Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019

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Eurovision Song Contest 2019
Country Australia
National selection
Selection processEurovision – Australia Decides
Selection date(s)9 February 2019
Selected entrantKate Miller-Heidke
Selected song"Zero Gravity"
Selected songwriter(s)
Finals performance
Semi-final resultQualified (1st, 261 points)
Final result9th, 284 points
Australia in the Eurovision Song Contest
◄2018 2019 2020►

Australia participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 with the song "Zero Gravity" written by Kate Miller-Heidke, Keir Nuttall and Julian Hamilton. The song was performed by Kate Miller-Heidke. The Australian broadcaster Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) organised the national final Eurovision – Australia Decides in order to select the Australian entry for the 2019 contest in Tel Aviv, Israel. Ten artists and songs competed in the national final and the winner was selected by a public and jury vote.

Australia debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2015 by invitation from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) as a "one-off" special guest to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Eurovision. On 17 November 2015, the EBU announced that SBS had been invited to participate in the 2016 contest and that Australia would once again take part. In 2015, Australia was guaranteed a spot in the final of the contest and was allowed to vote during both semi-finals and the final; however, from the 2016 contest and onwards, Australia would have to qualify to the final from one of two semi-finals and could only vote in the semi-final in which the nation was allocated to compete.

Australia was drawn to compete in the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest which took place on 14 May 2019. Performing during the show in position 12, "Zero Gravity" was announced among the top 10 entries of the first semi-final and therefore qualified to compete in the final on 18 May. It was later revealed that Australia placed first out of the 17 participating countries in the semi-final with 261 points. In the final, Australia performed in position 25 and placed ninth out of the 26 participating countries, scoring 284 points.

Background[edit]

Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) has broadcast the Eurovision Song Contest since 1983, and the contest has gained a cult following over that time, primarily due to the country's strong political and cultural ties with Europe. Paying tribute to this, the 2014 contest semi-finals included an interval act featuring Australian singer Jessica Mauboy.[1] Australian singers have also participated at Eurovision as representatives of other countries, including Olivia Newton John (1974, United Kingdom), two-time winner Johnny Logan (1980 and 1987, Ireland), Gina G (1996, United Kingdom), and Jane Comerford as lead singer of Texas Lightning (2006, Germany).[2]

Tying in with the goal of Eurovision—to showcase "the importance of bringing countries together to celebrate diversity, music and culture", the 2015 theme of "Building Bridges", and arguing that they could not hold "the world's biggest party" to celebrate the 60th edition of Eurovision without inviting Australia, the EBU announced on 10 February 2015 that the country would compete at that year's edition as a special guest participant.[2] Along with the "Big Five" (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom), and the host country of Austria, Australia was given automatic entry into the final to "not reduce the chances" of the semi-final participants.[3] On 17 November 2015, the EBU announced that SBS had been invited to participate in the 2016 contest and that Australia would once again take part, however they would have to qualify for the final from one of two semi-finals and could only vote in the semi-final in which the nation was competing. On 2 October 2018, SBS confirmed Australia's participation in the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest after securing an invitation for the fifth year in a row.[4] In 2018, Australia was represented by Jessica Mauboy and the song "We Got Love". The country ended in twentieth place in the grand final with 99 points. On 14 October 2018, SBS announced that they would hold a national final for the first time to select the Australian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019.

Before Eurovision[edit]

Eurovision – Australia Decides[edit]

Eurovision – Australia Decides was the national final in order to select the Australian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. The competition took place at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Gold Coast on 9 February 2019, hosted by Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey. Ten artists and songs competed with the winner being determined by a combination of public and jury voting.[5] The show was broadcast on SBS as well as streamed online at SBS On Demand.[6] The national final was watched by 298,000 viewers in Australia.[7]

Competing entries[edit]

On 14 October 2018, SBS announced an open submission for interested songwriters to submit their songs online until 4 November 2018. Songwriters were required to be citizens or permanent residents of Australia and songs were required to be in English or an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language. Minor collaborations with foreign songwriters were permitted as long as the majority of the composers/songwriters were Australian citizens or permanent residents.[8] Over 700 songs were submitted following the deadline. Ten songs were selected for the competition from the received submissions and performers of the selected songs were determined by SBS in consultation with the songwriters.[9] The ten competing acts were announced in three sets between 2 December 2018 and 18 January 2019.[10][11][12]

Final[edit]

The final took place on 9 February 2019. The combination of public votes (50%) and a five-member jury (50%) selected "Zero Gravity" performed by Kate Miller-Heidke as the winner.[13] The jury consisted of Christer Björkman (producer of Melodifestivalen and of various Eurovision Song Contests), Fifa Riccobono (former CEO of Albert Music), Milly Petriella (Artist Service director of APRA), Josh Martin (SBS Commissioning Editor for Entertainment) and Paul Clarke (Head of the Australian Eurovision Delegation) who each distributed points from 1-8, 10 and 12 during the preview show on 8 February 2019 and had a total of 290 points to award. Viewers were able to vote via SMS and the total votes were divided by 290 to determine the quota that would equal to a single point. The number of votes each song gained was then divided by the quota and rounded up to the nearest integer to determine the points an entry would be awarded.[14] In addition to the performances of the ten competing entries, singer Casey Donovan and 2016 Australian Eurovision entrant Dami Im performed as the interval acts.[15]

