Monday 16 September 2019

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

Ireland 2019 first Eurovision rehearsal — Photo by: Andres Putting
Ireland 2019 first Eurovision rehearsal — Photo by: Andres Putting
Ireland first Eurovision rehearsal backstage 2019 — Photo by: Thomas Hanses
Ireland 2019 first Eurovision rehearsal — Photo by: Andres Putting
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Sarah McTernan is set to emerge on the Eurovision stage in a colourful pop art explosion inspired by a 60s diner.

The eye-catching staging of Ireland's song, 22, was revealed during the first rehearsal in Tel Aviv on Monday night.

The Clare singer and her two pink-clad female dancers, Adele Dempsey and Rhianna Binns, will perform on the moving diner stage during the second semi-final at Expo Tel Aviv on Thursday May 16.

Sarah is styled by Catherine Manning of RTE Costume, who worked on the designs with Irish-Turkish couture designer Umit Kutluk and the choreography is by Stuart O'Connor of Spotlight Stage School & Productions, who was previously choreographer for Jedward in Dusseldorf in 2011 and Baku in 2012.

Ireland first Eurovision rehearsal backstage 2019 — Photo by: Thomas Hanses
Ireland first Eurovision rehearsal backstage 2019 — Photo by: Thomas Hanses

Ireland is the second act in the line-up on the night after opener Armenia but Sarah sees the early slot as a lucy sign since her song is called '22' and she's in the second semi-final.

"I wouldn't be superstious, but I am kind of spiritual and I suppose superstition comes into it as well, but I think it's a good omen," she tells Independent.ie.

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

"If you look up the angelic meaning of 22 it's like 'you're fulfilling life's destiny' or something along the lines of that and it actually has a lot of meaning to me.  I'm actually going to get a '22' tattoo!"

Sarah reveals she's happy with how Monday night's rehearsal went aside from a small mishap with a prop.

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

"I was happy that we're finally there on the big stage.  It's so exciting, the graphics are amazing.  I was happy with it and obviously it's going to improve every time we rehearse as well," she says.

"But the prop was a little off as well so that has to be amended.  The dimension of the stools were too close together so I couldn't realy hop on the table and I couldn't do that kind of spin with the slow camera, but we just ploughed through it anyway."

Ireland 2019 first rehearsal — Photo by: Andres Putting
Ireland 2019 first rehearsal — Photo by: Andres Putting

Sarah is also joined by backing singers Ciara O'Connor, who has toured with Dua Lipa, Michael Hopkins, who is a musician and singer with Planet Parade, and Fiona Harte who recently supported Wild Youth in Belfast.

On the night Ireland will contend with stiff competition from favourites Netherlands, Sweden and Russia as just ten of the 18 acts will go through to the Grand Final on Saturday May 18.

Sarah says she has been particularly impressed by the Australian singer, Kate, and the staging of her song.

"She's practically on a pogo stick, goign backward and forward, loving her life!" laughs Sarah, who also reveals she was blown away by Norway's staging as they capture the essence of fire and ice in their performance.

"When I saw it I just got chills," she says.  "They're just so good."

Sarah will be hoping to improve on the achievements of last year's act, Ryan O'Shaughnessy, who managed to make it to the final - Ireland's first final in five years.

He ultimately finished 16th in the competition with the song Together.

Ireland still holds the record for hte most Eurovision Song Contest wins with 7 under our belt.

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