With the grand final just weeks away we asked Australia's entry Kate Miller-Heidke a few questions before she jets off to the contest.
Kate you’re only days away from travelling over to Tel Aviv, how are you feeling? Can you put the emotions into words?
There's a lot of excitement, some nerves, and still a slight edge of disbelief that it's all really happening! But mostly excitement.
How early will you get to Israel and what will your first few days look like?
I arrive on Friday. The first few days will be busy rehearsing with Israeli backing vocalists, then our first on-stage rehearsal.
How are you feeling physically? We saw you had an issue with your foot while over in Europe. Has it impacted your preparation at all?
Yes. It was quite serious and I actually ended up in hospital for several nights. A lot of preparation/fittings/press had to be put on hold. Luckily I have an amazing team of people who have been incredibly supportive and I feel like everything is on track again now. In a strange way, that enforced rest in hospital was a pretty good pattern-interrupter for my brain. I feel like I gained some perspective - I can't control everything, so I've stopped trying, and am instead just enjoying the ride.
You are the first artist to have been chosen by the Australian public, does that make you feel like you have added support or added pressure?
I feel both. I am not getting any pressure from fans, who have all been incredibly supportive - it's more internal pressure from myself, because I don't want to let anybody down.
Your staging is changing a great deal from the Australia Decides performance, was that decision made from feedback received or were you always looking to change the performance for Eurovision?
We put together the staging for 'Australia Decides' very quickly under pressure - we were always going to reevaluate in the event of me winning. We have kept the elements from 'Australia Decides' that we felt were powerful, and reimagined the rest. We have taken on feedback, certainly, but ultimately we have followed our own creative instincts. I can't wait to show you what we have been dreaming up.
You are performing in Sydney just 10 days or so after the contest finishes… are you going to take a break at some point?
Yes! I have shows in SA and Sydney straight after I'm back, then I'll spend a glorious week with Keir and Ernie on Stradbroke Island in Queensland which is actually paradise on earth. After that I'm heading into the studio to do a new album.
You work and collaborate with your husband Keir, is working so closely with your husband a rewarding or challenging experience? (or both!)
Keir is an incredible songwriter (including lyrics) and guitarist. I've unfairly received the credit for many songs he has written, so yes it's been very rewarding.
In seriousness, we have had our rough patches as it can be difficult sometimes keeping your individuality and identity when you're always with someone. It's can be hard to keep our relationship separate from our creative partnership. We're always talking about 'work'. But we now have separate writing rooms at home which has been wonderful. It's also important to make sure we both feel creatively satisfied and able to collaborate with others if we want to. We're pretty good at managing it at the moment.
You met a lot of the other artists in Amsterdam. How did you find the experience with fans and were there any artists or songs that stood out to you?
The energy from the audience was amazing - it was great to get a taste of what it might be like in Tel Aviv. Everybody was very lovely - such an eclectic mix of talented people. In terms of songs, I particularly love Tulia from Poland, Keiino from Norway and Hatari from Iceland. I love the songs that go beyond a straightforward pop song - the kind of songs you wouldn't normally hear on the radio.
And finally, some people have suggested Zero Gravity is the antithesis of Iceland’s song ‘Hate will Prevail’ – do you think that’s true or are there any some similarities between your act and theirs?
Ha. Their song is lyrically pessimistic, but there's an innate optimism and positive energy in the architecture of the melody/rhythm/harmony. Mine is a sweeter, uplifting song (particularly towards the end), but that belies its darker themes about depression. So yes in that way they could be seen as opposites, but they both show how music gives you the power to deliver hidden messages to people, messages that can even contradict the lyrics on the page. Both songs also both have a sense of heightened theatricality. They don't take themselves too seriously. (I'm a big Hatari fan in case you can't tell!)
Thank you for your time Kate, and good luck in Tel Aviv!