Ryan O Shaughnessy Ireland Eurovision 2018 Together gay music video Russia

Ryan O’ Shaughnessy will represent Ireland at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon with his song “Together”. Ireland’s third ballad in the past four years, it’s an airy, delicate song with a light gospel accent to it.

Irish Broadcasters, RTÉ, chose Ryan O’ Shaughnessy through a remodelled internal selection, which RTÉ hopes will break Ireland’s miserable curse of four straight non-qualifications. Over 300 songs were submitted last September, but Ryan O’ Shaughnessy’s “Together” emerged victorious from the closed-door proceedings.

His music video, which features a same-sex couple dancing and romancing on the streets of Dublin, led to media chatter that Russia might ban his performance. Ireland’s Head of Delegation has since confirmed to us that this hoopla was unfounded and based on nothing more than rumours.

As the competition draws near, we’ve compiled 10 facts you need to know about Ryan. Déanaimis é seo — let’s do this!

1. HE’S AN ACCOMPLISHED ACTOR

Ryan started his career in the industry in the mid naughties – he played Mark Halpin in Ireland’s biggest soap opera Fair City. He featured regularly in the show from 2001 to 2009. He also acted in the fictional Irish film Poison Pen in 2014 among others.

2. HE PLACED FIFTH ON BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT

Ryan is most acclaimed for competing in the 2012 edition of Britain’s Got Talent, where he placed fifth. He auditioned with his original song “No Name”, which captured the hearts of many British and Irish viewers, especially judge Simon Cowell. His audition currently has over 46 million views on YouTube. This was the true kick-start to Ryan’s music career.

3. HE DOUBLE DIPPED WITH TALENT SHOWS

Ryan caused a bit of consternation when he competed on The Voice of Ireland at the same time as the filming for Britain’s Got Talent. Contractual obligations raised concerns about the singer’s eligibility to compete in BGT. Thankfully Ryan was pre-maturely eliminated from The Voice in the early rounds of the live shows, thus allowing him to continue his participation in BGT. Every cloud has a silver lining…

4. HE’S THE ONLY NEW ESC 2018 ARTIST TO HIT THE UK TOP 40

Other than this year’s Eurovision returnees, Alexander Rybak (Norway) and Waylon (The Netherlands), Ryan O’ Shaughnessy is the only newly-competing artist who has a UK Top 40 single – his BGT audition song “No Name” reached No. 31 in the UK, while climbing to the No. 3 spot in Ireland.

5. “TOGETHER” HARKS BACK TO IRELAND’S WINNING DAYS

O’ Shaughnessy’s “Together” is a slow-tempo ballad – and, as Ryan told The Irish Times, one reminiscent of Ireland’s golden era of Eurovision wins in the 90s. He has drawn comparisons to the “Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids”, who won the 1994 edition of the contest. That follows Louis Walsh’s approach of ‘going back to basics’ with Brendan Murray’s Eurovision 2017 entry for Ireland.

6. HE CO-WROTE HIS EUROVISION ENTRY

An esteemed songwriter, Ryan had a hand in writing his entry “Together”. He originally submitted the ballad with his vocals on the demo, but couldn’t envisage anyone else performing it – so he committed himself to the song during the selection process. He co-wrote “Together” with Mark Caplice and Laura Elizabeth Hughes.

An esteemed songwriter

7. HE SIGNED WITH SONY UK

Following his successful run on reality TV series, O’ Shaughnessy signed to Sony UK, releasing a self-titled EP with singles such as “Time Stands Still” and “Lost in You”. The EP topped the Irish album charts for three weeks in a row, whilst also hitting the No. 9 spot on the UK Album Charts. Ryan subsequently released a full studio album in 2016 called ‘Back to Square One’.

8. EUROVISION RUNS IN THE FAMILY

Ryan O’ Shaughnessy’s uncle – Gary O’ Shaughnessy – represented Ireland in Eurovision 2001 in Copenhagen. He sung a ballad called “Without Your Love”…which suggests this breed of balladry runs in the family. Let’s hope Ryan will receive a more respectable result in May, as his uncle finished 21st out of 23 countries, only receiving 6 points.

9. HE FEATURED ON IRISH SHOW “THE HIT”

The Dublin-based singer-songwriter featured in a one-time RTÉ music TV show called ‘The Hit’. The premise of the show was that renowned Irish artists listened to amateur songwriters who attempted to bid their own songs to these experienced Irish artists. The song he chose in the TV series — “Who Do You Love?” — peaked at No. 3 in the Irish singles charts.

