That tally - which was amassed during Australia's first ever public vote on potential Eurovision contenders - combined with a score of 48 from an entertainment industry jury to land her the historic win.
"It's a standout song with mesmerising staging, Kate is a total original and Eurovision will love her".
He further claimed Kate's crowning was "an historic moment". "When I left school, I did The X Factor and I got loads of hate from that, and it really sparked me on to go to schools and tell people my story and inspire them".
Speaking to the BBC about his song choice, which Rice mentioned is dedicated to his late father, he said: 'I believe in this song 100%.
' Thanks to everyone who voted, and to all the other artists who provided such a brilliant, eclectic and stiff competition. "I've had a ball, and I'm so grateful and thrilled that I get to represent Australia at Eurovision in 2019".
In addition to her astonishing vocals, Kate stunned on the stage in an elaborate Frozen-style gown which was complemented by an icicle-style headpiece.
Electric Fields and Sheppard rounded out the top three.
Wearing a spiked tiara reminiscent of an ice queen's crown, Miller-Heidke remained trapped in the 3.3m-tall cake outfit throughout the entire performance, while behind her a woman in a black dress flailed about like a Pole Cat from Mad Max: Fury Road.
This year will be Australia's fifth consecutive year in the contest, which will take place in Tel Aviv in May. "The Queensland Government supported the event through Tourism and Events Queensland and we wish Kate the performance of a lifetime in Tel Aviv". "Kate's performance tonight was quite simply breathtaking and the response from the Australian public has been overwhelming".
Australia has participated four times at Eurovision since 2015, taking second-place in 2016 with Dami Im's song, Sound of Silence.
Tough act to follow!
Eurovision is the world's largest television music competition.