Australia

Australia's Kate Miller-Heidke dazzles in Eurovision grand final

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The winner has been crowned in the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. Read on to find out how your favourite went.

The Netherlands' Duncan Laurence has taken home the crown in the 64th Eurovision Song Contest with 492 points, as Australia's Kate Miller-Heidke finished in ninth place with 285 points.

Italy took home second place with 465 points, followed by Russia on 369 points.

Coming down to the public vote, it's the first time The Netherlands has won Eurovision in 44 years.

Eurovision Song Contest 2019 - Grand Final
Duncan Laurence, representing Netherlands , performs live on stage during the 64th annual Eurovision Song Contest.
Getty Images Europe

"This is to dreaming big, this is to music first always," Laurence said, following the results.

The winning performance saw Laurence sit at a piano, belting out a dramatic power ballad titled Arcade. Ahead of the grand final, the performance was touted as a favourite to win

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Laurence came out as bisexual in 2016 and has since advocated for tolerance and understanding, saying his love of music provided a refuge during a difficult upbringing as a "mini-Harry Potter lookalike".

Australia’s Kate Miller-Heidke stunned crowds as she flew through the air, performing her entry Zero Gravity - a song inspired by her experiences with post-natal depression - but it wasn't enough to crack the top three.

Her now iconic crown was once again on full display against an out-of-this-world, intergalactic backdrop.

Kate Miller-Heidke of Australia, center, performs the song "Zero Gravity" during the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest grand final in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, May 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Kate Miller-Heidke defied gravity in her ethereal Eurovision performance.
AP

Miller-Heidke's performance had received widespread praise after the semi-final, where audiences saw her quite literally defy gravity for the first time, swaying side-to-side while balancing on a pole.

Other highlights of the night included Iceland's dark techno number by art collective Hatari, which shirked the usual kitschy pop in favour of leather, BDSM and screaming. The title of their song - Hatrið mun sigra - translates to "hate will prevail".

As the votes were read out, the collective could be seen holding up a Palestine banner.

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Eurovision party in Hurstville
Eurovision party in Hurstville

Russian superstar Sergey Lazarev impressed when the mirror he was performing in front of came to life before the audience's eyes. The last time Lazarev performed in the song competition in 2016 he took out third place.

France's Bilal Hassani, who is a prominent LGBTIQ+ advocate and social media star, also performed a stunning tribute to self-acceptance in the face of homophobic abuse that has targeted him since his selection.

France's contestant Bilal Hassani  performs Roi.
France's contestant Bilal Hassani performs Roi.
EPA

Contestants had a strong competitor for the limelight, as superstar Madonna performed her 1989 hit Like a Prayer accompanied by a 35-strong choir.

Draped in a black robe and sporting a diamond-encrusted eye-patch, the 60-year-old occupied the stage alongside backup dancers wearing horse-like masks and leather jumpsuits.

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Following her 1989 hit, the 'Queen of Pop' debuted her new song, Future, from her forthcoming album.

Despite heated political tensions in the lead up to the event, fears of an on-stage protest did not eventuate.

Taking home the crown in 2018 with Netta Barzilai, Israel secured this year's hosting rights - a decision met with some controversy.

A high-profile boycott campaign, spearheaded by Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, took off in the weeks leading up to the contest, urging artists to pull out due to Israel's treatment of Palestinian people.

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Speaking to SBS News in Tel Aviv ahead of her semi-final last Wednesday, Miller-Heidke said: "everyone felt conflicted".

“I’m pretty sure all the artists have been experiencing the same pressures, the same kind of Twitter extremism," she said.

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Aussie fans up to watch the 2019 Eurovision finals
Aussie fans up to watch the 2019 Eurovision finals

Viewers and professional juries in all 41 participating countries decided the winner, with each representing 50 per cent of the outcome. No country is able to vote for their own contestant.

The Eurovision Grand Final will be aired in an 8pm (AEST) replay, on SBS and SBS On Demand.

Head to the SBS Eurovision website for all the latest news from Tel Aviv.

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