IRELAND’S Eurovision hopeful Ryan Dolan has received a boost three weeks before the contest – after charting in host country Sweden’s download charts.
The Tyrone native, who was selected to represent Ireland in February, is one of the very few contestants to chart internationally prior to the competition.
Since the weekend Dolan’s song, ‘Only love Survives’, has risen steadily up the Swedish iTunes chart – where it’s peaked at number 26 so far.
The song was featured on a Swedish TV preview show over the weekend, and after receiving rave reviews from the panel it began to steadily rise up the chart.
Dolan and his team head to Malmo next Tuesday, where they will begin rehearsals for their Semi final performance.
Bookies expect the Irish song to qualify comfortably for the final – and believe the song will be in contention for a top 10 placing on the final scoreboard.
Dolan will be hoping the luck of one of his backing singers rubs off again this year – Leanne Moore has sang backing vocals for both of Jedward’s entries, both of which qualified for the final.
Eurovision fans expect Ryan to stand out – he is one of the only male up-tempo pop songs in this year’s competition.
Bookies expect Denmark to be the runaway winner of this year’s contest – however Norway, Ukraine and host nation Sweden are also expected to be in strong contention.
Meanwhile Dolan arrived home to Dublin airport last night, after a pre-contest promotional visit to Moscow over the weekend.
The final stop on his promo tour had him take in three performances in the Russian capital.
He appeared at events ranging from Saturday night at the country's biggest gay club, to a Sunday afternoon charity gala, and from a shopping center appearance, to a meet and greet at the iconic Red Square.
Most of the trip was filmed for a report by MTV Russia.
Ryan and his backing dancers Colm Farrell and Alan McGrath also met up for breakfast with the Irish Ambassador to Russia, Philip McDonagh.
Speaking of Ryan's trip to Moscow, Ambassador McDonagh said: “As a fan of the Eurovision Song Contest and of Ryan Dolan’s, I was delighted to meet the Irish Eurovision team in Moscow.
"Their performances here strengthened Ireland’s profile in the Russian Federation.
"Ryan and his colleagues have created much good will and added to the many links between our two countries in the sphere of music, dance, and song. I wish them every success at Malmo in May.”
This morning Ryan and his dancers headed straight into RTÉ for rehearsals ahead of their performance on the Late Late Show on Friday night.
It will be his last performance before the Irish delegation fly to Malmo in Sweden on Monday, ahead of competing for Ireland in the first Eurovision semi final the following Tuesday, May 14th.