TV

Everything you can expect from the first ever Eurovision - Australia Decides

It's showtime!

By Tina Burke
Break out the sequins and your best feather boa, because Eurovision has well and truly arrived in the land down under.
An incredible group of 10 unique acts will be competing in Eurovision - Australia Decides tonight, for their chance to represent the nation at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, Israel.
There were over 700 submissions for Australia's first competition, with the Top 10 coming down to Ella Hooper, Tania Doko, Sheppard, Electric Fields, Mark Vincent, Alfie Arcuri, Ayden, Leea Nanos, Courtney Act and Kate Miller-Heidke.
The 10 acts competing in Eurovision - Australia Decides (Image: SBS).
Hosted by everyone's favourite showbiz power couple Joel Creasey and Myf Warhurst, the show will air on SBS live at 8:30pm AEDT.
So what can fans the world over look forward to when Eurovision – Australia Decides airs tonight? For one thing, a mind-blowing set with some seriously mesmerizing lighting.
"The set is phenomenal!" Myf reveals to TV WEEK. "I seriously thought it was going to be a bit High School Rock Eisteddfod because the local Eurovisions can be really great... or just a stage. But this is amazing!"
"It's huge! I can't believe I get to be the one to host it and bring it to Australia. It's been discussed for so long and I can't believe it's actually happening," adds her co-host Joel.
"When I walked in and saw the stage two days ago I was mind-blown. It's so Eurovision!"
Joel and Myf are excited for the first ever Eurovision - Australia Decides (Image: SBS).
Without giving too much away to die-hard Eurovision fans who love the thrill of a live show, a little hint is that all 10 acts have vastly different performances. Much like the variety in genre, there's variety in how these contestants are making their mark on the stage.
There are big dance numbers, soulful solo performances, and by now you've surely seen the photos of Kate Miller-Heidke's theatrical staging and lavish costume.
"I'm excited, and nervous, and everything!" Kate tells TV WEEK. "The scale of this production is way beyond anything I've ever been involved with before and it takes a huge lot of effort and talent to put it together.
"So there's a lot of furious work going on with the costume, and the set, and the lighting, and I kind of have to remind myself to practice the bloody song as well!"
Kate - who calls her song Zero Gravity "slightly bonkers" - says the music is reflected in her "surprising" staging.
Kate Miller-Heidke's gravity-defying performance will wow viewers (Image: SBS).
Yep, as you can see, the costumes also have that classic Eurovision WOW factor. From red leather, to dazzling jumpsuits, the outfits are every bit as stunning as the performances.
"You do have to wear a cool jumpsuit!" Ella Hooper says of her sparkling ensemble, adding that she can't wait for Australia to see her perform.
"There are so many people who care so much about Eurovision, and it's made me care even more deeply about my performance."
Ella brings an exciting rock element to Eurovision - Australia Decides (Image: SBS).
The incredible staging and the high production has stunned several of the artists, too.
"We've got 10 amazing performers, and to be in rehearsals yesterday it was like 'oh wow' this is legit!" Courtney Act tells. "I've done live concerts on a stage but I've never done a television event like this – it's pretty epic."
Courtney is also currently training for the new season of Dancing With The Stars, so which would the iconic Drag Queen prefer to win?
"If I had to pick, I would want to win Eurovision. But as much as I'd want to win I wouldn't be unhappy for anyone else here to win. It's such a great line-up!"
Courtney Act hits the high notes (Image: SBS).
Though several artists like Alfie Arcuri, Aydan and Courtney Act have experience competing in televised song contests such as The Voice and Australian Idol, others are very new to this world.
Tania Doko, whose career has spanned over 20 years beginning as one half of pop-duo Bachelor Girl in 1992, is also enjoying the thrill of her first song contest.
"It feels quite big, it's a big event. I've never competed in a song contest ever!" she says. "I have to say, we're all already good friends or we're becoming friends and I will never forget this time. It's consumed me, but you know you're alive for sure! I'm pinching myself."
Tania Doko is excited to be a part of the song contest (Image: SBS).
With the stage set and the elaborate costumes at the ready, there's only one thing left to do: decide!
The Jury Show was held on Friday night, with jurors Christer Björkman, Milly Petriella, Josh Martin and Paul Clarke having the chance to see all the performances and make their picks.
Now that the jurors have sorted out their 50% of the end result, it's the Australian public's turn to vote.
Voting for Eurovision - Australia Decides is already open, and will close 15 minutes after the final performance in tonight's live broadcast from the Gold Coast. Find out more about how to vote on SBS' page here.
Eurovision - Australia Decides airs tonight 8:30pm AEDT live on SBS.

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