Saturday 19 October 2019

Keep going even when the chips are down

Marty Whelan

IT was hard to watch as Ireland failed to pick up votes, but I'd no choice but to keep going with my commentary.

I've been involved in the Eurovision for a long, long time and it's still as fun as ever.

But it was a real shame to see Ryan and the guys coming up so short.

To be honest, I was taken aback because I genuinely thought that we'd crossed the barriers. I was expecting to see Ireland in the top five.

The boxes were ticked and even the other commentators came up to me afterwards to express their shock.

But that's just the way things go and it was unfortunate.

For me personally, broadcasting from the Eurovision is a hard slog, although an exciting one.

There's an awful lot that goes on behind the scenes and I know it sounds obvious, but even a snippet about each act takes time to gather.

Once I began to see that Ireland just weren't registering on the scoreboard, I had to put it out of my mind and focus on giving the audience a pleasant viewer experience.

You're obviously sad for the Irish team because you know them and you're there with them, but you still have to march on – the fact remains that you're in that studio to commentate.

When you're involved in the Eurovision in any capacity, you get so used to hearing all the different entry songs that they become stuck in your brain.

With any luck, I'll stop singing most of them by the end of next year.

Irish Independent

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