Eurovision shocker: the voting public shun Australia

Despite a brilliant performance.

This article originally appeared on WHO.

She’d been hotly tipped to do well at Eurovision, but Jessica Mauboy shockingly received the lowest public vote out of all 26 contestants competing in the grand final in Portugal. Things had been looking pretty good for Australia when the 43 international juries eligible to vote placed us in the top 12 with 90 points. But we received only an additional nine points once the public vote had been added into the mix.

There’s no doubt Mauboy’s song, “We Got Love”, was popular, ranking in 18 countries’ iTunes charts, so why didn’t we get love in the voting? Perhaps the lingering question about why Australia was admitted into Eurovision persists in Europe. 

The snub of Australia wasn’t the only shock during this year’s Eurovision. A stage invader disrupted the performance by British contestant SuRie, shouting, “Nazis of the UK media, we demand freedom”. SuRie bravely soldiered on and declined the invitation to sing again once security had cleared the stage.

In the end, the competition came down to a two-horse race between Israel’s Netta and Eleni Foureira from Cyprus, who both scored enough points in the public voting to leapfrog over Austria’s Cesár Sampson, the surprise victor of the professional jury vote. With a combined total of 529 points, Netta’s “Toy” won the song contest, and, in an awkward moment, was awarded the winner’s trophy by last year’s champion, Salvador Sobral, who referred to “Toy” as “a horrible song” earlier in the week.

Netta’s quirky, chicken noise-featuring winning song has certainly divided critics, while the prospect of Eurovision heading to troubled Israel in 2019 has also prompted much discussion online among fans. Meanwhile, Sobral, who recently underwent heart surgery, returned to the Eurovision stage to performing during the interval and received a warm welcome from the adoring Lisbon crowd.

Elsewhere, China’s decision to not screen the semi-final performance by Ireland’s Ryan O’Shaughnessy because it contained a same-sex dance routine resulted in Eurovision not permitting the nation to air the grand final. All in all, a controversial year for the song contest.

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