Eurovision fans are convinced Australia are the country to beat after “unbelievable” semi-final performance

Australian singer Kate Miller-Heidke shot through to Saturday’s grand final with her epic performance of Zero Gravity

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 09: Kate Miller-Heidke performs during Eurovision - Australia Decides at Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on February 09, 2019 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Judging by the standards of the semi-finals, the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 is set to be a belter.

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The qualifier saw a series of nations go head-to-head, wheeling out the weird and wonderful to be in with a chance of winning in Tel Aviv on Saturday night.

But while leather-loving Icelandic punk band Hatari raised a few eyebrows with their charged techno track Hate Will Prevail, it was Australian act Kate Miller-Heidke that set Twitter abuzz.

Her pop-opera hit Zero Gravity stunned audiences with its intricate and opulent staging – with many now backing the nation to win the whole contest.

This is the fifth year in a row that Oceanic nation Australia has competed in Eurovision.

First taking part in 2015 as a guest entrant, they have done surprisingly well each year – placing 5th, 2nd, 9th and 20th, respectively.

While it was a good night for Down Under, Finnish DJ Darude was notably less lucky after failing to qualify for the final, sent packing along with entrants from six other nations.

Flying the flag for the United Kingdom this year is 21-year-old Michael Rice, who triumphed with his song Bigger Than Us in talent contest Eurovision: You Decide.

“I literally just came off the stage and honestly, I can’t believe I won,” Rice said shortly after being selected to represent the UK at Eurovision (as one of the “Big Five” nations, he automatically qualifies for Saturday’s final).

“I never in a million years thought I’d get the chance to do this experience, never mind win it.

“I’m really grateful for all my supporters out there who voted for me, and who’ve been there for me along this journey. Let’s do it! Let’s go to Tel Aviv and try and bring it home for us.”

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The Eurovision Song Contest will be held on Saturday May 18th 2019. Coverage will be on BBC1, fronted by Graham Norton, from 8pm-11:40pm