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Australia: Kate Miller-Heidke – Zero Gravity

Australia's first national final crowned Kate Miller-Heidke as the winner with the song Zero Gravity. Having studied the Australian televote trends over the last week, as well as read what Australian Eurovision fans were posting on the SBS Facebook page, it became obvious Kate would perform strongly on the public vote. It also became fairly apparent that Sheppard would struggle to standout with their out-of-character staging. It appeared too desperate and didn't suit them as a supposedly credible band. They were trying to be too Eurovision without formulating a concept that played to their strengths. In that form, Sheppard would…
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Zero Sanity

Australia may have unintentionally chosen the best USP for Tel Aviv. 

User Rating: 2.04 ( 31 votes)

Australia’s first national final crowned Kate Miller-Heidke as the winner with the song Zero Gravity.

Having studied the Australian televote trends over the last week, as well as read what Australian Eurovision fans were posting on the SBS Facebook page, it became obvious Kate would perform strongly on the public vote. It also became fairly apparent that Sheppard would struggle to standout with their out-of-character staging. It appeared too desperate and didn’t suit them as a supposedly credible band. They were trying to be too Eurovision without formulating a concept that played to their strengths. In that form, Sheppard would merely be adding to the sea of beige chosen for Eurovision 2019 so far and would struggle to stand out. Therefore, Australia may have unintentionally chosen the best USP for Tel Aviv.

Admittedly, Zero Gravity is a mess. It is jury kryptonite, and in a Eurovision context, it is more Romania 2013/Sweden 2009 than Estonia 2018. Both of those aforementioned songs finished outside of the top-10 and both nations boast many more allies than Australia. Estonia 2018 at least had some credibility on its side.

The ‘WTF!’ reaction should help Kate on the televote in the same way it aided Denmark’s vikings. They finished 5th with the public and 20th with the juries. Back in 2013, Romania’s Cezar finished 7th with the public and 24th with the juries. Depending what other songs are chosen, there might be a certain amount of goodwill on the televote in May. Having said that, this theory hinges on the public being entertained. After 1:30 I find myself getting bored. The last 40-seconds is particularly repetitive, which may seriously test Australia’s televote given the comedy value wears off so quickly.

Even with a great USP Australia could be in trouble. Luckily they were drawn into semi-final 1 where the competition isn’t as ferocious. Even so, the first semi-final is rather eastern-leaning and points will be hard fought. At this stage I would have Australia 7th-11th in the semi with a 15th-20th place finish in the final provided they escape the semi. If they adapt the staging to deliver more surprises as the song develops, then qualification shouldn’t be a problem.

About Gavster

ESCtips Owner   I’m a qualified designer and dedicate a lot of my free time to keeping the ESCtips show on the road. My family routes allow me to support the UK, Ireland and Italy.

12 comments

  1. Seems to have gotten an overwhelming negative response from Eurofans that aren’t actually Australian.

    Personally I think this song is a mess, it’s not radio friendly, the performance is all over the place, sounds dated.

    It really goes for that ‘ wtf ‘ factor, but is that the right choice for Australia to take seeing as their only friends are the jurors? That in combination with an unfriendly semi final ?

    • These are good points, but what options the Australians really had there? Granted they had more options than us, here in the UK. But Electric Fields aside, the rest of the cohort was the usual ‘clinical’ safe and borderline boring. Songs like Sheppard brought this year have been failing to make the cut with the televote since 2013. Another 2018 Sweden or Australia lead balloon?

      In my opinion, Australia must have gone audacious and taken their chances with something riskier but harder to copy. Electric Fields might have been top 5 if not top 3 with the televote. Kate’s chances are vague but should be still higher if compared with the rest of the Australian class 2019.

      The winners of last 5 seasons were bringing something unique, it takes risk and audacity and… luck.

    • Catriona Colville

      Judging this based on the Eurofan reaction is a bad ideas since most of them are just pissed that Electric Fields lost. And in this case the haters are shouting the loudest, but there are many that love this song. And that’s the point. There is no like here, only love. Chances are anyone this appeals to, they are going to go crazy for it.

      Any of the bitter Eurofandom saying this won’t qualify are talking nonsense. Can this win? I don’t know, since it’s hard to judge whether the public will go for this, but it has a shit tonne of potential. Top 5? Possible, I think. But they need to change the staging, and find a way to recreate the pre-recorded backing vocals of the last minute without losing the power.

