The Australian entry in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest has said she finds the prospect of winning “obviously tempting, but also distracting”.
Kate Miller-Heidke was named a favourite by bookmakers after her dramatic performance in last night’s semi-final sent her through to the grand final on Saturday.
Her rendition of Zero Gravity, a song about her experience of postnatal depression, saw her flying through the air atop a pole, flanked by two backing vocalists.
She told the Press Association: “I guess I find those thoughts (of winning) obviously tempting but also distracting. I just need to focus on my own performance.
“And there are so many brilliant artists and songs in the competition and I can’t control how people receive my song. I can just do the best performance I can.
“I’ve been doing music as a career now for my whole adult life, for 15 years or so.
“I’ve learnt that it’s very dangerous to target your hopes and dreams on something that you can’t control.”
Following Tuesday’s event, which kicked off the contest in Tel Aviv, Israel, odds on the 37-year-old stealing the crown improved from 10/1 to 7/10, according to the bookmaker Coral.
Australia joined the Eurovision Song Contest in 2015 and has scored consistently well each year, but never won.
Miller-Heidke said there had been “electricity in the room” when she came off stage on Tuesday after performing at the Expo Tel Aviv.
“It’s impossible not to get swept along with that energy. I was overjoyed to see so many people singing along in the audience,” she said.
“It felt amazing. I guess the physicality of the performance, for me, it feels like flying.”
In the 17-strong running order her performance preceded Iceland’s techno-punks Hatari, another favourite to win the contest outright.
The Reykjavik group launched a media savvy campaign in the lead up to the contest, building significant hype among fans and press.
And they made good on that hype during Tuesday’s semi-final with a searing performance dressed in leather and latex against a backdrop of pyrotechnics.
Miller-Heidke said of her rivals: “I’ve chatted to them quite a bit.
“They’re really sweet and lovely and kind. But they probably wouldn’t want me to say that.”
Asked whether she thought Brexit would prevent the UK’s entry Michael Rice from scoring well, she answered simply: “To put it bluntly, probably yes.
“There’s no point being in denial. Not to detract from Michael in any way. He is brilliant. He’s so lovely. He’s got a fabulous voice.”
– Australia’s Kate Miller-Heidke will sing Zero Gravity in the grand final on Saturday May 18.