'I Didn't Think I'd Be Back Singing': How Jack Vidgen's Return To The Stage Set Him On The Path To Eurovision
Jack Vidgen skyrocketed to fame as a youngster when he won 'Australia's Got Talent' at just 14 years old.
Jack recorded 'Yes I Am' after the win, which peaked at number three on the ARIA charts, and released 'Inspire' the following year in 2012 -- but intense media scrutiny and online bullies saw him retreat from the limelight for the next five years.
It wasn't until 2019 that the talented performer realised how much he missed singing and signed up as a contestant on 'The Voice' -- an overwhelmingly positive experience that helped him fall in love with his craft again.
"There was a point where I never thought I would want to be back in the public eye, but I then when I realised how much singing, storytelling and songwriting means to me, I guess it just it all kind of comes with it," Jack told 10 daily of stepping back on stage.
"And it just kind of happened in a very natural organic way," he added.
Jack finished 'The Voice' as a semi-finalist on Guy Sebastian's team with fans praising the masterful control of his instrument on tracks including Adele's "Hello".
The successful stint paved the way to him accepting an invitation to compete in this years 'Eurovision: Australia Decides' on the Gold Coast against the likes of Vanessa Amorosi, Montaigne and Casey Donovan for the chance to represent the country in Rotterdam this year.
Jack told 10 daily that he replied almost instantly when the words 'Eurovision Song Contest' were mentioned on the phone.
"It was just insane, there was no question," he said of accepting the call, naming 2012 winner Conchita Wurst as his first proper introduction to the contest.
"Just seeing a performance and the performer was just so... it just seems so crazy to me as far as breaking down social barriers and just something so extravagant and beautiful and crazy in one performance, I was kind of shocked," Jack explained.
The now 23-year-old said he's beyond excited to perform on "the biggest stage in the world", especially with a song that he penned himself, "I Am King, I Am Queen".
The song's melody was written by Andrew Lowden and the lyrics were written by Jack in a process that felt more like a diary entry session.
"When I was sitting down writing it, it was more me writing my life journal in a way, more than trying to write a song, so I guess it's going to be super special to be able to share my story in such a raw way."
The lyrics tell a story of identity, self-expression and finding the strength to communicate pain.
"Some days I hate me/Some days I love me," Jack sings on "I Am King, I Am Queen".
Some days the sun shines so bright I can barely see
I cry to my mother.
Sometimes the world seems so mean
Then I remember
I am king, I am queen.
Jack told 10 daily ahead of 'Australia Decides' that "it's a very healing song" for him to have written, and when he performs it.
"But also, the struggle I talk about, it's still a daily thing, but I think it's like those daily things that we all have to get up and look ourselves in the mirror and kind of say, 'we can do this’."
Ahead of Jack's 'Eurovision: Australia Decides' performance, we tried to get an idea about whether he'll go full Kate Miller-Heidke with some daring staging -- but he's keeping a few tricks up his sleeve for Saturday.
"I can't tell you anything, sadly!" he laughed.
"It's definitely different to anything I've done before," he teased. "It's really exciting because I guess I'm kind of stepping out of my comfort zone a bit."
"My whole thing was I really want what I'm wearing and everything around me to really tell the story of the song with me, I want it to really compliment the song and the lyrics and the message of that but then again, it's Eurovision -- it's going to be big!
The 'Eurovision: Australia Decides' final will take place at the Gold Coast on February 8, 2020 and will be broadcast from 8.30pm (AEDT) on SBS.