AUSTRALIA – 2020 was to be the moment of Montaigne’s career: the world’s biggest performance stage, 180 million viewers. Voted Australia’s Eurovision 2020 entrant, the singer was gearing up to compete. News of the cancelled event hit hard.
“I’ve had my cry. I spent a couple of hours paralysed in bed, despondently scrolling through many lovely tweets,” she posted on social media at the time. “I imagine I’ll probably have a lot more cries in the next little while.”
Today, she’s more philosophical: “It can be scary to feel that vulnerable and hurt but you have to go through that for it not to manifest elsewhere in your life.”
Upon being voted Australia’s entrant for Eurovision in Rotterdam, 25-year-old Montaigne remembers very different feelings: elation, joy, satisfaction after months of hard work. She’d begun preparations, including collecting tips from last year’s entrant Kate Miller-Heidke.
There’d been meetings with storyboard artists and animators to nail the aesthetics of her performance. Nerves were building: “Anxiety as well as excitement. I’m introverted so can’t manufacture being ‘on’”.
Her coping mechanism was to pivot from sorrowful to grateful.
“I counted my blessings. I wasn’t really fit enough to perform this year; now I get to hang with my partner. Weeding the garden gives me as much pleasure as Eurovision. Sounds weird, but that’s me.”
And while Montaigne’s tears were dried by the news she’d still get her shot at Eurovision glory in 2021, with a new song she’ll write herself, it comes with a sense of resignation: she’s not convinced the world will be back to normal.
“I was stoked but … I’m resigned to the possibility I’ll never perform in Eurovision.”