HomeArticlesArts & CultureLifestyleKate Miller-Heidke makes Eurovision history on the Gold Coast

Kate Miller-Heidke makes Eurovision history on the Gold Coast

Maxine Steinmetz | February 2019

Award-winning artist Kate Miller-Heidke has been chosen to represent the nation at this year’s Eurovision after battling it out against 9 other artists in the inaugural Eurovision Australia Decides held on the Gold Coast.

The 37 year old singer-songwriter received a standing ovation for her operatic pop-song ‘Zero Gravity’, which is about coming out of depression. Her theatrical performance – which featured a woman on a bendy pole swinging behind Miller-Heidke metres above the stage floor – also resonated with the Australian public who tuned into the Live SBS TV final on Saturday February 9.

The jury awarded the act 48 points, followed by the public vote of 87 points, which brought her total score to 135 points – 21 points ahead of second placed Electric Fields with their song ‘2000 and Whatever.’

video credit: Eurovision Song Contest

Following the event at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Miller-Heidke has since taken to her Twitter account to thank fans.

“I can’t believe it. Thank you so much to everyone who voted. We did it! It was fierce competition and I’m beyond thrilled that you chose me to represent Australia at Eurovision 2019.”

The historic event not only highlighted the amazing artists, but the host city’s natural beauty also received some well-deserved air-time. A handful of the city’s most iconic and off-the-beaten-track locations including Surfers Paradise Esplanade, the pine forest at Pizzey Park in Miami and Burleigh rainforest had been showcased in each of the artist’s pre-performance packages.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said promotion of the city was priceless.

“Importantly, the broadcast went to key European markets throughout the weekend. Our city was featured in free-to-air publicity that viewed as part of the broader package. I know that is worth millions to our city in forward bookings so far as visitors,” he said.

Despite the rather humid Gold Coast weather – which Courtney Act joked was not good for her luscious blonde extensions – the city got much praise from the 10 Australian performers.

“It’s just an hour’s drive from where we are and it feels like you are going oversees – it’s like being on holiday,” said Brisbane-based artist Amy Sheppard.

“I love Tallebudgera Creek, I’m always going there,” said Emma Sheppard. “There are great restaurants too like Rick Shores in Burleigh…and you can’t go past their bug roles!”

And as for Brisbane’s Kate Miller-Heidke, she said the Gold Coast always feels like home when she visits.

“I used to come here on family holidays as a kid. My grandparents lived down here and we used to go to Rainbow Beach a lot and it’s so magical to walk around the headland – I’ve got so many beautiful memories,” she said.

Kate will perform in the 64th Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, Israel in May.

And as for the future of Eurovision Australia Decides? Mayor Tom Tate is optimistic the major event will return to the Gold Coast.

“I look forward to discussing opportunities for 2020 and beyond with organisers but for now, I can’t wait to see Kate Miller-Heidke put Australia on stage in Tel Aviv in May,’’ he said.

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