Heartbreak as Australia fails to qualify for Eurovision final

"We felt like rock stars," says Electric Fields after missing out on the Final, but Sydney's own Silia Kapsis qualifies with her song for Cyprus.

Despite a dynamic performance by Electric Fields at Malmö Arena in Sweden, Australia has failed to qualify for the Eurovision Song Contest Final.

It’s only the second time Australia has missed out on competing at the Final, following Montaigne in 2021 -the only artist unable to attend that year due to travel restrictions and competed via video.

Zaachariaha Fielding and Michael Ross gave their all to “One Milkali (One Blood)”, bringing Yankunytjatjara, an Aboriginal language, and a yidaki to the Eurovision stage for the first time.

But it was not to be….

Electric Fields said: “We’re still buzzing. We feel like we did a killer performance and we felt like rock stars. And that audience, I tell you, it was just absolutely giving. It’s going to be a memory that will be embedded with us for the rest of our lives. Now we can write about these things. We’re creative people. So we’re going to create songs out of it because that’s what you do.”

Australian Head of Delegation, and SBS Head of Entertainment, Emily Griggs, said: “SBS are so proud of Electric Fields. It has been powerful watching them take an Indigenous language of Australia and the Yidaki to the world stage. Electric Fields authentically showcased themselves through song and their message of unity, but also through their own visual art and fashion design. A whole new audience will have found them through this friendly song contest, which is super exciting.”

Director of Blink TV and Australia’s Creative Director for Malmö Paul Clarke said: “It’s important to reflect on what has been achieved by Electric Fields at the Eurovision Song Contest. They won a lot of hearts, they made a statement of unity with lyrics in a language that predates the idea of Europe. All those countries singing our oldest language – what a beautiful moment. We are very proud of them.”

This year the organisers removed juries from Semi Final voting meaning all acts had to rely on the televoting. Historically, it has always been juries that supported Australia when the televoting let us down, leaving many to speculate that the welcome mat for by the European audience was pulled away some years ago…

TV Tonight this week asked Paul Clarke, if he was concerned about the absence of juries.

“It’s something to be aware of. We won the SF last year with Voyager, but this is one tough Semi-final. We will be ourselves and turn the volume up on that, and see if Europe responds. It’s always a little exciting, daunting and challenging – for people to judge original music and performance with qualifying or not for the grand final is difficult. But the important thing to do is present your story the best way you can, then face the music!” he said.

Australia’s hopes now rest with Sydney performer Silia Kapsis who qualified for the Final with her song “Liar” for Cyprus.

Qualifying countries in bold:

1 Cyprus Silia Kapsis “Liar” *
2 Serbia Teya Dora “Ramonda”
3 Lithuania Silvester Belt “Luktelk”
4 Ireland Bambie Thug “Doomsday Blue”
5 Ukraine Alyona Alyona and Jerry Heil “Teresa & Maria”
6 Poland Luna “The Tower”
7 Croatia Baby Lasagna “Rim Tim Tagi Dim
8 Iceland Hera Björk “Scared of Heights”
9 Slovenia Raiven “Veronika”
10 Finland Windows95man “No Rules!
11 Moldova Natalia Barbu “In the Middle”
12 Azerbaijan Fahree feat. Ilkin Dovlatov “Özünlə apar”
13 Australia Electric Fields “One Milkali (One Blood)” *
14 Portugal Iolanda “Grito”
15 Luxembourg Tali “Fighter”


Semi Final Two
Live Friday 10 May at 5:00am AEST (replay Saturday 11 May at 7:30pm AEST)

Live Sunday 12 May at 5:00am AEST (replay Sunday 12 May at 7:30pm AEST)
Australians can still vote during the Final 5am AEST Sun May 12 by following the prompts on screen. The jury and Australian public can vote for any country except Australia.

NB: TV Tonight will be publishing Live results following all early morning broadcasts. Please avert your eyes if you are awaiting primetime replays.

* Aussie performers

Photo: Corrine Cumming / EBU

This post updates.

