlands and Belgium as two of his favourite entries this year, but it was Italy’s Francesco Gabbani – who will sing Occidentali’s Karma alongside a man in a gorilla suit – that won the teenager’s douze points. Isaiah likened the Italian song to chart-topper Gangnam Style. “It was something so crazy and outrageous, but everyone loved it.”
But he didn’t view the 41 other performers as competition, saying they were all there for the same reason: to have fun representing their homelands. One of three 17-year-old singers chosen to take part in the 62nd edition of the song contest, Isaiah is eager to spend time with the other young performers.
Regardless of where he finishes in Ukraine, Isaiah’s European tour will continue with promotional pit stops to several countries around the continent.