Griffith alumnus Kate Miller-Heidke has secured her spot in the Eurovision Song Contest finals with a gravity defying performance in Tel Aviv.
Miller-Heidke performed her genre-bending ballad Zero Gravity in the 17-nation semi-final this morning, singing for a global television audience of 200 million.
“Thank you so much for voting for me,” she said in a video shared on Instagram.
“I’m totally overwhelmed right now. I’m so thrilled to be going through to the final. I’m over the moon, literally and metaphorically.”
Queensland Conservatorium Director Professor Scott Harrison said it was a remarkable achievement.
“Kate delivered a phenomenal performance, and we wish her every success in the finals this weekend,” he said.
Miller-Heidke is the second Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University alumnus to represent Australia at Eurovision, after Dami Im was crowned runner-up at the 2016 Eurovision finals. Young Conservatorium alumnus Nicole Blair penned the UK’s entry in last year’s Eurovision competition.
Her Eurovision anthem Zero Gravity was co-written by fellow Queensland Conservatorium graduate Keir Nuttall and it provided a showcase for Miller-Heidke’s soaring vocals – a legacy of her training at the Queensland Conservatorium.
Miller-Heidke graduated from Griffith’s Queensland Conservatorium in 2002 with a Bachelor of Music, majoring in classical voice.
She said that fellow Queensland Conservatorium graduate Dami Im had given her a few words of advice ahead of the big show, comparing it to a marathon.
“She said nothing can prepare you – it’s the most intense, ridiculous OTT, electric experience, so enjoy the ride,” she said.
Miller-Heidke is an award-winning singer-songwriter whose work defies categorisation, spanning pop, rock and opera.
She exploded onto the Australian music scene in 2008 with her debut album Curiouser, which included chart-topping hits ‘The Last Day on Earth’ and ‘Caught in the Crowd’.
Despite becoming a pop icon, Miller-Heidke has continued to make the most of her classical training, composing an award-winning children’s opera, The Rabbits, and performing at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Miller-Heidke’s teacher at the Queensland Conservatorium, Associate Professor Margaret Schindler, remembers her as “a really special talent”.
“She was not a conventional voice student and there was never any doubt that she was destined for great things,” she said.
The Eurovision Song Contest grand final will be broadcast on SBS from 5am on Sunday 19 May.