Sutherland Shire singer Mark Vincent is throwing his hat into the ring to represent Australia at next year's Eurovision Song Contest.
Vincent, who stunned viewers in 2009 with his outstanding version of Nessun Dorma on the third season of Australia’s Got Talent, will take part in the first ever national selection show, Eurovision - Australia Decides.
“This opportunity to compete in Eurovision - Australia Decides means everything to me,” Vincent told the Leader.
“I’ve been a Eurovision fan since I was young and love the incredible voices and talents that have emerged.
“I’m going to bring everything I’ve got to the stage. I’ve been working my entire life for this moment, and I can’t wait to perform for you.”
He will battle it against award-winning solo performer Kate Miller-Heidke, legendary drag queen Courtney Act, electric-soul duo Electric Fields and indie pop group Sheppard of Geronimo fame, for a coveted spot representing Australia at the 2019 global competition.
Also vying for the chance to represent Australia will be charismatic pop star Aydan, and a new discovery, 16-year-old singer-songwriter Leea Nanos, who has been selected as a wild card entry after her song submission blew the judges away.
All will compete on Australia's national selection TV show Eurovision - Australia Decides in February.
Act said: "A sweet 16 years after Australian Idol, I have the chance to show Australia how I have grown as an artist and performer and I am so excited!
"To compete to represent Oz in Eurovision is second only to being on that stage in Tel Aviv and singing my lungs out for my country.”
Aydan said it would be “unbelievable” to participate in Eurovision – Australia Decides.
“Having been a fan of Eurovision, it's really hard to comprehend that I am going to have a shot at representing our country at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2019,” he said. “I have such a supportive fan base and I am hoping that together we’ll go on this journey and see a new generation of Eurovision fans.”
Nanos said it was an honour to be up against such a stellar line-up of seasoned performers.
“Being the youngest and most inexperienced in the competition I know I'll need to really bring my A-game to the stage,” she said. “It's unreal that I've got this opportunity to perform on the same stage as all of these high-profile Australian artists - artists I admire and aspire to be like.”
Hosted by radio host and music buff Myf Warhurst, and comedian Joel Creasey, Eurovision – Australia Decides will bring the nation closer to the Eurovision action.
The event will be presented at the Gold Coast Convention Centre on Friday and Saturday February 8-9.
Australia has been eligible to take part in Eurovision since 2015. The country was allowed to enter the competition to mark the event's 60th anniversary.
The grand final of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Tel Aviv, Israel, in May.