Sunday 15 September 2019

'Fair City and Got Talent experience can help Ryan in Eurovision glory bid' says head of Irish delegation

Ryan O'Shaughnessy during his first rehearsal for Eurovision in Lisbon
Ryan O'Shaughnessy during his first rehearsal for Eurovision in Lisbon

Sean O'Grady

Ryan O'Shaughnessy is not at all nervous about representing Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest.

After years spent in front of the camera as Mark Halpin on RTE's Fair City and later as a contestant on Britain's Got Talent, the Skerries musician is more than ready to take to the stage in Lisbon.

"Ryan's good, he's unstoppable. He was in Fair City for 10 years and he's a consummate performer," said Michael Kealy, head of the Irish delegation.

"He's not nervous at all - at least he's not displaying any nerves.

Ryan Dolan
Ryan Dolan

"He's a great singer as well, a fantastic singer."

Ireland has had a poor record at Eurovision in recent years, not reaching the final since 2013 with Ryan Dolan, who finished last.

Ryan O'Shaughnessy
Ryan O'Shaughnessy

WATCH: Ryan O'Shaughnessy's first rehearsal for Eurovision - see how Ireland's entry will be staged 

However, Kealy is feeling positive about Ryan's chances of success.

"We're hopeful. I'm always reluctant to predict anything," he told the Herald.

"There's 19 countries in our semi-final and only 10 go through.

"There's a lot of very good acts there and some very good songs, but I think we have a very good chance."

Ryan recently had his first rehearsal of his song, Together, on the Eurovision stage.

He will be joined on stage by backing singers Claire-Ann Varley, Janet Grogan and Remy Ann, along with dancers Kevin O'Dwyer and Alan McGrath, who both featured in the music video.

"You get two rehearsals before the semi-final. It went well, it's a work in progress," Kealy said.

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"We've been sitting down, analysing it and making tweaks. They have 43 countries and they have interval acts and opening acts, it's a huge operation.

"We were in the arena from about 2pm to 8pm. You see the acts immediately before you and right after you.

"You could watch all of them, but we're busy. We have consultations, wardrobe, warm-ups. There's all this stuff going on.

"Ryan has been to a good few of the pre-parties around Europe, so he would have seen a lot of the other acts."

Ryan will be one of 19 acts performing in the first semi-final, next Tuesday.

The final is on Saturday, May 12.


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