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  • Writer's pictureDale Roberts

10 years on from Jessica Mauboy's interval act at Eurovision 2014 for Australia

Jessica Mauboy in a gold dress performs Sea of Flags 10 years ago at Eurovision 2014 for Australia
Credit: Ragnar Singsaas

On this day, 10 years ago, Jessica Mauboy took to the Eurovision stage in Copenhagen.

She would sing 'Sea of Flags' after a video presentation and a performance of 'Eurostralia' during the second semi-final.

Director of Blink TV Paul Clarke recently told the SBS Audio podcast 'Why is Australia in Eurovision?' that the Danish broadcaster wanted Australia to make a statement.

"I met their creative team and they said, 'We don't want you to do a song. We want you to do something that really fucks up the whole show'. I went, okay. All right. No problem. We can do that," Paul said.

SBS commentator and host Julia Zemiro was featured in the video while the performance of 'Eurostralia' featured giant novelty animals, surfers, AFL players and lyrics that rhymed Albania with genitalia.

Paul says this very "Australian" performance was deliberate.

"[The Chaser] wrote a song about us arriving, you know, just being incredibly stupid and belligerent as an opener."

Jessica Mauboy would then sing 'Sea of Flags' and although she wasn't competing, the performance was being judged by Eurovision organisers.

Paul said that performance was an important step towards competing with Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest Jon Ola Sand impressed with the show.

"It was a really big breakthrough. Jon Ola came over and he said to me: 'Oh Paul, she is fantastic, she's like a pocket Tina Turner!"

"So they were building their excitement, and it was building."

Jessica Mauboy was overcome with emotion when performing and burst into tears when coming off stage.

“It was absolutely thrilling. I could feel this electricity go through my body as I heard the roar of the crowd,” she said.

“It was an intensely beautiful and emotional moment. I succeeded, I felt it was a triumph."

Associate Professor Jess Carniel told the 'Why is Australia in Eurovision?' podcast the performance was a trial run for competing:

"It was definitely a rehearsal a run of competing. And there was a lot of investment into the idea of this performance And it was also a very Eurovision Song in terms of its style and its theme," she said.

"So it was a way of expressing an understanding of what Eurovision was saying that, hey, we as Australians, we get it, and we love it, and we want to be part of it, can we?"

We could because the very next year we competed.

Jessica Mauboy's performance of 'Sea of Flags' no doubt set us up to compete at the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna.

Happy 10 years to "One small step for Europe, one giant leap for Australia."

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