I did not know much about Jessica Mauboy until I saw the movie “The Sapphires” which I really enjoyed – see clip above.
This is somewhat unusual as Australian singers do not usually get to sing at the Eurovison Song Contest although the reason is explained below.
Previous winners have included Abba, Sandie Scott and Céline Dion and many many more. Good for her, she's in good company!
A "super excited" Jessica Mauboy will sing at the Eurovision song contest in May in what could be her biggest break yet, given a global television audience of many tens of millions will see her perform.
But hang on. If you just did a double-take and wondered 'why?' when Australia is not by any reasonable definition a part of Europe, it appears to be a reward for our ongoing love of pop music's most celebrated and self-conscious cheese-fest.
According to SBS, which has screened Eurovision for more than 30 years, 2.93 million Australians watched last year's contest, which was won by Danish singer Emmelie Charlotte-Victoria de Forest for a barefoot performance in which she was accompanied by hunky drummers in military-style outfits. As you do.
SBS says Mauboy's guest starring role in Copenhagen will be the first time a solo artist from a non-European country has been invited to perform by the key networks, the European broadcasting Union and the host broadcaster, in this case Denmark's DR.
Mauboy will sing an original song – written especially for Eurovision – during the second semifinal.
"I can't wait to bring a little bit of Australia to the contest.”
In an ominous sign that Mauboy could deliver a suitably Eurotrashy turn, a statement from SBS says Mauboy's "performance will be a celebration of Australian music and culture". Visions of Australia's reigning pop queen (and best female ARIA award winner) grinning away in an Akubra and yellow feather boa while surrounded by inflatable kangaroos come to mind.
Fluorescent ones perhaps.
The show's supervising producer Mikkel Becch could barely contain his excitement when quoted on the Eurovision website: "She is incredibly good and a huge talent, and she is really, really excited about travelling to Denmark and standing on the big Eurovision stage.
"This is huge for her. When we told her that up in the region of 180 million people watch the Eurovision Song Contest, you could tell that she was thinking 'Gosh, this is going to be huge!'"
SBS will broadcast its 2014 Eurovision package between May 9 and 11, with Mauboy's performance being shown here on May 10. The network will also screen a documentary, Jess Mauboy's Road to Eurovision, just before her performance is screened here.
According to the European Broadcasting Union, the semifinals and final of the 2013 event, held in Malmo Sweden, drew a television audience of 170 million. SBS says the global audience is over 180 million.
SBS managing director Michael Ebeid was also "excited" by the news.
“As a young indigenous artist who has achieved global success, Jessica's performance will be a fantastic coup for Eurovision's worldwide audience and showcase the strong links between the song contest and SBS's purpose of reflecting diversity. We are honoured that the European Broadcasting Union has supported us to achieve this ambition.”
Dennis Handlin, chairman and CEO of Sony Music (Mauboy's label) said it was "fitting" that she got this chance.
"She embodies all of what it means to be Australian in this day and age and I am incredibly proud that she will be representing Australian music on the world stage."
With many thanks to The Sydney Morning Herald
Here is Jessica Mauboy on Sesame Street singing - 5 Kangaroos.
SHE'S performed before a worldwide audience of millions and chatted with Denmark's Princess Mary, so it's no wonder Jessica Mauboy is on a high from her Eurovision Song Contest debut.The pop princess gave a typically spirited performance as a guest star at the singing contest's second semi-final, belting out her upbeat anthem Sea of Flags in the first time an Australian has performed at the European glitzfest.
"I'm still buzzing," a breathless Mauboy told Sunrise on Friday.
Striding the stage in a metallic Toni Maticevski gown, Mauboy had the Copenhagen crowd up and dancing with her infectious performance.
"The crowd was roaring ... everyone kind of got up," she said.
"They were dancing and just embracing that moment."
Mauboy said she wrote the song in just two days with good friend and The Potbellez frontman Ilan Kidron.
While she admitted to some pre-show nerves, the Australian Idol runner-up said she was proud to represent her country on the world stage.
She also enjoyed a meet-and-greet with fellow Aussie turned Danish royal Princess Mary.
"It was incredible, she brought her two children along," Mauboy said. "We had a really lovely, warm chat."
Apart from garnering new international fans - the contest generally attracts more than 125 million viewers - Mauboy said she'd become friends with one of the competition's most controversial contestants - Austria's Conchita Wurst, aka the "bearded lady".
"Oh yes, I'm really good friends with Conchita," Mauboy told Nova FM.
"What's so amazing about her, about Eurovision, is that it allows to be the artist that you are and take a bit of a risk."
She says she has her fingers crossed the Austrian will get through to the grand final.
Meanwhile, Mauboy was trending on Twitter in the UK after hitting the Eurovision stage.