Wednesday 29 January 2020

Ryan Dolan hoping Linda Martin’s ‘Malmo magic’ rubs off as Eurovision Semi Final looms

Brian O’Reilly in Malmo

IRELAND’S Ryan Dolan gave a faultless performance for the Eurovision juries last night in Malmo ahead of tonight’s semi final.

The singer (27) has been in Malmo for the last week rehearsing ahead of tonight’s first semi final.

The contest is taking place in Sweden for the fifth time and in Malmo for the second – on the first occasion in 1992 Ireland’s Linda Martin won, with the ’Why Me’ singer in the city this week to support Dolan.

Dolan told the Irish Independent ahead of the jury performance last night: "It’s really important as it gives us half of the overall points. But I'm just looking forward to getting out there and enjoying it.

"To perform it to a full arena audience, there'll be an amazing vibe", he said.

The singer has admitted he was slightly overwhelmed by the scale of the contest when he first arrived.

Ryan Dolan
Ryan Dolan
Ryan Dolan
Ryan Dolan with (left) singers Leanne Moore and (right) Alison Vard Miller

"I never realised how massive the Eurovision is", he said.

"Sitting watching it at home you just see the few nights it's on. But there's a lot more to it when you're over here. A hectic schedule going from place to place and doing different things".

Dolan hopes to make Ireland one of ten countries from sixteen which will qualify tonight for Saturday’s final.

The competition is tough, with many of the bookies favourites taking to the stage against him tonight – Denmark, Ukraine and Russia have all been heavily backed to win.

However there is quiet confidence that Ireland will make it through to the grand final, which is watched by over 120m people.

Some countries have pulled out all the stops ahead of tonight’s show – Ukraine’s singer Zlata Ognevich will be accompanied by a real life giant as she attempts re-create a fairytale on stage.

Meanwhile the Belarussian team were rumoured to have customised thousands of bottles of vodka to give the press covering the contest – however the plan was scrapped after Swedish customs demanded €40,000 to let the alcohol in.

The first semi final of the 2013 Eurovision Song contest takes place tonight at 8pm.

Meanwhile organisers have remained tightliped surrounding the interval act during the grand final on Saturday.

It has been confirmed Abba’s Benny and Bjorn will team with superstar DJ Avicii to producea song for the performance.

However with the opening of the abba mueseum in Stockholm last week rumours continue to abound that the supergroup may make a rare appearence as a four piece at the event.

It is believed that the budget for this year’s compeition will be dratically smalled than in previous years.

Organisers SVT are belived to have spent €15m organising the event – a figure dwarfer by the €35m spent last year in Azerbaijan.

€30m was spent by German organisers in 2011, while the show cost €32m to host in Moscow in 2009.

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