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Saturday 21 September 2019

'It's crazy that countries are still in that frame of mind' - dancer Alan McGrath on China censoring Irish Eurovision performance

Ireland's dancers during the first rehearsal for Eurovision in Lisbon
Ireland's dancers during the first rehearsal for Eurovision in Lisbon
Brian O'Reilly

Brian O'Reilly

One of the two dancers performing in Ireland's Eurovision entry has hit out at a Chinese broadcaster for censoring the performance.

Alan McGrath (25) and Kevin O'Dwyer (24) play lovers on stage during the song, Together, which is sung by Ryan O'Shaughnessy (25). 

China has strict broadcast rules banning any depiction of gay relationships prompting Mango TV to censor Ireland's performance during the first semi-final on Tuesday night.

The EBU (European Broadcasting Union) subsequently announced it had terminated its contract with the Chinese broadcaster after it failed to broadcast Ireland's Eurovision entry.

Speaking to Ryan Tubridy on RTE Radio 1 this morning Alan said he was baffled by the ban.

"I just think it's crazy that countries are still in that frame of mind and people are still in that frame of mind," he said.  "But everyone has their own opinions."

He commended Ryan for trying to spread the message that "love is love".

"We're here for a good time not a long time and everyone deserves the chance to love regardless of what you're into or who you're into. 

"It baffles me as well that some countries and some people are of that frame of mind that somebody doesn't have the right to love somebody else."

Alan said the issue has been the talk of the press conferences in Lisbon and said, "It's also good that Ireland is so ahead of the times when it comes to being out there with the referendum and the whole marriage equality coming into play."

He said he and Kevin became emotional when they heard the roar of support from the audience at the semi-final on Tuesday night.

"We could hear this massive cheer over the headphones and the two of us actually kind of got a bit emotional when we were doing it," he said.  "It was a great feeling.  We weren't expecting it to be honest."

He laughed, "If I played football it would be like scoring a goal".

Alan and Kevin will take to the stage again for the Eurovision final tomorrow night, from 8pm on RTE One.

Last night they told Independent.ie that they had been 'overwhelmed' by the messages they have been receiving from LGBT teens around Europe since their performance on Tuesday.

They were the first ever performing same-sex couple in Eurovision's 63 year history.

Read more: 'We were at that point at one stage' - Europe's closeted LGBT youth inspired by Ireland's Eurovision performance

Eurovision fever mounts: Ireland get excellent running order position for final 

Ireland now 5th favourite to win Eurovision as Ryan backs EBU's China ban 

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