Ireland: Ryan O’Shaughnessy – Together (Rehearsals, video and gallery)

A simple yet powerful performance where the vocals were spot on. That we have seen from Ireland at both the first and second rehearsals. Will that be enough to secure Ireland a good result this year? You can also take a look in our gallery.

Ireland is competing in the first semi-final as song number 18. They are represented by Ryan O’Shaughnessy and the song Together, which is written by Ryan himself in collaboration with Mark Caplice and Laura Elizabeth Hughes.

The Israeli Party

Gallery

Dress rehearsal

Second rehearsal

Opinions expressed during our second rehearsal coverage are personal from the mentioned writers.

Josef, Czech Republic (from the press center) – Ryan brings calm song after wilder piece from Switzerland. As the song is about love, he is there with a pianist and backing singer at the same time as well as the gay dancers from the official video. They also come with the false snow at the end, which is quite cool. Even though I like the song a lot, I am afraid, that Ireland will again struggle to qualify. Not because the song wouldn’t be good enough, but just because of the unlucky semifinal draw. I suppose that Ireland’s chances would be much higher if they would be in the second semifinal.

Michael, UK (from the arena) – From a country full of wonderful entries, this could be one of their best ever. The melody and lyrics are so memorable. This would be a great Christmas number one hit if they added sleigh bells to it. Maybe Ryan doesn’t have as strong a voice as Sevak but he can reach higher notes. A travesty if this doesn’t make the final.

First Rehearsal

The song starts with Ryan all in black, at the front of the stage playing his white acoustic guitar. A  solitary lamp post is shining behind him and we get through the first chorus. At the second verse, Ryan looks over and a female pianist is accompanying him.  Two background female singers can also be seen. Then over a bridge from behind, Ryan’s dancers appear after yet another night out. Spotting the beam/bench centre stage ready for them, they dance in the quiet glow of the evening. Fortunately they are wearing warm coats as it starts to snow. Could be any month in Ireland, true, but we will assume it’s winter time.

The whole performance though ends looking like a nice Christmas postcard or a Holiday movie to warm the season. That then begs the question why Ryan’s dancers aren’t staying home to catch up on the Christmas movies on TV. Talking of warm, Ryan’s vocals were excellent, reaching all the high notes needed in the song. Comforting like a hot pot of Irish tea, can we dare dream that this will return the Emerald Isle to the final.

How Ryan O’Shaughnessy was selected

At the end of January, Irish broadcaster RTÉ announced Ryan O’Shaughnessy as their participant for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. He had been internally selected to represent the record holding country. Fans curious to hear what the singer, known from talent shows such as Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice of Ireland, however had to wait until March to hear the song.

Ryan will follow in the footsteps of his uncle Gary O’Shaughnessy, who represented Ireland back at the 2001 contest.

Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest

Flying hall, falling deep. That could be the title telling Ireland’s Eurovision story. The country holds the record as most winning country with seven victories, three of them in a row from 1992 to 1994.

Legendary Johnny Logan has won for Ireland three times. Twice performing himself; in 1980 with What’s Another Year? and again in 1987 with the stunning Hold Me Now. In 1992, he wrote Linda Martin’s victory entry Why Me?.

In recent years however, Ireland has struggled at the contest. Since the last Irish win in 1996, Sweden has won three times. They are now only one victory away from matching Ireland’s record.

Prior to the 2018 contest, the last time Ireland reached the final was back in 2013 when Ryan Dolan represented the country with the song Only Love Survives.

Liked what you've read? Subscribe to our Eurovision news!

Read more in the news archive