Thursday 23 February 2017

Nicky Byrne will have stones from dad's grave in his pocket on Eurovision stage tonight

Ireland's Eurovision entry Nicky Byrne is pictured meeting fans near his hotel in Stockholm on the run up to his jury vote rehersal. Nicky is pictured with Freia O'Connor (9) and Aylin Mollazhi (8) whos parents play in the local Stockholm Gaels GAA club.
Ireland's Eurovision entry Nicky Byrne is pictured meeting fans near his hotel in Stockholm on the run up to his jury vote rehersal. Nicky is pictured with Freia O'Connor (9) and Aylin Mollazhi (8) whos parents play in the local Stockholm Gaels GAA club.

Nicky Byrne believes his late father will be proudly watching over him when he makes his Eurovision debut this evening.

The dad-of-three will have stones from Nicky Snr's grave in his pocket when he takes to the stage in Stockholm's Ericsson Globe concert venue, which resembles a giant golf ball.

"The stones will be in my back left pocket. My mic pack will be in my right. I can only imagine what my dad would be thinking now. He was always my biggest fan and a singer himself," said Nicky.

"Hopefully, he will be watching over me. He will be there with me in spirit on the night, that's for sure."

Ireland's Eurovision entry Nicky Byrne is pictured meeting fans Hugo Riddarkolm (7), Lilly Riddarholm and Hugo Mellquist near his hotel in Stockholm on the run up to his jury vote rehersal.
Ireland's Eurovision entry Nicky Byrne is pictured meeting fans Hugo Riddarkolm (7), Lilly Riddarholm and Hugo Mellquist near his hotel in Stockholm on the run up to his jury vote rehersal.

Dubliner Nicky said he is relishing the build-up to tonight's semi-final, but admitted to feeling some nerves about his performance.

"The stage doesn't bother me that much. The arena is fantastic. When I was up there in rehearsals I could stay there all night," he said.

"I suppose the hype surrounding the event and the responsibility of representing your country is overwhelming. If you weren't a bit nervous you just wouldn't be human."

The determined singer said he has given beer a wide berth since arriving in Stockholm as he wants to be in tip-top condition.

"I haven't drank since I got here. Going to parties or doing consistent interviews back-to-back does have an impact on you," he told RTE's Ray D'Arcy show.

He has also been taking advice from former Eurovision winner Johnny Logan, who told him to "take time out for yourself".

Nicky took Johnny's advice to heart when he met some young Eurovision fans and members of GAA club Stockholm Gaels as he enjoyed the growing excitement on the historical streets of the sunny Swedish capital.

Last night saw the jury vote being cast. It counts for 50pc of the total vote ahead of tonight's semi, in which Nicky will sing Sunlight.

Tomorrow will see his new album of the same name being launched as he continues carving out a solo career.

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