A leather-clad Ryan Dolan gave it all in Sweden last night and was rewarded with a final place in Saturday’s night’s Eurovision.
Surrounded by bare-chested bodhrán players, the 27-year-old from Strabane, Co Tyrone, poured his heart into ‘Only Love Survives’ at the Malmö arena.
Over the course of the semi-final and final, Ryan will sing to an expected television audience of around 100m as, year after year, the Eurovision retains its crown as the most-watched entertainment programme in Europe.
On Monday, Ryan performed in front of expert juries and this performance, which he said “went well”, made up 50% of his final vote last night.
Wearing a medal given to him by his parish priest, Fr Declan Bolan, who has travelled to Malmö along with many members of the Dolan family, Ryan said he was feeling “good” in advance of the final on Saturday.
“Really the whole of Ireland’s got behind me,” said Ryan. “People are saying it’s the best song in a long time.”
This year is the fifth time that the contest has taken place in Sweden and the second that it has been broadcast from Malmö.
On the last such occasion, Ireland’s Linda Martin won the contest with ‘Why Me?’. Linda was in Malmö this week to support Ryan.
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