Eurovision – Australia Decides – 9 February 2019
Draw Artist Song Songwriter(s) Jury Televote Total Place
1 Ella Hooper "Data Dust" Alice Chance 12 6 18 10
2 Electric Fields "2000 and Whatever" Michael Ross, Zaachariaha Fielding 44 70 114 2
3 Mark Vincent "This Is Not the End" Isabella Kearney-Nurse, Mark Vincent, Roberto De Sá 19 19 38 7
4 Aydan "Dust" Aydan Calafiore, Cam Bluff, Dylan Joel 38 10 48 6
5 Courtney Act "Fight for Love" Danny Shah, Felicity Birt, Courtney Act, Sky Adams 26 26 52 4
6 Leea Nanos "Set Me Free" Frank Dixon, Leea Nanos 10 11 21 9
7 Sheppard "On My Way" George Sheppard, Amy Sheppard, Jay Bovino, Jon Hume 41 46 87 3
8 Alfie Arcuri "To Myself" Alfie Arcuri, Audius Mtawarira, Séb Mont 35 14 49 5
9 Kate Miller-Heidke "Zero Gravity" Kate Miller-Heidke, Keir Nuttall 48 87 135 1
10 Tania Doko "Piece of Me" Tania Doko, Christian Fast, Peter Mansson 17 6 23 8

Promotion[edit]

Prior to the Eurovision Song Contest, Kate Miller-Heidke made several appearances across Australia to promote "Zero Gravity" as the Australian Eurovision entry. On 6 April, Miller-Heidke performed during the Eurovision in Concert event which was held at the AFAS Live venue in Amsterdam, hosted by Cornald Maas and Marlayne, to over 4500 spectators.[16] Miller-Heidke also gave several promotional interviews to Australian media outlets prior to the competition.

At Eurovision[edit]

According to Eurovision rules, all nations with the exceptions of the host country and the "Big Five" (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) are required to qualify from one of two semi-finals in order to compete for the final; the top ten countries from each semi-final progress to the final. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) split up the competing countries into six different pots based on voting patterns from previous contests, with countries with favourable voting histories put into the same pot. On 28 January 2019, a special allocation draw was held which placed each country into one of the two semi-finals, as well as which half of the show they would perform in. Australia was placed into the first semi-final, to be held on 14 May 2019, and was scheduled to perform in the second half of the show.[17]

Once all the competing songs for the 2019 contest had been released, the running order for the semi-finals was decided by the shows' producers rather than through another draw, so that similar songs were not placed next to each other. Australia was set to perform in position 12, following the entry from Georgia and preceding the entry from Iceland.[18]

Semi-final[edit]

Australia performed twelfth in the first semi-final, following the entry from Georgia and preceding the entry from Iceland. At the end of the show, they were announced as one of the ten countries to qualify for the grand final, keeping their perfect qualification record intact. After the show, Kate appeared at a press conference with the other nine finalists to draw which half of the final she would participate in. Australia was drawn to compete in the second half. It was later revealed that Australia won the first semi-final, scoring 261 points, 140 points from the televoting and 121 points from the juries.

Voting[edit]

Voting during the three shows involved each country awarding two sets of points from 1-8, 10 and 12: one from their professional jury and the other from televoting. Each nation's jury consisted of five music industry professionals who are citizens of the country they represent, with their names published before the contest to ensure transparency. This jury judged each entry based on: vocal capacity; the stage performance; the song's composition and originality; and the overall impression by the act. In addition, no member of a national jury was permitted to be related in any way to any of the competing acts in such a way that they cannot vote impartially and independently. The individual rankings of each jury member as well as the nation's televoting results will be released shortly after the grand final.[19]

Points awarded to Australia[edit]

Points awarded by Australia[edit]

Detailed voting results[edit]

The following members comprised the Australian jury:[19]

