THERE were celebrations in Malmo tonight's after Ireland’s Ryan Dolan was one of the 10 qualifiers for this year’s Eurovision final.
His song ‘Only Love Survives’ secured enough points to earn him a spot in Saturday’s final.
The 27-year-old Tyrone native revealed his local parish priest Fr Declan Boland flew over to support him in his efforts – however devine intervention wasn’t necessary after he turned in a strong performance on stage last night.
"I’m absolutely thrilled to be through to the final on Saturday night. I have such an amazing team behind me.
"It was nerve wrecking sitting in the Green Room area waiting for the results. When they called Ireland and my name I was so excited and relieved all in one go– it was such a rush. We’re really looking forward to celebrating with all the crew tonight", Ryan said after the show.
Last year’s winner Loreen opened the show with a stunning version of her winning song ‘Euphoria’ performed with students from local schools, who interpreted it in sign language.
Viewers were treated the usual Eurovision spectacle – Ukraine’s singer was carried on stage by a real life giant, while Montenegro’s act performed dressed as astronauts.
Moldova’s singer Aliona Moon had an LED display built into her dress, which also lifted the singer up towards the sky during the song’s climax.
Swedish host Petra Meade went down well with viewers, the comedienne and TV host delivering her dialogue with a healthy dose of irony.
Meanwhile RTE’s Eurovision commentator Marty Whelan was relieved at the result, saying the Semi finals are always a tense night.
"The Semi finals are desperate. We don’t have the joy of the voting at the end, there are just names and you’re going ‘Where are we?’, and you’re waiting for them to tell us who it is."
Now in his fourteenth year commentating on the show, he believes Ireland has firmly got its passion for Eurovision back.
"I think there’s a vibe and a sense that we can do it again. We’d love to win this - we’ve done it before and we can do it again", he said.
Ireland have won the Eurovision seven times, including three times in a row between 1992 and 1994.
Ryan and the rest of the Irish team now have a well deserved two days rest, before dress rehearsals for the final begin on Friday afternoon.