Sunday 16 June 2019

'A lot of western European countries are out' - Nicky Byrne suggests Eurovision exit may be down to political voting

Nicky Byrne performs last night for the juries
Nicky Byrne performs last night for the juries
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Nicky Byrne has spoken of his disappointment following his Eurovision exit in the second semi-final on Thursday night and suggested that political voting may have been a factor.

Speaking to Jenny Greene, his 2fm show co-host, on Friday morning he suggested that there is a divide between western and eastern Europe in terms of voting.

"The likes of Ukraine, Serbia, Latvia, Lithuania, a lot of people telling me this morning they all vote for each other to make sure they're in the final because they're all against Russia,2 he said.

"Whether you can believe all this type of stuff or not I'm not sure but I do know the likes of Ireland, last night Denmark didn't qualify, Ireland, Norway, and the night before Finland, Iceland so a lot of the western European countries are out."

Nicky said that Sweden may well win for a second year in a rowl.

"Maybe Sweden is in with a chance to win it again this year because all the Nordic countries, all the Scandinavian countries, aren't in it now so who do they vote for?  That's if you go on voting for your neighbours."

The former Westlife star said that following his exit from the competition he is "very disappointed and woke up this morning even worse."

However, he added, "Certainly once -and I'm being honest about this - I can stand over the song and the performance on the night and that I'm not kicking myself that I could have done any better, I'm happy enough that I gave it my best shot. 

"For whatever reason it's out of your hands.  You can only do your best and after that it's up to everybody else to vote and put you in the final and it just didn't happen."

Whilst Jenny congratulated him on his new album Sunlight which releases in Ireland today and currently sits at number 9 in the iTunes chart, Nicky is clearly still reeling from the events of last night.

"I love the album. I made the album of my life, I co-wrote it all, there are great fun songs on there, and I'm delighted with it.  If I never make another one, you know, it's one I'm very proud of," he said.

"But I suppose this morning I'm just feeling a little bit rough, even though I only had two beers, the first drinks I've drank in weeks.  I suppose I'm just a bit disappointed. The whole idea was to push us back up there on Saturday night so everybody back home can have their parties and have a laugh and stuff."

As for how Ireland will approach Eurovision next year, he said he will "pass the torch on to somebody else".

However, he believes it's important to send an act with experience.

"It isn't just the performance, it's a couple of weeks of promo and obviously last night it's a big stage, massive audience, and I don't think you can put somebody up there to be absolutely taken to the dogs really, devoured, if they don't have some sort of massive stage experience," he said.

"I think we need a great song, a great singer, a great performer, great staging and somebody who can go out and deliver."

RTE's Eurovision commentator Marty Whelan also spoke to Jenny on the Nicky Byrne Show with Jenny Greene on 2fm and he praised Nicky's performance.

"It isn't about coming up with a formula, there is no formula," he said.  "Somebody was saying to me, 'We need a ballad'.  If I hear that again!  The thing is, we didn't bring a pole dancer.  We didn't have one in time.

"What happens is you do the best you can, you bring a good act and Nicky was brilliant.  He played a blinder on stage."


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