Jessica Mauboy has gotten Australia’s Eurovision campaign off to a rousing start, nailing her stirring rendition of pop anthem “We Got Love” to a jury audience on May 9 ahead of her semifinal 2 performance before the masses in Lisbon on May 10 (airing in Australia live on Friday, May 11 at 5 AM on SBS). “She’s got a song that’s an absolute banger,” says SBS co-host Myf Warhurst. “I’m feeling good about it.”
So is Mauboy, who talked to WHO before heading overseas for her big moment. Here is her breakdown on what to expect.
“I feel like there's a lot of colours involved,” Mauboy says. “I feel that there's some kind of earthiness to ... about Australia, that I would love to take. And hopefully, maybe, embody the landscape, perhaps. And that might be a projection of land, or the elements of the world.
“The outfit itself, I definitely want something structured,” she says, “something that kind of holds me in, and that just kind of zips tight, so nothing kind of comes out! You know, that's my worst nightmare is. For a zip to not be going up, or it getting stuck, or it just kind of caving out. You know? I think the last time I performed, I used the amazing Toni Maticevski. It was a kind of gold textured material. But this time I think I want to go glittery. Glitter or sequins. So something layered and perhaps a train. You gotta be dramatic. Come on. Leave a trail behind!”
No dancers, butter-churners or Russian grandmas needed. “I want to bring my character and personality,” Mauboy says simply. “I think of it as all the people who I’ve met along the way, all the hands that I’ve shaken, all the faces that I’ve seen, all the people I’ve had conversations with. All of that really builds up into everything I do. I take a lot of that and I use all that power because conversations are power and that always brings some kind of message, whether it’s the word ‘celebration’ or the word ‘unity.’ I want to take that and put that on that stage. It is almost someone plugging in something electric and being alive.”
WHAT IS THIS THING: The 63RD Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon, Portugal
THE SEMIS AND FINALS: Two-semifinals determine the 20 countries that go through to the Grand Final to compete against the host country—in this case, Portugal—and the Big Five—Germany, Italy, France, Spain and the UK, who automatically gain entry to the Grand Final.
The first semi-final was held on May 8 and the 10 countries that have made it through are Albania, Austrla, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Ireland and Israel.
Australia (Go, Jess!) competes in semifinal 2 along with 21 other countries live at 5 AM on May 11 on SBS; the Grand Final will air live at 5 AM on Sun., May 13 on SBS.
THE VOTING: A jury of industry experts, one set per participating country, sees the artists’ performances ahead of the public. Their votes count for 50 percent of the total number of points a country can earn.
Fans make up the other 50 per cent and they can vote for their favourite songs in a televote (the numbers will appear on-screen during the live broadcasts) or through the Eurovision app. NOTE: Fans cannot vote for their own country and can only vote in the semifinal in which their country is competing, and in the Grand Final.
THE NATIONAL JURY: Australia’s panel of experts this year includes television presenter Richard Wilkins (chairperson), Double J host Zan Rowe, comedian-musician Jordan Raskopoulos, hip-hop artist L-FRESH the LION and music executive Millie Millgate.
THE SPOKESPERSON: Australia’s ambassador for reading our votes during the Grand Final will be SBS World News and Small Business Secrets presenter Ricardo Goncalves. “As a Portuguese Australian, I can’t wait to make my Mum and Dad proud by being part of this huge event in their home country," he said. "Boa sorte Lisboa e boa sorte Jessica Mauboy!”