Nicky Byrne takes to Eurovision stage for first rehearsal - but reviews are mixed
NICKY Byrne took to the Eurovision stage in Stockholm today for the first time ahead of his semi final performance next Thursday.
The former Westlife star will perform his entry 'Sunlight' in front of a TV audience of 200m.
However reviews for the Dubliner's first rehearsal today have been mixed - with some now questioning whether he will even qualify for the final.
One review of the perfomance labelled it as 'hopeless', while another said Nicky's vocals were poor.
However many suggest Byrne was simply holding back on the first rehearsal and using the opportunity to get a feel for the stage and the arena.
Byrne's song is also expected to benefit from being performed in front of a full arena - meaning it's hard to gauge its chances during empty rehearsals.
He said after his rehearsal: "The Globen is one of the best and biggest in the world. Westlife played it many times - we had great memories here - we shot a DVD in 2004.
"It was great to walk back out there - but this time with an even bigger stage, LED floor... you know if you can't enjoy that you're in the wrong game - it's incredible."
If Byrne makes the final it will be the third consecutive year Ireland are knocked out at the semi final stage, which would make our worst run of results in our over 50 years of participation in the contest.
Ireland is under pressure to maintain its legendary Eurovision record this year - a Swedish victory on home soil would see the nation join Ireland with seven victories each.