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Jessica Mauboy spills on why Eurovision is her most personal journey yet

'This is the biggest achievement of my life!'

By Tamara Cullen

Twelve years ago, in the dusty desert of Northern Territory's Alice Springs, a shy 16-year-old belted out a song well beyond her years. It was Whitney Houston's famous hit, "I Have Nothing".

But in that moment, Jessica Mauboy had everything to offer. She wowed the Australian Idol judges, and a star was born.

As the soulful singer prepares to put her best foot forward at this year's Eurovision Song Contest, Jessica is aware of just how far she's come.

"This is the biggest achievement of my life," the 28-year-old tells TV WEEK.

"It takes me back to when I was a nervous teenager entering Idol. Now, I'm doing it again, but on a global scale. It's an important path for me, and I'm doing what I love."

Jessica is back doing what she loves.
Jessica is back doing what she loves.

This isn't the first time the singer has taken her voice to the Eurovision stage. In 2014, the multiple ARIA award winner shone in the spotlight as a guest performer.

"It was a major moment," the star explains.

"I wasn't actually competing, and I wasn't sure if Australia would ever be allowed to compete."

Jessica hoped her performance would help drive our country towards being able to enter the competition – and she was thrilled when it worked.

"All of a sudden, we're competing the following year," she smiles.

Her big smile is sure to win over Eurovision voters.
Her big smile is sure to win over Eurovision voters.

Over the next three years, Jessica watched as fellow Aussie stars Guy Sebastian, Dami Im and Isaiah Firebrace all fell short in their attempt to bring home the Eurovision trophy.

Until now, Jessica was too busy to pick up the baton. In 2016, she starred as Billie Carter alongside former Home And Away star Bonnie Sveen in the Channel Seven drama The Secret Daughter.

Was it a risk to change direction from singing to acting? Maybe. But thankfully, it paid off.

Her leading role spawned two top-selling soundtracks and earned her a TV WEEK Silver Logie nomination for Best Actress in 2017.

But after two seasons, Jessica got itchy feet.

"As much as I really thrived on playing Billie, there was a sense of urgency to get back to music and the stage," the entertainer admits.

"I realised how much I missed it. I yearned for it."

Jessica says Eurovision is her biggest achievement yet!
Jessica says Eurovision is her biggest achievement yet!

Now, Jessica is finally addressing some unfinished business at Eurovision.

"I knew I was meant to go back," she says.

"I've been watching Eurovision since I was 11 years old. There are so many inspiring moments that reach people, and I feel really honoured to be representing Australia."

While the thought of performing her new single, "We Got Love", brings a smile to her face, the possibility of actually winning the coveted contest almost has Jessica on her feet.

"Holy moley!" she screams. "That'll be the extreme dream. But it takes a lot to deliver it down the barrel and hit home, as well as across the globe. I'm just excited to be part of it."

To read the full interview with Jessica Mauboy, pick up the latest copy of TV WEEK. On sale now!

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