Last night he promised a “big announcement” and today we found out what it was. Ryan O’Shaughnessy will represent Ireland at Eurovision 2018.
After almost 24 hours of speculation, RTÉ confirmed the news shortly after midday. In the official press release, we learn that his song will be called “Together”. It’s a ballad co-written with Mark Caplice, Laura Elizabeth Hughes and Ryan himself.
However, the final version of the track remains in production and will be released at a later date, along with a music video.
The entry was written with the song contest in mind, and was submitted along with 300 other entries during RTÉ’s open call for songs last autumn.
Reacting to the news, Ryan says the song will hark back to “Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids”, Ireland’s Eurovision winning song from 1994. He also echoes the sentiments of Salvador Sobral’s winning speech in Kyiv, promising an “honest piece”.
“As one of three songwriters on Together, I’m delighted it has been chosen to represent Ireland in Eurovision 2018, and on top of that, to be asked to perform for my country is an absolute honour.
I plan on doing Ireland proud by bringing a song and performance to Eurovision that we haven’t seen since the days of ‘Rock and Roll Kids’.
Last year’s winning song from Salvador Sobral was a beautiful, melodic piece, and I think it may have carved the way for the Eurovision to revert back to being a song contest where true songs can flourish. I can’t wait to get onto that stage and perform an honest piece for millions of people.”
Ryan will give his first interview on RTÉ Radio One’s Ray D’arcy Show, shortly after 4 pm Irish time.
WHO IS RYAN O’SHAUGHENESSY?
The former child actor turned pop star is no stranger to singing competitions. He competed in both the Voice Of Ireland and Britain’s Got Talent in 2012, causing a whole load of drama when both shows clashed.
(Un)luckily for him he was eliminated during the first live show of the Voice, enabling him to continue on to the final of BGT. Afterwards he released two singles and an EP which cracked the top ten in both Ireland and the UK.
He also appeared on the Irish version of The Hit in 2013. His most recent album Back To Square One came out in 2016.
If he is destined for Eurovision, he’ll be hoping to do better than his Uncle Gary, who came third from bottom in 2001 with “Without Your Love”.
But first he would need to make it to the grand final. Ireland last reached that milestone in 2013.
If reports are to be believed, Ryan and “Together” were not RTÉ’s first choice for Lisbon. Apparently the preferred option was folk-pop duo Heathers. However, they were unwilling to sing a song written by someone else.
Former Sex Pistols front man John Lydon also made it down to the final shortlist but TV bosses felt his effort was not right for Portugal’s “back to basics” approach to the contest.
What do you think? Is Ryan a good choice for Ireland? Let us know in the comments below.