RuPaul’s Drag Race star, TV personality and singer Courtney Act has a special role at the annual Eurovision Song Contest this weekend. SBS Eurovision announced that Courtney will be Australia’s Eurovision Song Contest Spokesperson who will deliver scores on behalf of the country on Sunday. 

The 66th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest returns this week in Turin, Italy. Out gay singer Sheldon Riley will represent Australia and perform his song ‘Not the Same‘ at the contest later this week.

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“I tried the Eurovision front door on Eurovision: Australia Decides 2019 to no avail, so now it’s the Eurovision side door to be the Aussie score announcer on the big night! I’m so excited to cheer on Sheldon, look fab, and enjoy a magnificent night of camp and music,” Courtney said in a statement. 

 

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Australia In Semi Final 2

France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the host country – Italy, this year – have automatically qualified for the Grand Final on Sunday May 15. Australia’s Riley will have to compete for one of the 21 remaining spots in the final. 

In the second semi final of the contest on Friday, May 13, Riley will go up against Finland’s The Rasmus, Swedish singer-songwriter Cornelia Jakobs and Polish singer  Krystian Ochman. 

For Australians looking to vote in the Eurovision Song Contest this year, remember that they can vote in the Semi Final featuring Riley on Friday. The live broadcast of the second semi final begins on Friday May 13 at 5 am (AEST). According to SBS, “voting prompts” will appear on screen during the live broadcast.

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Viewer votes and the national jury votes are valued equally at 50% towards the final results. The jury and Australian voters can vote for any country other than Australia.

The Australian national jury this year will comprise TV personality Dylan Lewis, Australia’ 2021 Eurovision representative Montaigne, comedian and actor Matt Okine, Triple J host Bridget Hustwaite, and Milly Petriella, Director of Member Relations and Partnerships at APRA AMCOS.

Sheldon Riley In Turin

Sheldon Riley

Riley who reached Turin for the contest posted on social media that he is already in his rehearsals for Friday’s semi finals. “For me Eurovision is so much more than a contest, it was a dream that made me believe anything is possible,” Riley had posted before his win in March.

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“I promised myself if I ever doubted that, I would let go of my dream… Eurovision pushed me to work harder and promised me that the world will choose difference when given the chance to see it.”

Riley told Star Observer that the way he dresses has no connection to the gender of the person he loves. “The gender of the person that I love has no effect on the way that I dress, the way that I sing, or the way that I perform…honestly, I don’t talk about it all that much because I guess I am just so obviously gay,” Riley said in the interview published in the May issue of Star Observer.

Riley also credit his success to his partner Zac. “I was a child before I met Zac. He’s very business savvy…He’s also the love of my life. I could not have done Eurovision without him…I’m very grateful for him everyday,” said Riley.

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