Eurovision Australia Decides 2019 winner Kate Miller-Heidke performs Zero Gravity on the Gold Coast. Image by Regi Varghese/AAP PHOTOS

Tourism and Leisure

Eurovision’s next-gen talent backstage

2020-02-07 06:05:03

The Eurovision Song Contest has helped kick start many a superstar career, putting singers or bands little known outside their own countries on the road to becoming global household names. Think ABBA, Olivia Newton-John, Julio Iglesias, Lulu and Cliff Richard.

Behind the scenes, the contest is now offering a launch pad for other young creative professionals.

Graduates and senior students from two of Queensland’s most prestigious arts colleges have been selected to assist as interns to makeup and wardrobe experts at this weekend’s event spectacular, Eurovision – Australia Decides.

Hosted on the Gold Coast, it will showcase some of Australia’s biggest acts, singing original compositions, for their chance to represent us at the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Rotterdam, Netherlands in May.

Contenders from across the music spectrum are Vanessa Amorosi, Casey Donovan, Mitch Tambo, Montaigne, Didirri, iOTA, Diana Rouvas, Jack Vidgen, Jordan-Ravi and Jaguar Jonze.

Vying for their own chances of industry stardom will be three recent graduates from Kingstones International Academy and six final-year students from the Huxley School of Makeup, who will work with high-flyers in their respective fields at the two-day national selection event.

Eurovision – Australia Decides kicks off on Friday at the Convention and Exhibition Centre, the final being broadcast live on SBS on Saturday at 8.30 pm AEDT.

“Our fashion stylist graduates Alicia Payne, 18, Jess Hague, 25, and Jade Raven, 22, will be working with contestants and dancers under the direction of head stylist Hayley Burton and Blink TV production manager Stef Foerster,” says Kingstones International Academy Co-Director Jude Kingston.

An ecstatic Alicia Payne adds: “This is an absolute honour and dream. It will not only help me professionally, by making contacts and future projects come to life, but allow me to grow as a person and stylist.”

Kingstones, based in Brisbane, offers courses in fashion styling, fashion business, makeup, modelling and photography.

Assisting senior makeup artists on the event will be six final-year students from the Gold Coast’s Huxley School of Makeup: Taylor Andrews, 22, Georgia Hynes, 28, Vanessa Reani, 35, Sara Firth, 30, Isabella Basilisco, 17, and Amy Montgomery, 25.

“To be able to work on the set of a huge production with industry professionals is an outstanding opportunity for our students,” says Holly Fraser, who works in Huxley’s student administration.

“This kind of experience can help them get a foot in the door to open up further opportunities in the film and television industry.

“As well as honing their skills with such a challenge, it gives them a chance to network with industry professionals.”

The Huxley School of Makeup at Burleigh Heads is Australia’s only International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) accredited makeup education provider, specialising in professional makeup training and education.

Hosted by SBS Eurovisionaries comedian Joel Creasey and music buff Myf Warhurst, audiences at Eurovision – Australia Decides will be encouraged to vote for their favourite acts and the winner will be revealed during SBS’ Live TV Final broadcast on Saturday night.

Says Paul Clarke, Creative Director of Eurovision – Australia Decides: “We’ve talked to just about everyone in the Australian music industry to bring the best into the contest and we so appreciate everyone’s help and love of Eurovision.”

* This feature has been produced in collaboration with City of Gold Coast