It’s amazing how quickly someone can feel like family. All it takes is a seat at the table for one special feast and it’s as though they’ve always been there.
That’s how the situation is starting to get with Australia at Eurovision. After their ‘one-off’ (‘one-off’? – the EBU was never fooling anyone there) our Aussie chums are as adept at coming up with Contest hard-hitters as they are for adjusting the small red balls required in certain international sporting competitions.
They seem to have done it again this year after someone from Australian telly was sent down to the pop song factory (presumably called Mushroom Records, if the closing credits of Neighbours in the ’80s were anything to go by) to pick something up that could be schjuzzed up for Lisbon.
The result of all that schjuzzing is We Got Love.
It’s incredibly competent and ticks plenty of ‘this’ll slay ’em at Eurovision’-type boxes. Near-a-capella intro full of melodic intent? That’ll do for starters.
A slow first lap that gives way to a chattering of drums and a vaguely poppy chorus that doesn’t quite scale the heights? We can do that for you wholesale, squire.
That all-important turn on a sixpence two-thirds of the way through, in the shape of a choral break? This our fourth go at this thing, sir. Think you’ll find we’ve got the hang of it by now.
So it’s all looking rather lovely for Australia right now. However, forgive me for introducing a sudden word of caution, like an impromptu slap in the dining room preceding a commercial break in Prisoner Cellblock H.
The element of this package which could let things down hasn’t been mentioned yet and her name is Jessica Mauboy. Anyone who saw Jess get her first crack at the Eurovision stage during one of Copenhagen’s interval acts in 2014 will be aware that her live vocal is – at times – as reliable as a teapot made from Victoria Sponge.
That isn’t to say Jessica’s voice hasn’t matured in the four years since Denmark. She could emerge on the stage at Lisbon, bags overbrimming with confidence and knock this out of the park. But there’s still that nagging doubt based on previous form that that just won’t happen. It would be lovely to be wrong, nobody should wish anyone badly at a Song Contest.
It would be a brave soul indeed that bets against this qualifying but scratch away at this song and something very ordinary soon reveals itself. If there’s going to be a shocker that only gets sung on a weekday in Portugal this year, it’s this one.
And just one more thing. The person responsible for the graphics in the video really needs a stronger bulb in their projector.