Nicky Byrne’s promotional tour for Eurovision 2016 has taken him to Ukraine and London. But on Sunday night he was back on home soil for a guest spot on the The Voice of Ireland. As viewers waited for their new Voice winner to be crowned, Nicky entertained them with a rousing rendition of “Sunlight”. However, things didn’t go as smoothly as planned.
The performance was beset with sound issues from the off. The opening lines were barely audible, while Nicky was forced to remove one of his earpieces. Nevertheless, he attacked the the song with gusto. And aside from one or two bum notes, he put on a credible show. If we leave the vocals to one side, the appearance also gave us an insight into Ireland’s potential staging for Stockholm.
Nicky Byrne “Sunlight” at The Voice of Ireland Final
The stage-show will be familiar to those who saw his Ukrainian TV slot in February. Once again, it resembles a set at a rock concert. Byrne takes centre-stage, backed by a drummer, a guitarist and a keyboardist — all of whom provide backing vocals. A large LED screen dominates, displaying a multitude of dilating wheels or cogs. The colour scheme is mainly black and red, turning to blue just before the final chorus kicks in.
Choreography is kept to a minimum. There are no additional dancers on stage, while the ex-Westlife star stands behind the microphone for most of the song. As the pace picks up, he pulls out some moves that mimic those seen in his official music video. Byrne is currently riding high in our Eurovision’s Next Top Male Model poll, so wardrobe is all important. He sports a tan jacket, white t-shirt, jeans, boots and some well-manicured stubble — not too shabby.
Ireland have a mixed record when it comes to staging. In 2011, they carried it off with aplomb — with some frenetic LED screens and sparkly costumes helping propel Jedward to the top ten. By contrast, Kasey Smith crashed out of the 2014 semi-final with a stage-show that resembled The Only Way is Essex meets Game of Thrones.
Would the Voice of Ireland staging equal success if replicated in Sweden? Or is it too simple? Would it be forgotten amidst the grand spectacles promised by the likes of Russia and Iceland? Let us know in the comments below.