Australia’s 2019 Eurovision Song Contest entrant, Kate Miller-Heidke, has brought glitz, glamour and spectacle to the stage in Tel Aviv for the competition’s first semi-final.
Watch Kate at Eurovision
- The 64th Eurovision Song Contest is being broadcast live on SBS from May 16 to 19
- Catch a replay of Kate’s performance at 8:30pm tonight
- The grand final will be on SBS live from 5:00am Sunday, May 19, with a replay at 8:30pm
Miller-Heidke, who performed atop a moving pole in a billowing white gown, sang Zero Gravity, a ballad about emerging from depression, for the crowds in Israel.
But how did the singer — whose voice was once described by US singer-songwriter Ben Folds as “one of the best in the world” — fare in her bid to make it through to the grand final?
This Eurovision recap is absolutely chock-full of spoilers, so only continue reading if you’ve watched the first semi-final — or alternatively, keep reading if spoilers are your jam.
You’ve been warned.
Miller-Heidke has made it through to the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest, along with nine countries out of the other 16 that were also vying for a spot.
Half of the votes were cast by a professional jury and the other half remotely by viewers.
Performers from Greece, Belarus, Serbia, Cyprus, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Iceland, San Marino and Slovenia also garnered enough votes to make the cut for Sunday’s grand final.
Finland, Montenegro, Poland, Hungary, Belgium, Georgia and Portugal all missed out on nabbing a spot at the headline show.
Read more about Kate Miller-Heidke’s Eurovision journey:
The show was opened by Netta, who won the contest in 2018 with her song Toy.
Netta exclaimed to the crowd, “I can’t believe Eurovision is in Tel Aviv!” before this year’s hosts were introduced.
The contest kicked off with Cyprus, who almost took the trophy home last year.
The song was a similar number to Cyprus’ track last year, and SBS commentators Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey suggested it could have been an attempt to replicate 2018’s success.
“Funny that the song’s called Replay,” Creasey said, “Just saying”.
Next up was Montenegro, in the first all-white outfits of the contest, with their song Heaven.
Lyrics included: “Fallin’, I’m in heaven fallin’, I’m in heaven, fallin’, straight into your heart.”
Finland followed with Darude, who was not performing his dance track Sandstorm but rather a new song Look Away, with the help of singer Sebastian Rejman.
Poland was up next, with their song Fire of Love, which melded traditional Polish singing styles with rock sounds.
Slovenia took to the stage next — also wearing all-white get-ups — with their song Sebi.
The Czech Republic, wearing block-coloured outfits Warhurst suggested were inspired by The Wiggles, followed with their song Friend of a Friend.
Hungary came next, with a ballad dedicated to performer Joci Papai’s father. Performing barefoot and wearing all black, Papai stripped things back for a heartfelt look at his childhood memories.
Belarus was next, represented by 16-year-old artist Zena with her song Like It. The teenager choreographed the track’s staging on her own.
Singing for Serbia for the third time, Nevena Bozovic then performed the song The Crown, a Balkan ballad made more powerful by the song contest’s first ostentatious light show.
Belgium was represented by another young performer, 18-year-old singer Eliot, with a song called Wake Up, which called for the next generation to do exactly that.
Tweet: Keep on going, Oto! Sing your heart out!
The contest travelled to Georgia next, and singer Oto melded the traditional with the modern with his song Sul Tsin Iare.
Miller-Heidke was 12th on the bill, appearing to float over the stage, which was transformed to look like the Earth with the help of a nifty light show.
The crowd cheered as she hit the song’s high notes and moved over to the bridge while swaying to and fro, seemingly without effort.
Iceland followed with their song Hatred Will Prevail, fusing techno and punk on the Eurovision stage — as well as bondage-inspired get-ups.
Estonia was next on the stage, with singer Victor Crone’s track Storm, followed by Portugal with the song Telemoveis.
Last was Greece, with Katerine Duska turning the stage pastel for her song Better Love, and San Marino, with their song Say Na Na Na.
This Friday’s second semi-final will see 10 more countries added to the grand final slate, out of 18 competing for a place.
Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom — the big five countries that make the biggest financial contributions to the European Broadcasting Union, which broadcasts the song contest — along with Israel, as host country, have all bypassed the semis per the rules.
Tweet: Do you Say Na Na Na?
They will make their first appearances at Sunday’s grand final.
A total of 41 countries have been taking part in the hugely popular annual event, which is in its 64th year.