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John O'Driscoll's Eurovision Blog

1 of 1 Ryan was a bit hit at the Bladin's International School
Ryan was a bit hit at the Bladin's International School

So all the runners and riders are now in place. If you want the executive summary from the second Eurovision semi final: a clean sweep for all the Nordic songs, fan favourite San Marino failed to qualify BUT Romania are through! ÖMG (as they say in these parts).

How to describe it? A hellish Hieronymus Bosch tableau, choreographed by Count from Sesame Street and sung with the falsetto delicacy of un-anesthetised surgery. It's probably how Al-Qaeda imagines the West. It'll probably win.

On a sunnier note, the weather has been glorious here in Malmö, proving once again that Eurovision is in fact all unicorns and lollipops. It's been great to see Ryan and co besieged by fans everywhere they go, proving that momentum and support is building for Ireland's song. But that was nothing compared to the reception they received yesterday when they performed in front of pupils at the Bladin’s International School .With forty-five nationalities represented there, it was like a mini Eurovision in itself and afterwards they were mobbed by delighted autograph hunters after they gave a rousing rendition on stage of Only Love Survives. That's at least another 150 votes secured!

Yesterday evening the Irish camp met up with the Swedish entrant (and one of the bookies favourites) Robin Stjernberg. A previous runner up on Swedish Pop Idol, he's no stranger to big singing competitions and thinks Ireland are going to do rather well tomorrow night. And as if the support of Sweden wasn't enough, we also have God on our side. No, not Johnny Logan, but the Parish Priest from Strabane Fr. Declan Boland who has flown over to offer support, spiritual intercession and a plenty of Co. Tyrone cheer. He's even given Ryan a miraculous medal. So in-the-bag!

Speaking of omens the great news is that Ireland has been drawn to perform last in the final, which is about as good as you can get. It guarantees a bigger TV audience and the performance will be fresh in the minds of voters no matter what delirious state they are in. This afternoon the guys are busy preparing for tonight's all important Jury dress rehearsal when half the votes will be allocated. It takes some of the pressure off tomorrow, a bit like having already done your Oral Irish exam.

We'll have more from Malmö on RTE's Six One later, until then there will be updates on twitter @odriscollrte

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