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John O'Driscoll's Eurovision blog

1 of 1 Ryan Dolan
Ryan Dolan

RTÉ News journalist John O’Driscoll will be in Malmo for the coming days to report on Ireland’s Eurovision Song Content adventure this year and has very kindly agreed to send us updates between news reports.

Yes with the inevitability of death, taxes and half naked Ukranians going buck wild with fiddles, the Eurovision is upon us again! We've sailed through the first semi final, so it's been a relaxing couple of days for Ryan Dolan before he takes to the stage for Saturday’s Grand Prix here in Målmo (or Malmeuuugh as we learned it was pronounced by our Jolly Hockeysticks hostess).

I'm here for the next few days, braving the unexpectedly warm sunshine and inevitable ABBA replays (it's like living in Marial Hislop's pineal gland!) to report for television and radio bulletins.

The good news is that Only Love Survives has been going down a storm all week which is great news for the fans and the rest of the team. Cold sweats for RTÉ who've seen the odds shorten on an Irish win.

Then again a quick check on the history books reveals we've a damn good record of sending Northerners to Northern Europe. Dana kicked off Ireland's Eurovision success in Amsterdam in 1970, while Linda Martin proved that big hair and a big ballad were a sure fire recipe to snag those douze points in 1992 when the competition was last held in Målmo.

As someone who's been there and done that, she's in town providing support and spiritual guidance to Ryan all week like a Eurovision version of the Pope Emeritus.

Not to be outdone Ryan yesterday had an audience with the original JLo (Mr Logan himself) where words of wisdom were imparted and he caught up with 1980s’ colossus and UK entrant, Bonnie Tyler who was allowed out in the sun for an hour.

Of course our lurch towards a bit of the aforementioned partial nakedness hasn't done us any harm either. The buff Bodhrán boys, Colm Farrell and Alan McGrath, have been raising temperatures, pulses and god knows what else since their well oiled appearance on Tuesday night. And quite rightly so. We've finally caught up with the whole modern Eurovision spectacle and delivered the right package. So to speak…

While today is officially a rest day for team Ireland, there's plenty of press events and a trip to a school with an Irish connection. Then tonight it’s time to settle down and analyse the remaining competition in the other semi final. Neighbours Norway have a very strong song with the oddly titled I Feed You My Love, while the other lot next door, Finland have channelled Katy Perry with their entry Marry Me (she even kisses a girl). For something a bit more daft there's Greece with their ironically titled (for Scandanavian audiences anyway) Alcohol is Free, while Bulgaria just sounds like a banshee on a spin cycle. Sure where else would you get it?

We've a busy day ahead here in Målmo, with reports to prepare for Morning Ireland and Morning Edition on RTÉ 1. There will also be regular Twitter updates @odriscollrte should the suspense prove too much!

John O'Driscoll

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