The UK may be reverting to the good old public vote to find a Eurovision winner this year but just across the pond Ireland’s ditched that idea and decided to send Westlife’s Nicky Byrne to Stockholm.
The former boy band star turned Strictly Come Dancing contestant is now quite a successful radio DJ on Ireland’s answer to BBC Radio 2, 2fm, but he’ll hang up his headphones for a little while to represent his country at the Eurovision Song Contest in May.
Byrne, who has been reading out Ireland’s Eurovision votes for the past few years, is heading to Sweden with Sunlight, a song he hopes will make it past the semi-finals (on May 10 and 12th) and straight through to the grand finale on 14th May.
“Like many of us, I have grown up watching The Eurovision Song Contest. It always brought great excitement to our house down through the years and I was lucky enough to see Ireland win it on many occasions,” said Byrne.
“I have a great memory as a nine year old, of dancing around our sitting room in a tri-colour sweatshirt when Johnny Logan lifted the trophy in 1987. The Eurovision is a TV show and song contest like no other and for the past three years my Eurovision experience has gotten better and my affiliation grown stronger, as I have proudly delivered the Irish votes live from Dublin. This year I go one step further, and actually walk on that stage to represent my country, I am honoured RTÉ have chosen me and believe in this song like I do.”
Our verdict? It’s a bit of a B-Side to last year’s winner, innit? Either way though, we wish him well.
And hopefully he’ll really embrace the spectacle of the occasion by finding a way to enter the arena that involves flying without wings.