SYDNEY (AFP) - Former Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian was on Thursday revealed as the nation's wild card entry to the Eurovision song contest, prompting both excitement and disappointment on social media.
The 33-year-old, who won Australia's first Idol singing competition in 2003, will represent his country when it takes part in the kitschy pop contest for the first time this year, the competition's 60th anniversary.
"It's Eurovision, it's huge and keeps growing here in Australia which is nice," he said. "It's not every day you get to perform in front of that sort of audience - 200 million.
"I'm pumped. With Eurovision, it's so eclectic, you never know what you are going to get. You know a lady with a beard last time," Sebastian added, referring to last year's winner Conchita Wurst, a cross-dressing Austrian diva with a lush black beard.
Eurovision has a cult following Down Under and inspires parties and drinking games. Australia was granted entry into the contest in February and has been fast-tracked to the grand final in May.
The head of Australia's Eurovision delegation, Paul Clarke, told the Sydney Morning Herald that while Sebastian was the first choice, his team had also talked to high-profile artists Sia, 5 Seconds Of Summer and Iggy Azalea.
Sebastian, who was born in Malaysia but moved to Australia as a child, said he had yet to choose a song to perform at the final in Vienna.
"I want it to be epic, you know," said the singer, who has had six No. 1 singles in Australia.
"I want it to represent us as a nation well but also just be fun or be emotional. Either super fun or like a big ballad or something that showcases my voice."
While some Australians were ecstatic about the decision, others took to Twitter to complain.
"Well we picked Australia's Eurovision entrant after downing a few beers and throwing darts at a wall of names," one user tweeted.
Another wrote: "Seriously people, we don't want to actually win Eurovision, so Guy Sebastian is a good choice."