Ryan O Shaughnessy Eurovision 2018 Ireland

He defied the pre-contest odds and took Ireland back to the grand final for the first time since 2013 with his atmospheric ballad “Together”.

And now Ryan O’Shaughnessy has joked that Ireland’s state broadcaster RTE were relieved he didn’t win it all.

“It was great, it was super,” he told The Herald. “I don’t think you can prepare for the bubble you find yourself in when you’re there.”

“We went from 250/1 to 7/1 with the bookies, so we had a bit of success when it comes to that kind of thing — we got through the semi-finals.”

“I think everyone was happy, and RTE were happy we didn’t win it so we don’t have to host it next year!”

Ireland’s gay dancer controversy

European voters and jury members responded well to Ryan’s on-stage performance.

At the start he stood centre stage next to a piano. As the camera panned around a woman on the piano came into focus — clarifying the “Together” singer’s love interest. We soon saw the two male dancers from his music video holding hands on a ramp. They later re-emerged, suggesting the universality of love across boundaries, including gender.

The staging was simple and pure — and it worked with the tonality of the song. Nodding to Salvador Sobral, there were no fireworks here. But there was lovely blue lighting, Ryan strumming on his guitar, an old-school street light and a park bench.

The same-sex romance proved a bit much for China’s Hunan TV, who censored the performance…and subsequently lost their right to broadcast Eurovision. Oops.

During the Semi-Final 1 qualifiers’ press conference, Ryan made the message of his song explicit.

“My intention from the start was to help people who don’t see that love is just love and there’s no difference if it’s between a man and a woman or a woman and a woman or a man and a man and I think it’s really important.”

“Not everyone is as liberal as the people in this room are. It’s an important thing I think. I’m really proud of my country for making that change a couple of years ago. We’re bringing new energy back to that topic and I’m really happy about that.”

Do you think Ireland can finally win Eurovision again in the years ahead? Where did Ryan rank in your Top 43? And did your opinions change from before the contest? Let us know down below!

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25 Comments on "Just kidding! Ireland’s Ryan O’Shaughnessy says RTE “were happy we didn’t win”"

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Nick
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I LOVE U 🙂

Dave
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Everyone was glad that Ireland progressed to the final instead of terrible (yet hyped) entries from Belgium, Greece, etc. I don’t normally listen to ballads but I absolutely loved Ryan’s song and performance. It was every thing that audience wanted to hear and see that night.

Mohrant
Guest

Lel, Ireland was never going to come close to winning. The bookies just got a bit overexcited before the final since they final sent an entry that was actually able to crack the final.

The sixteenth place is a big success for them though so congratulations to Ireland for that. I think their staging helped to push them through as they managed to qualifier over several entries with better songs, but bad staging (Belgium, Macedonia and Greece to name a few).

Jo.
Guest

The bookies were trying to find another Portugal 2017, they thought it was Lithuania. After the Grand Final’s running order announcement, they went for Ireland, since Ieva was placed 4th, and Ryan 24th.

Kowy
Guest

Ieva placed 4th with who?

AngieP
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Ireland was the country I was the most shocked when they qualified! But being in the final since 2013 and being 16 or 17th sth like that is a success when we speak about Ireland.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Considering no one expected Ireland to qualify, he can be proud.

Peter M
Guest

Ireland’s song was really beautiful and connected with the people at home. It finished 6th in semi-final 1, so it didn’t exactly scrape through to the final. The song fully deserved to qualify with or without the dancers.

ladygaygaybloggs
Guest

let’s be honest they wouldn’t have qualified if they didn’t exploit the ‘gay’ theme
it’s a boring 80s irish ballad pls

James
Guest

The last time they qualified, the performer’s name was named Ryan, his song was also about love, and one of his dancers was also featured in this year’s entry.

🙂

Jonathan (UK)
Guest

And they also needed the Chinese censorship controversy (that in fact was all about the Albanian rockstar – not the Irish poofs) just to qualify and to barely end up 16th in the Grand Final. Ireland should thank Albania for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, else they’d be holding hands with Iceland right after the first semi-final!

Zheng
Guest

That’s true. Albania’s performance was banned – not censored – while the Irish one was just blurred out for 3 seconds during the hand-holding scene. China has had Eugene Bushpepa blacklisted since 2007 when Deep Purple used his live footage at their concerts in Hong Kong and Taiwan and which inspired many of their youngsters to oppose China. However, the Irish entry benefited from this case that in fact wasn’t theirs. They got all the publicity and stuff (and they seem to be proud of it), while the Albanian one did not even comment on this matter.

Zheng
Guest
By the way, there are many Chinese singers that are openly gay and no one censors them, so that edit was just a policy of Mango TV – not China! The Irish delegation was quick to take a full advantage of this opportunity for self-promotion and Europe approved it in order to cast a shadow over China. Well, although false, it worked well for them. Meanwhile, Albania’s ban from TV was state-imposed in order to prevent Bushpepa’s popularity in China as compared to Hong Kong and Taiwan where he became well-known in 2007. It had nothing to do with his… Read more »
Peter M
Guest

Well, the media were the ones who kept asking the Irish delegation about it. The reason why there was more controversy about censoring the Irish performance was because it showed how backwards that particular broadcaster’s views on love were.

Ivalo
Guest

Since when China chinese singers can be openly came out? I really find this sentence hard to believe.

Capsfanatic
Guest

MangoTV would’ve been in more trouble if they didn’t ban and sensor the performances. The chinese government is really strict and they might have put into jail the staff who allowed the performances to be shown or they would’ve done something worse.

Peter M
Guest

The whole censorship thing came after Ireland finished 6th in semi-final 1. You say “Barely end up 16th” in the grand final as if it were a bad result or something.

Daniel
Guest

He meant that Ireland needed all that gimmick, props, and publicity, to barely reach a peak of 16. Another entry would have won with all those things that Ireland needed for that bottom out place that they didn’t even deserve. Ireland had no place in the grand final but it happened as it happened.

Paul
Guest

Wasn’t the Chinese censorship only made known after they’d already qualified for the final?!

Zheng
Guest

No.

Zheng
Guest
If you replied to my comment – The EBU does monitor broadcasts from all countries in real-time and they knew what happened with Mango TV right after the Albanian entry was taken off-air but they waited till the last entry (Ireland) performed before they took measures. This prompted EBU to alter the jury points in favour of Ireland (which had already placed 14th with combined voting), but not in Albania’s case because they ranked 3rd with the juries (one point less than Austria in 2nd place) plus televote. Ireland then made headlines due to “LGBT censorship” and benefited BIG TIME… Read more »
Fabio
Guest

How do you know that? Any source or you are just spreading rumours or trying to start one!

Jonas
Guest

What an absolutely bizarre and unfounded conspiracy theory. Facts are indeed facts, and Mango TV’s blatant homophobia is what caused this “controversy”, which had no impact at all on Ireland’s qualification – the voting public were simply not aware of it during the voting window, and the juries had voted on the dress rehearsal the night before…so basically your post is a pure nonsense from start to finish.

Javidan Amiraliyev
Guest

Hunan TV broadcasted the show with 9 hour delay. It means Ireland and Albania had already qualified before Hunan TV could censor the performances.

Zheng
Guest

EBU knew why Mango TV requested this “delay”, but they gave it the ‘official time’ before they took measures. As EBU must have a supervisor in every broadcaster, they were informed in advance about Mango TV bans and edits (that were done in real-time while recording the first semi), so there was plenty of time for EBU to react in Ireland’s favour. The reason why EBU released the news 24 hours later is simply for official administrative purposes and also to hide the fact that it had impact on the Irish entry qualification.