  • Mark Cummins (jury chairperson) – broadcaster
  • Christine Anu – singer, songwriter, radio DJ
  • Alice Chance – composer
  • Mark Humphries – entertainment professional actor, writer
  • Lewis Hobba – radio DJ, comedian
Detailed voting results from Australia (Semi-final 1)[20]
Draw Country Jury Televote
C. Anu A. Chance M. Cummins M. Humphries L. Hobba Average Rank Points Rank Points
01  Cyprus 5 13 8 14 9 12 8 3
02  Montenegro 13 9 4 12 13 14 16
03  Finland 10 4 9 9 10 9 2 13
04  Poland 11 1 11 7 1 3 8 6 5
05  Slovenia 15 14 1 2 12 7 4 11
06  Czech Republic 8 6 3 1 6 1 12 2 10
07  Hungary 6 2 6 4 7 5 6 10 1
08  Belarus 9 15 14 16 11 15 9 2
09  Serbia 2 10 7 13 4 8 3 12
10  Belgium 16 8 12 3 14 11 14
11  Georgia 7 3 10 10 2 6 5 15
12  Australia
13  Iceland 1 5 16 5 3 2 10 1 12
14  Estonia 12 16 13 15 16 16 4 7
15  Portugal 14 11 5 11 8 13 7 4
16  Greece 3 7 2 8 5 4 7 3 8
17  San Marino 4 12 15 6 15 10 1 5 6
Detailed voting results from Australia (Final)[21]
Draw Country Jury Televote
C. Anu A. Chance M. Cummins M. Humphries L. Hobba Average Rank Points Rank Points
01  Malta 20 8 18 16 12 18 7 4
02  Albania 14 14 24 21 20 21 23
03  Czech Republic 13 13 11 1 6 6 5 9 2
04  Germany 12 2 12 24 19 8 3 25
05  Russia 11 9 10 9 5 7 4 16
06  Denmark 21 12 13 6 16 17 17
07  San Marino 25 21 25 11 24 22 18
08  North Macedonia 4 4 14 5 4 4 7 13
09  Sweden 3 3 1 2 2 1 12 3 8
10  Slovenia 22 17 19 8 25 19 24
11  Cyprus 16 23 20 14 11 20 14
12  Netherlands 5 5 2 13 15 5 6 5 6
13  Greece 15 16 3 22 10 11 15
14  Israel 8 10 8 18 13 13 20
15  Norway 10 11 15 4 21 12 1 12
16  United Kingdom 17 22 22 20 17 24 22
17  Iceland 2 6 16 7 1 3 8 2 10
18  Estonia 24 25 23 25 23 25 12
19  Belarus 19 24 21 19 14 23 21
20  Azerbaijan 9 15 4 10 18 9 2 10 1
21  France 1 1 9 3 3 2 10 8 3
22  Italy 7 7 17 15 22 16 6 5
23  Serbia 6 19 7 23 7 10 1 19
24   Switzerland 23 18 5 17 8 14 4 7
25  Australia
26  Spain 18 20 6 12 9 15 11

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vincent, Peter (9 May 2014). "Jessica Mauboy performs at Eurovision Song Contest". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  2. ^ a b Kemp, Stuart; Plunkett, John (10 February 2015). "Eurovision Song Contest invites Australia to join 'world's biggest party'". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  3. ^ Siim, Jarmo (10 February 2015). "Australia to compete in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest". eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  4. ^ Farren, Neil (2 October 2018). "Australia: Eurovision 2019 Participation Confirmed". Eurovoix. Retrieved 27 April 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "We're opening our song submission for Eurovision 2019!". SBS. 14 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Eurovision – Australia Decides: What happens at the Opening Night Show?". SBS. 14 January 2019. Retrieved 27 April 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ Granger, Anthony (11 February 2019). "Australia: Over 298,000 Viewers For Eurovision – Australia Decides". Eurovoix. Retrieved 27 April 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ ""It's game on!" — SBS officially announce national final 'Eurovision – Australia Decides – Gold Coast 2019', opens submissions to songwriters". Wiwibloggs. 14 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Invitation to Submit Songs for Eurovision – Australia Decides, the selection show for Australia's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest 2019" (PDF). SBS. Retrieved 27 April 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "Australia: Sheppard and Kate Miller-Heidke among first acts for Australia Decides". Wiwibloggs. 2 December 2018.
  11. ^ "Australia Reveals More Contenders for Their National Selection". 18 December 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Australia Decides: Ella Hooper, Tania Doko and Alfie Arcuri complete national final line-up". wiwibloggs. 18 January 2019. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  13. ^ https://www.sbs.com.au/programs/sites/sbs.com.au.programs/files/escad_-_voting_terms_and_conditions.pdf
  14. ^ Knox, David. "How the votes were tallied for Eurovision: Australia Decides". TV Tonight.
  15. ^ "Kate Miller-Heidke Wins "Eurovision – Australia Decides" With "Zero Gravity" And Will Represent The Country At Eurovision 2019". CelebMix. 14 February 2019. Retrieved 27 April 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ "This was Eurovision in Concert 2019 in Amsterdam". Eurovision.tv. 6 April 2019.
  17. ^ Jordan, Paul (28 January 2019). "Eurovision 2019: Which country takes part in which Semi-Final?". eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  18. ^ "Exclusive: This is the Eurovision 2019 Semi-Final running order!". eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. 2 April 2019. Retrieved 2 April 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  19. ^ a b Groot, Evert (30 April 2019). "Exclusive: They are the judges who will vote in Eurovision 2019!". Eurovision.tv. European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 30 April 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. ^ a b c "Results of the First Semi-Final of Tel Aviv 2019". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 1 April 2021. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  21. ^ a b c "Results of the Grand Final of Tel Aviv 2019". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 1 April 2021. Retrieved 1 April 2021.

External links[edit]