Yesterday, Jessica Mauboy sang ‘We Got Love’ at the International Eurovision Song Contest. She placed 20th out of 26 countries in the final, which if you ask us, is pretty great for a country that isn’t even in the European Union.
Performing as a one-woman show, Mauboy sang and danced through all her high notes, and captivated the 11,000-strong live audience.
However, British Eurovision historian John Kennedy O’Connor had a very different opinion. Speaking to Hamish Macdonald on ABC’s RN Breakfast program on Monday, O’Connor called her performance “terrible”.
“I’m sorry. I thought, actually, she’d escaped from Wentworth and been let on stage,” he began.
“It was dreadful… She was describing herself in the media as Australia’s Beyonce. Clearly she’s never seen Beyonce.”
Slightly mean, offensive, and baseless, no?
Watch Jessica Mauboy’s Eurovision performance here:
UK-born John Kennedy O’Connor dubs himself a Eurovision specialist. In 2005, he published his book The Eurovision Song Contest – The Official History followed by The Eurovision Song Contest: The Official Celebration in 2015. Despite this, he has never actually performed at Eurovision himself, nor does he have any experience singing or dancing. For the most part, he’s just a guy that’s made a career – albeit a very successful one – out of loving, hating and commenting on Eurovision.
Does this give him the right to blatantly, and rather uncritically, shame another country’s performance? To a degree, yes.
But firstly let’s highlight an inaccuracy.
For one thing – Kennedy O’Connor said that Mauboy has described herself as Australia’s Beyonce; this isn’t actually true. She did, however, support Beyonce during her Australia tour in September of 2009, with The Daily Telegraph reporting that Queen Bey was very impressed with the then-21-one-year-old.
One man’s opinion aside, the majority of social media loved Mauboy’s performance, with Keith Urban tweeting:
.@JESSICAMAUBOY – YOU ROCK GIRL!!!!!!!! – KU
— Keith Urban (@KeithUrban) May 10, 2018