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EXCLUSIVE: Why Sheldon Riley is feeling "massive pressure" as he represents Australia at Eurovision 2022

''I still can't believe it's happening.''

By Woman's Day team
In February Sheldon Riley was crowned the winner of Eurovision - Australia Decides and now he's getting ready to head to Turin, Italy to represent Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest.
"I've been working on this for years, I've watched every Australian [Eurovision] artist and taken so many notes on what they did well," he told TV WEEK two months ago.
The star singer got through with his incredible track 'Not The Same', the song that earned him plenty of votes from both the jury and the Australian public.
But will it take him all the way in Italy? TV WEEK catches up with Sheldon as he gets ready to find out.
Sheldon Riley was crowned the winner of Eurovision - Australia Decides. (Image: Getty)
How would you sum up the Eurovision experience so far?
I still can't believe it's happening. I'm very grateful to be a part of it.
As someone who's never really found the place where I fit in, I'm now surrounded by so many people who have such similar thoughts and ambitions.
You've performed in televised singing competitions before. Has Eurovision been any different?
Yes, massively. Reality TV is the furthest thing away from Eurovision. The only thing they have in common is that they're competitions.
It's probably the only song contest remaining that has so much prestige.
WATCH: Sheldon Riley auditions for Guy Sebastian on The X Factor in 2016. Story continues after video.
Do you feel pressure representing Australia?
Massive pressure.
I think I also have pressure because I'm an independent artist. Everything I'm doing now, I'm creating myself with my small team.
What can people expect from your performance in Turin, Italy?
You best believe it's going to be major! You can expect an unforgettable outfit [from] Australian designer Alin Le'Kal and some beautiful staging.

How does it feel to have such a large platform to represent young LGBTQI+ people? 
It's been really important to represent a different side of the community because there's not one type of person within the LGBTQIA+ community.
I would have loved to have had a Sheldon Riley on my TV screen when I was younger.
Eurovision Song Contest airs Wednesday to Sunday on SBS.
  • undefined: Woman's Day team

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