Australia’s Eurovision odds take big jump
Kate Miller-Heidke is flying high after her first rehearsal of her Zero Gravity performance unveiled bold new staging and a gorgeous gown for her 2019 Eurovision Song Contest campaign in Tel Aviv.
The Australian representative has dramatically revamped her staging and costuming from the presentation which won her the inaugural Australia: Decides competition in February.
The popera star is now delivering her song on the same acrobatic bendy poles as her two dancers from the acclaimed Strange Fruit performing arts company in Melbourne.
Instead of the cascading dress she wore at the Gold Coast selection show, Miller-Heidke revealed a stunning costume made of metallic tulles and sheer organza by Sydney designer Steven Khalil, which took 100 hours to create.
She wore a spiky crown of stars, tying with the out-of-the-world feeling and lyrics of Zero Gravity which was inspired by her two-year battle with post natal depression after the birth of her son Ernie.
While Australia's chances of making the grand final from her semi-final weren't great before the first rehearsal according to Eurovision pundits, they have drastically improved after fans and critics witnessed her in action on the weekend.
The dramatic staging, which features Miller-Heidke performing above the stage against a giant video wall of the earth, space and a galaxy of stars, scored favourable reviews from the Eurovision bloggers already in Tel Aviv ahead of the competition kick off on May 15.
The novelty of Australia performing at the world's biggest talent competition has waned in our fifth outing, with Miller-Heidke desperately needing to win over fans to improve our position from Jessica Mauboy's 20th finish last year.
"Miller-Heidke from Australia is today's winner. Not only did she win our Press Poll today, she is also climbing with the bookmakers," blog site ESCXtra posted.
"She is rapidly approaching the top ten, coming from #16 yesterday. It seems to be a matter of time before the odds for Zero Gravity drop to the levels of Greece and Cyprus. What's the limit for Australia?"
Miller-Heidke has been training once a week since February with the Strange Fruit company to perfect her performance on the acrobatic pole.
She said the revamped staging was to put focus back on the song.
"The Australia: Decides performance worked on a lot of levels but there was a lot going on; it was quite full-on to watch and what we all really wanted to do this time was streamline everything so the song could take centre stage because there's (also) a fair bit going on in the song," she told ESCDaily after her rehearsal.
"I get to move now, which is great. It took a little bit of getting used to but it's actually surprising good I think because you are forced to not lock too much.
"(But) I don't want to end up bending backwards; that would be terrible."