Nicky Byrne returned to London Eurovision Party venue Café de Paris, the nightclub where his former boyband Westlife launched back in 1999. Before the show, wiwibloggs caught up with him and discussed Ireland’s history at Eurovision, his hopes for Stockholm and album plans.

Nicky acknowledged that Ireland’s Eurovision performance in recent years was far removed from their glory years in the 1990s, but he wanted to take Ireland into the grand final. “Recently, in the past 20 years, we’ve fallen off a cliff. All the other countries take it so seriously and we should do that. We should get to try and go back there.”

There’s a lot of pressure for the Westlife star and popular Irish radio host to qualify, but Nicky says if he doesn’t make it, he’ll still be proud of what he’s done. “I’ve got to think positive, and to be honest if that happens, I will walk away and say I did my best.”

Nicky’s Eurovision entry “Sunlight” is also his first solo release and marks the launch of his pop career post-Westlife. He says the opportunity is huge. “I feel I’ve written a great solo album that I want people to hear.”

Nicky Byrne at London Eurovision Party

Nicky Byrne performs “Sunlight” at London Eurovision Party

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Darren
Guest
Darren

In my opinion, Kian Egan was the weakest vocalist of Westlife, Nicky isn’t great if someone from Westlife was to represent Ireland I would have preferred Shane Filan, but best of luck to Nicky though, he isn’t a bad choice.

@Bella, I like Sweden too this year (as usual) they are in my Top 10 but it shouldn’t win, the song just isn’t good enough to win, but France! Amir is my winner, hands down 🙂

Ron
Guest
Ron

@Charles, I agree that Shane and Mark are better singers than Nicky and have more natural talent. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they would be better options than him for Eurovision. I find Mark a bit stiff and awkward as a solo performer. Shane is a lot more confident and natural but I can’t say I’ve been overly enthused by his solo material, it’s all a bit ‘meh’. Tbh, I’m not really sure any of the three would be a better bet than the other two for ESC – I definitely wouldn’t go along with the idea of Byrne being… Read more »

bella
Guest
bella

Charles, Darren I see a quality in Frans song.If I were sorry is catchy, modern and very different from the others.Jai cjerche is also a very good song very good to win, bit of I were sorry and Frans has that Lena feeling.I simply think that he deserves the victory.France also.

Darren
Guest
Darren

@Bella, as @Charles has said, you just want Sweden to win for the sake of it? Just so Ireland loses its record? You seem so clueless. It’s people like you, who have given Eurovision the reputation that it has, with certain countries being favoured (Sweden being one of them) over other countries regardless of song.

Pfft and they say Eurovision isn’t political 😉

Charles
Guest
Charles

@bella: You want Sweden to reach its 7th victory … to knock out Ireland … but based on what? Just because you want it regardless? Or based on musical merits? You see … at least if are here to win Eurovision … hopefully there is some musical quality that justifies it. Do you see that quality in Frans’s song by any chance? Or it’s just the fun of seeing Sweden reaching a 7th victory like a kid being awarded with a candy without having done his homework first?

bella
Guest
bella

I want ireland to lose the record of 7 wins from Sweden.I want Sweden to win again this year.

Deven O'Kearney
Guest
Deven O'Kearney

Ireland hasn’t just fallen off a cliff with Eurovision. But with popular music in general. Radio stations are very reluctant to play indigenous pop music here. They’re too focused on on what meaningless, “cool” crap comes out of the UK, US and Sweden. I think Ireland needs (Junior) Eurovision because it’s merely the only outlet for new and upcoming artists. So we should be taking it a bit more seriously. We need new and more novel ideas if we’re to bounce back to success. Recycling relics from the past is not good enough for Eurovision these days. About the prospect… Read more »

Charles
Guest
Charles

@Ron: I used the word “talent” and not the word “career” … don´t get those 2 mixed. And both Shane and Mark gave it a try because both had the talent for that … Remember the appeal Mark’s Love Is a Drug had among fans here. Now Nicky? Lord … have mercy! If only he had a good voice … all he had was an arrogant personality willing to overshadow the others just to have his opinions heard for no reason. That’s what happens when … one lacks talent. And when one lacks talent … less sure one can make… Read more »

