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After two years of Jedward the terrible twosome have hung up their sneakers and sent their warm-up act to fill in for them. Actually, whilst your man Ryan has indeed opened for them that description alone does him an unfair disservice, for this is very good indeed. Ireland is of course the clear leader in the Eurovision medal table, with a total of seven victories, three of which Johnny Logan had a hand in, with the others coming from a couple of old codgers who won it by accident, a bit of diddly-dlddly at the height of the Celtic Tiger’s roar, a homophobic MEP and a woman who used to work in a bank. Will Ryan make it eight? He might. The Irish selection had a great little line up this year, but once again the choice to hold it in the corner of the Late Late Show’s studio bedevilled most of the acts’ opportunity. They really have to sort this out, it’s shockingly bad. Ryan though shone through with his up-tempo dance song and its message of love. It’s a message that walks a fine line to avoid plunging into a full counter of Irish cheddar, especially with its motif in the video of happy people the world over (mainly ex-pats, one presumes) making the shape of a heart out of their hands to hammer the theme home. But it’s not cheesy at all, it’s actually rather endearing. The song has just enough uplift to create a great atmosphere in the big hall and I can envisage a frenzied light show as it reaches its crescendo, which is going to have us all shrieking like wild banshees as we thrust our arms in the air and revel in the beats. This is in with a hell of a chance. And you know what? It’s been too long since I was last in Dublin, I’d feckin’ love to go back for my first Eurovision there.
My score: douze points!