Dami Im is to represent Australia in Eurovision 2016… and in Sweden, of all places! If there were a year that I would quit everything in my life to attend Eurovision, this would be the year… unfortunately life has other plans for me, but whatever. I’ll still be loyally and obsessively keeping tabs on all things Eurovision as per usual.
Now, onto more diabolical things. There are a lot of people out there who feel the need to make their ‘opinion’ on Dami Im being chosen as Australia’s representative heard via social media channels. Of course, their opinions are usually dripping in subtle racial and/or personal prejudice.
I actually can’t fathom the ignorance of some of these people who, let’s be honest, probably don’t even watch Eurovision. Because if they did, they would know that coming from a ‘reality talent show’ or not being born in a certain country has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with a contestant’s ability to participate in Eurovision.
In fact, some of the best Eurovision winners and entries in the past decade have come from reality talent shows. Here’s three at the top of my head:
- Loreen – Came 4th in Swedish Idol 2004 and WON for Sweden in Eurovision 2012
- Måns Zelmerlöw – Came 5th in Swedish Idol in 2005 and WON for Sweden in Eurovision 2015
- Loïc Nottet – Came 2nd in The Voice Belgique and came 4th in Eurovision 2015
I’m sure if I dug around some more, I’d find heaps more contestants who made their music industry debut from a talent show.
Next, let’s tackle the issue of race and what a ‘real’ Australian is. So, Dami Im was born in South Korea and immigrated to Australia when she was 9 years old. She’s now 27 which means she’s lived in Australia for almost two decades. Furthermore, she’s an Australian citizen. Everyone who keeps complaining that she’s not an Australian is, to put it frankly, being dismissive and downright hurtful. If someone came up to me and told me I wasn’t ‘Australian’, I would immediately feel as though I’ve been marginalised. That’s very UNAustralian, if you ask me.
But does it matter that Dami Im was born in Korea? Does it matter that she’s not your white Anglo-Australian? Does this in anyway impact how Eurovision works? Of course not!
Let’s take a look at some contestants in the past decade or so who participated for a country that they weren’t born in.
- Alexander Rybak – Born in Belarus, competed and WON for Norway in 2009
- Helena Paparizou – Born in Sweden, competed and WON for Greece in 2001
- Vanilla Ninja – 3 Estonian girls, competed for Switzerland in 2005.
Again, if I dug around a bit, I’d find heaps more.
POINT BEING: It doesn’t even matter where you’re born. We could sit here all day and debate that Alexander Rybak isn’t a Norwegian and that Norway should have sent a ‘real’ Norwegian… but hey, he won for Norway and he’s both proud to be a Norwegian and he has great love for his mother country, Belarus.
Anyway, I thought being Australian was a great thing – especially when we send such kind and positive spirits to represent us on an international stage… but behind the façade, I feel like there are some Australians out there that really drag us down into the dirt. We should be supportive of one another. We shouldn’t have to accuse one another of not being ‘Australian’ enough. Furthermore, as human beings we should be encouraging each other’s skills and talents.
I think those people who have such an urge to call out on others for being ‘not Australian enough’ are the one’s who are horrible Australians. In fact, they’re just horrible human beings.
I, for one, am very happy with Dami Im representing Australia in Eurovision this year. She was my number one choice ever since Australia was invited to compete last year in Vienna. She has proven to have amazing musical talent – both theoretical and practical. She has a strong voice and a lovable (albeit a little awkward) personality. The only thing missing is whether or not she’ll have a great song.
To see all of Dami’s fans unite and get her to this stage is absolutely heart warming to see. Whether she comes top 5 or bottom 5, or heck, even if she doesn’t qualify for the finals, I’ll still be supporting Australia all the way.
So if you’re still complaining that Dami Im shouldn’t be representing Australia, well…
Just smile ?
TBH, why we’re even in Eurovision is still beyond me, but I’m in for the ride… because it’s all for the love of Eurovision.
Until next time,
More Eurovision Posts
It’s so crazy to go from watching one of your favourite annual TV events every year to actually being in the audience watching it all unfold. Being able to experience the “behind-the-scenes” of it all was really something special and to be in and amongst the crowd is amazing. Read more…