Jessica Mauboy has qualified to represent Australia at the Grand Final of the Eurovision song contest.
The singer’s exuberant performance of inclusive anthem We Got Love at the second semi-final in Portugal clearly went down well as Australia now gets a fourth chance at Eurovision glory in the final on Saturday.
Wearing a short, purple, one-shouldered dress, the Darwin-born singer dominated and danced on the stage at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, in front of an estimated 200 million tuning in around the world, with just some well-timed pyrotechnics to accompany her.
Host of the Portuguese show Filomena Cautela made a beeline for Mauboy backstage at half-time, and joked about the time difference with Australia – the semi-final took place in Portugal on Thursday night and was broadcast live in Australia on Friday morning.
Jess Mauboy is through to the final!! pic.twitter.com/PBYE5459Ok
— Ben Lewis (@benlewismedia) May 10, 2018
“It’s the first time I’ve got to have breakfast with that many viewers at home, a couple of hundred million,” Mauboy said.
Competing against 17 other countries, Mauboy performed at the halfway point of the qualifier to make Australia one of the 10 voted through to the Grand Final on Saturday night (Sunday morning, Australian time).
It was a triumphant return to the Eurovision stage for the Darwin-born singer who kicked off Australia’s relationship with Eurovision with a non-competitive performance in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2014.
Mauboy will now get a chance to continue Australia’s successful streak with the song contest. Since Guy Sebastian first competed in 2015, Australia has not only qualified for the Grand Final of the competition, but placed in the top 10.
Norway kicked off the second semi-final with Alexander Rybak the violin-playing singer who won the competition in 2009 and is one of the favourites to take it out again.
Eurovision stalwarts Sweden were comfortably voted through with the slick electro-pop song Dance You Off, performed by Benjamin Ingrosso.
Slovenia was also voted through with the on-point, female empowerment song Hvala, ne (Thanks, no) performed by Lea Sirk.
A total of 26 countries will compete in Saturday’s Grand Final, including the big five countries who automatically qualify, Germany, Italy, Spain, France and the UK, and hosts Portugal.
— New Idea magazine (@NewIdeamagazine) May 10, 2018
*Semi Final 2 will be repeated at 7.30pm on Friday May 11 and the Grand Final will air live at 5am on Sunday May 13 on SBS.