Australia first competed at Eurovision when Zelmerlow won the trophy in 2015 but a one-off novelty entry quickly turned into a semi-permanent presence and Australia nearly stole the trophy when former X Factor winner Dami Im came in second in 2016.
“I promise you Australia will win within five more years,” Zelmerlow insists.
“You’ve had great songs every year since 2015 and Eurovision is so much about having a good song, as well as a good story behind the artist and a great performance on the night.
“There’s no problem with bias for Australia, either. Everyone likes Australia. It’s a bit the same with Sweden – nobody is angry with Sweden!”
Zelmerlow will sit on a jury on the Gold Coast this Friday and Saturday and – in conjunction with a public vote – will help determine whether established artists such as Vanessa Amorosi, Casey Donovan and iOTA or emerging talent Mitch Tambo, Montaigne, Didirri, Diana Rouvas, Jack Vidgen, Jordan-Ravi and Jaguar Jonze represent Australia at Rotterdam.
“I think Europe might be in the mood for up-tempo,” he suggests.
A household name in Sweden before winning Eurovision with the dance hit Heroes, Zelmerlow brought the house down when he hosted the show the following year with comedian and television presenter Petra Mede.
The 33-year-old is now juggling recording duties with a burgeoning television career in Sweden, as well as in Britain where he lives with his wife, English actress Ciara Janson, and two children.
He would “love” to compete in Eurovision again but would have to be certain he could get through Melodifestivalen, Sweden’s notoriously competitive selection process, and have the “perfect” song and staging.
“It’s been such a great stepping stone and has made so many dreams come true for me, so it’s always great to come back to Eurovision, whether you’re competing or not,” he says. “Who would turn their back on so much fun and an audience of 200 million people?”
Bevan Shields is the Europe correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.