Manu
Guest
Manu

All “old” western european entries (The UK, Ireland, my country Spain, France, Italy…) are those who have suffered the most with this recent expanding of the contest, introducing all the ex-soviet union and balcanic countries into this Eurovision scheme. Ireland and the UK are especially affected by this because they we’re used to win with the old system. It’s harder for you guys to make drastical changes in style and upping your level, knowing that what you always did in the past, was very successful. It’s not easy to get out of a comfort zone. I’m pretty sure Ireland will… Read more »

WTF
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WTF

Seems like even the Irish themselves have realized their song doesn’t belong anywhere near the qualifying spots…

David Who
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David Who

I wish Nicky the best of luck. 🙂
I find the comment of “falling of a cliff” to be quite funny in reference to Ireland, where there are some very famous cliffs!! (Like the Cliffs of Moher – I have been there. Highly recommended. :))

Ron
Guest
Ron

Both Shane and Mark’s solo careers have completely stalled, Charles. No guarantee either of them would be a safer bet than Nicky (and they could be a much worse option with the wrong song).

Österrike
Guest
Österrike

Not only Ireland has fallen off a cliff, whole Western and Central Europe has. The success rate in this huge part of the continent is marginal. The reason is the televoting power from the East and the established Nordic mafia, who have a tight grip on Eurovision.

Charles
Guest
Charles

Poor naive Nicky Byrne …
a) Ireland has to move forward and not go back to its 90s glories which sadly also made Eurovision go downhill in its appeal and popularity …
b) If he has the talent of a Shane Filan or a Mark Feehily I’d take him more seriously … right now he is being himself … filling his ego with security to compensate his lack of true vocal abilities … just like he did during his Westlife day overstepping everybody in interviews talking way to much.

Ireland going to the final? Naahhh don’t think so…

Darren
Guest
Darren

I seriously hope he qualifies, because with Sweden ready to take the title of most wins from Ireland and our continous non-qualification, I fear Ireland could end up withdrawing from future contests, plus his song is good compared to others and he doesn’t deserve as much hate as he gets on sites like this.

Loo
Guest
Loo

@bella

And look how it all turned out for Conchita 😉 Things look GOOD for him! Don’t worry.

bella
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bella

I will keep it up Loo! But I want the rest of Europe to support him and to vote for him.I never saw a contestant except Concita getting so much hate.He does not deserve that.

Loo
Guest
Loo

@bella Woohooo! We’re the only ones here who sees the truth 😉 Keep it up!

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@bella

people were also partying along with Poli’s If love was a crime, and Ira’s Walk On Water

i loved the london party last night 🙂

bella
Guest
bella

Loo is right once again.People sang if I were sorry along with Frans last night.He can win.Je will charm many people like Lena did.Does anyone else believe that Sweden can reach Irelands record this year?

Ron
Guest
Ron

Nicky comes across very well in these interviews. I like his honesty too, admitting that Ireland’s results have been disastrous for the last twenty years and conceding it could all go pear shaped again this year. I think he’ll do okay though, he’s a confident and charismatic performer.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@Loo

for me it’s Malta vs Bulgaria vs Poland vs Croatia this year 🙂

Loo
Guest
Loo

Frans absolutely KILLED it last night in London! You could see that “If I were Sorry” is a hit already. Come on people, bring on the hate! It won’t stop us! Sweden is in it to win this year. The contest is going to be SO exciting this year. Russia vs. France vs. Sweden 😀

EscAddict
Guest
EscAddict

Good luck to Nicky. It would be so good to see Ireland in the final.

Nora
Guest
Nora

For me Ireland deserved to won only in 1987 and 1992 not in 1980 for me better song is from Netherlands, Germany that year, 1993 better song for me is from Switzerland,Netherlands,France ,1994 for me better song had Russia, Germany ,1996 better song had Norway, Sweden,Portugal, Netherlands, and in 1984 when they are on 2 nd place.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

@CookyMonzta

yeah i think you’re right

i’m really looking forward and excited for Malta’s staging, Ira got good live vocals, and this song could have some great staging 🙂

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@Nicky91: Too late for that. It remains to be seen if the ESC public welcomes Ira back after 14 years, but she is still in her prime. I doubt they will do the same for Johnny, after more than 30 years.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

well Ireland has made history with Johnny Logan, a true legend in eurovision history 🙂

still waiting for him to represent Australia 🙂