      All in all I think Australia made the right choice, but it is a risk.

  2. The winners of last 5 editions of Eurovision surely brought something unique, but they all gave us….songs. Easy-to-listen-at songs, true melodies, tunes you could hum. This Australian entry doesn’t have that.

    Yes, it will catch people’s attention. And probably it mightttt enter the left hand side of the scoreboard. But I think it’s too ‘weird’ to fully win the whole damn thing. Let alone TOP 3.

  3. We’ve had popera before at Eurovision, but in my opinion Zero Gravity is the most original and inventive fusion of opera and electro-pop to date. Kate can sing, she’s quirky but in a cute, voteable way, and she has eye catching staging.

    That said, the biggest problem with Zero Gravity is the staging. Although successful in the context of the national final and probably the main reason why Kate edged out Electric Fields, it contains so many elements that have been done at Eurovision before. (Is there some unwritten rule that to sing popera you have to be perched atop a high dress at least 3 metres above the ground?) The staging put one in mind of Cezar, Elina Nechayeva, Aliona Moon and Yulia Samoylova to name but a few. Although these were all arguably inferior entries to Zero Gravity, they got there first and the (unfair) perception will be that Zero Gravity is only copying what has gone before.

    Gav has rated this 4.5 for staging potential and I would agree that there is massive potential there, but for Tel Aviv Australia has to look at this afresh. If they can come up with an original and exciting staging concept, I can see this doing very well indeed, especially with the televote (juries are a tougher nut to crack when it comes to popera).

    Many viewers will love Zero Gravity. Many others will no doubt hate it. But no one will be able to ignore it.

    PS – Now that Australia has no further use for 2000 and Whatever, can the UK have it please?

  4. Interesting. I generally hate popera (really, really hated Il Volo), but don’t mind this, particularly since I loved the staging.

    My prediction is that it it qualifies but does no better than halfway, particularly given Australia’s lack of televoting friends. But I know nothing.

    During the Eurovision fortnight, there’s a chance that KMH might opine on politics. I don’t know her opinion about this, but she’s not been shy about issues in the past. In 2017 at an Australian music awards, she sang Tim Minchin’s Come Home (Cardinal Pell). It was a song about Cardinal George Pell, who at the time was refusing to come home from the Vatican to Australia to face charges about covering up child abuse. (Footnote: although there’s a press blackout in Australia, Pell was found guilty of five charges in December 2018. He is expected to appeal.) https://youtu.be/PIlq1AZUFCk

  5. There is no melody here. It’s not even a La Voix. I kept waiting for a bit I would remember and I never got one. Her voice is nice but more is needed than that.The ‘Nothing hold me down’ bit is o-kay though.

    This might not qualify. But hey, if Australia are to be Eurovision mainstays they will indeed have to get used to the annual perils of national final choices and semi final oblivion.

  6. This is a certain qualifier… and could go all the way to win Eurovision!

    Original, emphatic and powerful! I’m proud 🙂

    But is it my bias talking?

  7. Sorry Mike, but yes its your bias. There is just no song here. I found it boring and cannot remember how it goes after multiple listens. I agree it has the wtf factor but you need much much more than that for a top 5.

    Cannot see this troubling the top 10 as juries will (rightly) hate it.

  8. It looks like a copy paste to me…
    Last year Estonia sent song similar to this. I mean opera, singer somewhere high, loooooong dress.
    But honestly, nothing special

  9. I don’t think its a mess. It’s just the type of song that is pushing boundaries, maybe Europe is not ready for it lol its ahead of its time.

    It won over 2000 whatever because it went the extra mile to win. Its not gimmicky, its the concept of the whole thing. Dance song = dance moves so opera = stage.

    If you look at it from an Australian perspective, Aussies know Kate Miller-Hiedke as an established artist in their country and knows she can sing live very well and won’t let them down. Her style is eclectic and she blends classical with pop and indie. This is actually familiar to Aussies, maybe it sounds strange to you in Europe but this is how she sings.

    2000 whatever to Australians feels like their last two years entries, having an Aboriginal representative so been there done that to Aussies. You know opera is tricky. But you need to be open-minded. But a winner looks like a winner. And this is an entry thats impressive and looks very much a winner. I think it will deservedly be placed amongst the top entries as its intriguing and although its still have elements of opera its light and airy and deals with the message of pulling through from depression

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