Australia has flopped in the Eurovision Song Contest, with an exuberant and inspiring performance by Jessica Mauboy rejected by judges and viewers.
She finished in twentieth place out of 26 grand final contenders, with the top honours going to Israel’s quirky #MeToo anthem, “Toy”, performed by Netta Barzilai and featuring chicken dancers and a chorus of clucking.
To add insult to disappointment, Darwin-born Mauboy received the lowest of the scores awarded by viewers – a meagre nine points – despite coming 12th in the jury poll.
Australia finished twentieth overall with 99 points, a country mile behind the winner’s tally of 529 points.
It was the first time in its four years as a competitor that Australia has placed outside the top 10.
Israel was one of the pre-show favourite with punters, and she lived up to expectations by gaining the support of both official judging panels and viewer votes.
Shimmering in the same short purple dress she wore in the semi-final, Mauboy was the 16th performer out of a total 26 countries competing in the grand final.
Barzilai, mostly known as Netta, recorded the fourth win for Israel which has been in the contest since 1973.
Next year’s Eurovision will now head to Israel, where the glitter dusted contest will likely be staged in either Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.
Cyprus’ Beyonce-alike entrant Eleni Foureira came in a close second on a dramatic night that saw the UK performance interrupted by a protester.
The interrupter stormed the stage and wrangled the microphone from singer SuRie, but was dragged while ranting incomprehensibly about “demanding freedom”.
SuRie kept her composure to finish her song, “Storm”, which was written by Brisbane songwriter Nicole Blair, and she declined to perform again, after an invitation by the European Broadcasting Union, stating that she was proud of her first performance.
- The Grand Final will air again on SBS at 7.30pm (AEST)