Kate’s powerful message to Eurovision fans
Hitting those high notes from the heights wasn't as easy as Kate Miller-Heidke made it sound during her soaring performance to win the vote to represent Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest.
The adrenaline-fatigued artist said performing her over-the-top popera song Zero Gravity perched on a tiered tower of her cascading costume had its "precarious moments".
Miller-Heidke's theatrical performance of the song which celebrated coming out of the fog of a two-year battle with postnatal depression after the birth of her adored son Ernie won the jury and fan votes for the first-ever Eurovision: Australia Decides event staged by SBS.
While her pitch-perfect, awe-inspiring vocal performance was the star of the show, her made-for-Eurovision moment was assisted by Strange Fruit acrobat Emma Waite who represented the black dog of depression to Miller-Heidke's shining-in-white character of celebration.
"I was concerned about the height until I saw how high Emma was on her bendy pole," she said.
"And there was also a chance of her being impaled on my spiky head piece which would have made a dramatic ending."
While a seasoned performer in both the opera, pop and theatre worlds, our 2019 Eurovision Queen admitted to being "totally nervous and s...-scared" for two days before Saturday's contest.
Her ornate costume only arrived at the Gold Coast venue from Melbourne the day before the show.
She credited the diehard Eurovision fans at the selection shows and rehearsals for giving her the lift she needed for her scene-stealing performance.
"The energy from that crowd was insane; I've never experienced anything like that," she said.
The message behind her music resonated strongly with fans ahead of the decider with Miller-Heidke's brave social media post revealing her struggles with postnatal depression and its effect on her artistic identity striking a chord with mothers and others battling mental illness.
"The response to that particular post was overwhelming for sure," she said.
"I put my myself and my heart into that song and I'm very proud of it."
Miller-Heidke and her fellow artists who participated in the inaugural Eurovision Decides show paid tribute to SBS for taking a chance on bringing original live music back to prime time television.
The Australian music community has very limited outlets to perform live for television audiences and the broadcast gatekeepers perennially insist there is no audience for music-themed programs.
"The SBS and Blink TV team were incredible and did something groundbreaking and pioneering. I know there was a level of investment put into this show which was an enormous risk for SBS," Miller-Heidke said.
"I think it is shameful that this is one of our only outlets to put music on television."
Miller-Heidke said she hopes the runners-up Electric Fields, who captivated the Eurovision community with their indigenous and English language electropop song 2000 and Whatever get another shot at representing Australia at the world's biggest singing contest.
"I think Electric Fields would have made a formidable representative for Australia and I hope they get a chance again next year," she said.
"I suspect people had a hankering for something different and that exploited the full potential of what you can do at Eurovision."
Miller-Heidke will represent Australia at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv in May.