Dami Im's soaring vocals on and glittering stage presence for "Sound of Silence, a power ballad written by the DNA Songs team of Anthony Egizii and David Musumeci, took second place at the 2016 European Song Contest in Stockholm.
While Australia shot to first place with 320 jury points halfway through the reading of the votes, the public sent a sentimental and political message by awarding 361 points to Ukraine's Jamala for her emotional anthem "1944," a song about the mass deportation of Tatars from Crimea during World War II.
"I know I sang about peace and love," Jamala, 32, said before reprising her vocal performance, "but I really want peace and love to everyone."
Even so, Ukraine's entry was seen by Eurovision pundits as a kind of rebuke to Russia, which entered the Grand Final as the odds-on favourite to win with Sergey Lazarev's technologically showy staging of the dance track "You Are the Only One."
After combining jury votes, which comprise 50 percent of the point total, with the public's televotes, Russia wound up in third place on 491 points, Australia in second with 511 points, and Ukraine in first with 534 points. Rounding out the top five were Bulgaria in fourth with Poli Genova's "If Love Was a Crime" and host country Sweden in fifth with Frans's "If I Were Sorry."
Before the public vote was read, co-host and last year's winner Måns Zelmerlöw asked Im what she would do after the competition. Im said, "Um, go and have a lemonade with my crew!" Im's X Factor coach Dannii Minogue tweeted back, "We might be opening the lemonade, @damiandmusic @eurovision......."
Im's Grand Final was no less spectacular than her performance in Semi Final 2/ She took command of the 16,000-seat Ericsson Globe arena in a sparking Steven Khalil gown and integrated hand movements with laser light effects into her number.
"This is such a dream, thank you #eurovision!" Im tweeted. "So honored to be performing on this stage tonight."
The speed at which Australia has taken over the multi-day musical spectacle, seen by more than 200 million viewers around the world, has been stunning.
While Australians have been watching the Eurovision Song Contest for more than 30 years, the nation had not competed until 2015 when the European Broadcasting Union, of which SBS is a member, invited Australia to enter as a special guest during the event's 60th anniversary.
Placed directly into the Grand Final, Guy Sebastian's dance number "Tonight Again" electrified audiences and finished in the Top 5.
On the decision to welcome back Australia for another go, Jon Ola Sand, the executive supervisor of the event, said, "We strongly believe the Eurovision Song Contest has the potential to evolve organically into a truly global event. Australia's participation is an exciting step in that direction."
An exciting step, perhaps, but not an unprecedented one. Nations affiliated or a part of the European Broadcasting Union can participate. Israel, which first entered the competition in 1973, has won in 1978, 1979 and 1998. The last non-European winner was Azerbaijan in 2011 with the song "Running Scared" by Ell & Nikki.
After Im emerged from Semi Final 2, she thanked her fans in the "Dami Army" and X Factor mentor Dannii Minogue for their encouragement. "Her support means so much to me," Im told Fairfax Media. "I am so lucky that someone who has so much experience in this industry is looking out for me."
Now all eyes in Europe and around the world are on Im.