Sheldon Riley said performing in the Eurovision Grand Final over the weekend was everything he’s ever wanted.
Riley placed 15th out of 25 contenders as the competition was taken out by Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine with their song “Stefania”.
In Australia, the live grand final went to air in the early hours of Sunday morning on SBS. According to the overnight figures, 196,000 viewers across the five metro markets of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth tuned in live. A further 204,000 tuned in for the prime-time repeat.
Riley was full of positivity after his performance of his song “Not the Same”.
“This has been the most incredible experience of my entire life. It’s all I ever wanted,” he said in a statement via broadcaster SBS.
“I got to meet everyone that I’ve watched for years and years. I got to meet Conchita today, which was amazing.
“I was told for such a long time that this was never going to be possible, so I didn’t care where I placed, as long as I got here and that I got to the Grand Final. My performance was received so well by the room and it means the absolute world.
“This is everything I could have dreamed of. Eurovision is more than a competition. I don’t think there are many people in the world that have been told so strongly that weren’t able to achieve something and actually went on to do it. I couldn’t be more proud of myself. Coming from a country that didn’t get to qualify through to the Grand Final last year, I’ve been able to travel to so many countries through this experience, and fulfilled my Eurovision dream – not many people get to say that.
“I’m also, very very happy Ukraine won.”