20 Responses

  1. This is the best song we’ve had in years (and definitely better than a good chunk of the other songs in this Semi) and Electric Fields have the vocals and style/cool-factor to make it. Australia (as usual) had pretty weak production values/staging, which might be a budget thing but I think the biggest thing to let them down was the rule change this year, as Eurovision voting is infamously political.

    Anyway, I don’t care if they didn’t win, they did Australia proud. I was a bit emotional seeing Indigenous culture have its moment on the world stage like that.

    1. “but I think the biggest thing to let them down was the rule change this year”
      As mentioned before, last year, Australia won the televise. The rule change would’ve suited last year but not this year, as had been the case.

  2. It was evident very early on in my opinion that the song and act wasn’t going to resonate with the audience and that has now come to fruition in an embarrassing early elimination for Australia.
    The performance also fell, up against stronger competition. It’s also a wake up for SBS to listen to local Eurovision fans, who want a say in the entrant and seem to know the European audience better.
    Criticism is due, and lessons can be learned.

  3. Most disappointing. My heart breaks 💔 for Electric Fields and Australia. No point in watching the rest of Eurovision. Has Tones And I tried out for the contest? Her song Dance Monkey was huge success and she has unique voice that Eurovision would probably like.

    1. Please not Tones and I ……. she has only had one major hit around the world and just because you have success it doesn’t mean Eurovision glory …..

  4. I’m stunned and bummed it didn’t get through. Okay, it was a bit messy, but it was heartfelt and exciting, unlike some of the snoozefests that made it. My eyes filled with tears when Fred came out with his yidaki, that was a beautiful moment.

    1. Sorry completely had the opposite effect when he came out it looked awkward cringe and just looked like it was put in their to show more cultural elements. It didn’t add anything tp the performance it how it was done.

  5. Does anyone know what the lyrics actually meant? I found the English lyrics confusing and really didn’t help clarify what the
    Yankunytjatjara dialect meant. Whilst it’s great to include an indigenous language you still need to make it relatable to your audience. Remember it’s Eurovision home to such classics as
    Boom Bang a Bang, Making Your Mind Up, Ding-a-Dong and the classic Ooh Aah… Just a Little Bit.

    It also didn’t help that both the vocals and staging were lacking on the night. Valiant attempt though.

  6. It did seem like Zaachariaha was not able to hold those top notes in his soaring style, maybe a little under the weather on the day, but he gave it his heart. I had always hoped our act would start with the Yidaki solo, a haunting sound with circular breathing, it would have been magical in that stadium and only Australia could bring that. But I get there are also time constraints, so maybe a factor.

  7. This song wasn’t my favourite but any song can be elevated with good staging and sadly this year the staging was not great – may have been our worst staging since Jess Mauboy was let down badly in 2018 despite a great song.

    The stage felt empty and the camera shots weren’t tight enough.

  8. The switch to public voting only in the semis happened last year and Voyager won their semi – so, there’s more to it than that. As well, Ireland, UK and Swden voted today- all countries that have historically awarded Australia points. 2000 and whatever was amazing in 2019, but this song just didn’t resonate as a song that would do well at Eurovision from the first time I heard it.

    1. This year was the first. They only announced it a few months ago. We had juries last year for both semis.
      The other change they announced at the same time was you could vote at the beginning of the final this year before all acts perform, which is why we saw the full songs from the Big 5 and Sweden. (Or will see the other 3)

    1. I think that’s a bit harsh. the whole point of Eurovision, at least historically was for countries to display their culture to an international audience. While I wasn’t a huge fan of the song, I thought it was great to see our First Nations culture represented.

      1. The issue is that every other song in the semi finals fitted Eurovision more than this song. This has nothing to do with Eurovision itself it had to do with the the choice of song. Yes it is nice to see First Nation represented but not some reason it didn’t come across at all how it should in the song/performance. The staging sorry was bad

  9. That was not a good performance. I was at a Eurovision event at a pub and when Australia came on everyone was cheering, excited for the song. But as it went on you could hear the gasps, in certain sections and it just totally went silent. If we get invited back next year – which I honestly don’t think we will – Australia, not executives of a company should decide who to send. It was an interesting concept that just didn’t pan out. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed Sweden’s entry though. So they might end up back to back winners.

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