On Saturday, Australia hosted their very first national selection show for the Eurovision Song Contest, to give the Australian public the chance to choose their representative. They chose popra singer Kate Miller-Heidke with her song “Zero Gravity”.
It was an incredible show from start to finish making it unforgettable and proving to the world that Australia knows exactly how to do a national final. All 10 acts performed on stage at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on 9 February 2019 for the public vote – they all performed the night before for the jury vote. It was hosted by Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey, who had a comedy spark between them and showcasing their presenting skills to the world – oh how we hope there’s a national selection show next year just to see them present again.
Coming out on top was Kate Miller-Heidke, who performed ninth. The whole venue went ecstatic whenever her name was called out as well as at the end of her performance; it was clear she was the fan-favourite and so it was no surprise when she topped both the jury and the public vote.
She scored a total of 135 points, which is a whole 21 points ahead from second place, who was Electric Fields with “2000 and Whatever”, which was a Eurovision fan-favourite, with many hoping and believing it would win the whole show.
In third place was Sheppard with “On My Way” – the band has had international success in the past so they would’ve had a good shot if they were representing Australia.
There were plenty of other notable performances, with every single act bringing it to the stage. We have to admit, Australia went all out for this show, and it really has paid off. Not only that, but they received 700 song submissions, which is pretty incredible.
Fourth place went to international drag sensation, Courtney Act with her song “Fight For Love”. It was a decent effort with a brilliant stage production, but the song itself failed to get people voting.
Alfie Arcuri came in fifth place with his teary ballad “To Myself”. This certainly gave us the chills, but it wasn’t considered Eurovision material by the Australians. This deserved to have done better.
Another male solo artist followed suit, placing sixth was Aydan with his song “Dust”. He’s used to performing on stage, having been one of four finalists on the seventh season of the Australian version of The Voice, but he didn’t gain enough votes compared to the other acts.
Opera singer, Mark Vincent came in seventh place with his song “The Is Not The End”. It didn’t quite grip the viewing public, although we have to admit that his vocal delivery was outstanding. He gained the exact same amount of points from the jury as from the televote.
The person who performed in last place, Tania Doko with the song “Piece of Me” came in eighth place. Her staging interested us but also felt quite robotic as if she was in her head, trying to remember what her next choreographed move would be. It was somewhat disappointing since we did like the song upon first listen. We really were looking forward to seeing one-half of Bachelor Girl on stage.
Placing in the last two positions, ninth and tenth, were Leea Nanos and Ella Hooper, respectively. They both gave it a good shot on the night but it just wasn’t good enough. Leea Nanos sang her self-written song “Set Me Free”, which did mildly better with the public at home than the juries, but it was slightly forgettable. As for Ella Hooper, she sang “Data Dust”, and it seems her nerves got the best of her at times since her vocals were shaky now and again – however we’re willing to give her the benefit of the doubt as she was the first act to perform on stage.
We also had some class performances and interval acts, with Casey Donovan kicking off the show with a cover version of Guy Sebastian’s “Tonight Again” – which was the first ever Australian act to compete at the Eurovision Song Contest, back in 2015. We also got two absolutely stunning performances from Dami Im, the 2016 representative who came second to Ukraine’s Jamala with “1944”, where she sang a stripped back piano performance of her Eurovision song “Sound Of Silence”, and also giving us a taste of her new music with her newly released track “Dreamer”.
We watched clips on why Australia is in Eurovision – with that incredible clip where they move Australia to Europe just for the occasion, pushing the UK aside. As well as clips of their entrants on the Eurovision stage, with some explanatory videos on Eurovision itself, from staging to costumes. Then there was that medley from the comedian, Hans Berlin Boy Wonder, which we’d rather forget.
If anything, Australia sure knows how to put on a show. It was streamed on social media to allow European fans the ability to watch the show. It is currently available to watch on YouTube, as of writing this article.
Will Kate Miller-Heidke bring a win to Australia? If so, the country will have to nominate another country to host in, since Australia isn’t feasible for Europe to send their acts – although who wouldn’t love an Australian holiday? There’s 42 countries competing, so it is not going to be easy to come in first place. Announced acts so far are Srbuk for Armenia, Tamta for Cyprus, Jonida Maliqi for Albania, Eliot for Belgium, Miki for Spain, Serhat for San Marino, Duncan Laurence for The Netherlands, Tamara Todevska for FYR Macedonia, Michela Pace for Malta, Bilal Hassani for France, Lake Malawi for the Czech Republic, PÆNDA for Austria, Darude feat. Sebastian Rejman for Finland. Michael Rice for the United Kingdom, Sergey Lazarev for Russia, and Mahmood for Italy. The other countries are expected to reveal their acts in the forthcoming months.
The 2019 Eurovision Song Contest will be hosted at the Expo Tel Aviv in Israel after Netta won last year with the song “Toy”. The two Semi-Finals will take place on 14 May and 16 May with the Grand Final taking place on 18 May. A total of 42 countries will compete in the contest.