Wednesday 23 October 2019

Disaster strikes for Ireland's Eurovision entry with gum infection ahead of second rehearsal

Ireland 2019 first Eurovision rehearsal — Photo by: Andres Putting
Ireland 2019 first Eurovision rehearsal — Photo by: Andres Putting
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Disaster has struck for Ireland's Eurovision entry Sarah McTernan after she was laid low with a gum infection.

The 25-year-old Clare native was forced to stay in bed in her hotel room after becoming ill over the past few days, requiring treatment in the Eurovision medical centre.

"The last couple of days I've been feeling really headachy," she said.

"My wisdom teeth needed to come out anyway but they kind of flare up every now and again, but yesterday they got really bad and it was all down my neck.

"My neck felt really tight and my head was all fuzzy and I had a temperature and stuff.

"I just went to the medical centre and they said I had gingivitis so my two wisdom teeth are inflamed and underneath the gums are infected but it's gone down all my throat.

"I had to go in again because I just didn't feel right so they sorted me out."

She had to go to bed on Thursday night at 6pm and said she slept for a full 12 hours as she felt so poorly, but she is crossing her fingers her bout of illness won't affect her performance next week.

Sarah will take to the stage in Tel Aviv on Thursday to perform her song 22 to a potential audience of more than one billion people.

And even though she has been given the unlucky number two position in the running order, she said she's feeling much more confident about her performance.

She will perform on a moving stage set up to look like an American-style diner alongside two female dancers, Adele Dempsey and Rihanna Binns, as she does her best for her country.

Sarah said she had some issues with the rotating stools that they're using as part of their performance but it appears to be sorted now.

She is also conquering her nerves as she gets more accustomed to performing on the sprawling stage. "The first day, we didn't know what to expect and had problems with the props and stuff," she said.

"But I think we all eased into it and I was way more comfortable.

"I actually enjoyed the performance, I actually had fun. I was way more calm and grounded.

"It was really good and I'm really happy with it.

"Obviously there's always room for improvement but I just feel really happy because of how happy I was and how comfortable I felt."

When it comes to her fellow rivals, she has tipped Australia, Iceland and Denmark to do well as 18 acts compete for a place in the grand final on Saturday, May 18.

Read more: 'I feel like it's a good omen!' - Sarah McTernan on singing '22' as the second act in the second Eurovision semi-final

‘It’s not a contest for beginners’ – Linda Martin says we need ready-made star singing ballad to compete at Eurovision 

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