AAP Entertainment

Kate Miller-Heidke eyes Eurovision crown

By AAP Newswire

Australia's Kate Miller-Heidke says she finds the prospect of winning the Eurovision Song Contest "obviously tempting, but also distracting".

The singer-songwriter from Brisbane was named a favourite by bookmakers after her dramatic performance in Tuesday's semi-final sent her through to the grand final this weekend.

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.

"I guess I find those thoughts (of winning) obviously tempting but also distracting. I just need to focus on my own performance," she told the Press Association.

"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."

After Tuesday's event that 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 hype among fans and press.

They made good on that buildup during Tuesday's semi-final with a searing performance, dressed in leather and latex against a backdrop of pyrotechnics.

Miller-Heidke said she had chatted to her rivals "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 said "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."

Miller-Heidke will sing Zero Gravity in the grand final on Saturday (from 5am AEST on Sunday).