10. HE’S HAD A US TOUR

Ryan has just completed a two-month tour of the United States. He travelled the breadth of the nation with his guitar performing his acoustic songs and hits in states such as Florida, Virginia and California. He finished the tour just recently, perfectly timed for his preparations for May!

What do you think of Ryan O’ Shaughnessy’s entry, “Together”? Do you think he will qualify in the first semi-final and break Ireland’s streak of non-qualifications? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

READ MORE IRELAND EUROVISION NEWS

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Davy Lenting
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Davy Lenting

This song is great. I hope it will reach the finals. ? Ireland deserves to get a good result. Love from Davy from the Netherlands

Davy Lenting
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Davy Lenting

This song is great. I hope it will reach the finals. ? Ireland deserves to get a good result. Love from Davy from the Netherlands

Amy wright
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Amy wright

Can’t get this song out of my head?
It’s pretty awesome too good for eurovision nonsense

Phil
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Phil

Is there is no live version on the web? I really wanna hear that song in live, b/c we know some countries sounded in the beginning much better….
Please share the link

Ron
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Ron
Stephen Jenkins
Guest
Stephen Jenkins

Pity
Perhaps it needs a few cheers plate smashing and some colourful tablecloths
To help the crowd from the eastern block understand music ? Lol

Stephen Jenkins
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Stephen Jenkins

Idiot

donal
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donal

Definitely a grower and the youtube acoustic version shows the songs potential with his skills as a musician. My sense is a mixed version starting and finishing acoustic would assure qualification and possible top 10 finish!

Letspartyeuroalive
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Letspartyeuroalive

It is memorable for Ryan’s voice alone which live will outshine some of his ‘rated’ competitors. The same sex dancers will add to the appeal of the performance. My confidence in this has grown listen after listen.

MESA
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MESA

Not trying to be petty or mean, because I do the same all the time, and I’m no grammar Nazi, but I had a little laugh at what a difference a hyphen (or rather the lack of one) makes at the beginning of your second sentence. 🙂

eurotrash
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eurotrash

starring in Fair City does not make him an ‘accomplished’ actor. It probably barely counts someone as an actor, unless they’re standing next to a plank. Even then, there might be some contest.

Jonas
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Jonas

Fact No.10 is quite misleading.

He was touring as a featured performer with the Irish dance show “Dublin Irish Dance”, not headlining under his own name. The American ticket-buyers were paying to see a stereotypical Irish dance show, not to hear him do his “hits”. I doubt they even had a clue who he was.

I say this as a matter of clarification, not as a slight.

Lena
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Lena

Love Ireland this year so much ? I still hope he will go to the Grand Final

M_K
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M_K

This must be my biggest grower this year. After a couple of listens, I’ve really fallen in love with this song.

Maybe it’s because of the video, which has a narrative structure, but it sounds like a song that would well fit in a film.

Joe
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Joe

I’m interested in seeing where this goes. While I’m not 100% certain it’ll qualify, its chances are better than Ireland’s have been for years, and he seems more passionate about the gig than their last few competitors. Even if it doesn’t qualify, I can see it coming close, like 11th or 12th in the semi. There are a few songs in semi 1 I really like that I still wouldn’t call safe bets. Macedonia’s song is their best since 2012, Estonia’s best since 2015, and the Czech Republic’s is their best since they started competing, but their track records get… Read more »

keveDsmiles
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keveDsmiles

It is a grower. I like it more with each listen and the singer is very talented. I also think the jury will like this and so think s lot of other countries will relate to this more than some of the other ballads.

Sarahbelle
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Sarahbelle

Lovely song and lovely singer.

Lankah
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Lankah

This is underrated. It is a nice song with a nice melody. It is not the most memorable like the Israel entry but memorable does not mean better. I think a good performance by Ryan will change a few opinions.

Ern
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Ern

He’s generating a lot of buzz, which is good for Ireland.

Generally, Irish entries suffer from bad live performances. I can name a half dozen good songs submitted by Ireland, half of which should have made top 10 that year — but the live performance killed it.

Hopefully, Logan will do better.

Ern
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Ern

Ryan — not Logan

Stephen Jenkins
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Stephen Jenkins

I’d say you’re an expert on nothing
Mickolas

Qwer
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Qwer

If this would be sing by Sam Smith it would be a worldwide hit. So underrated..

Gary2015
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Gary2015

Go acoustic! It will make this sound stabxbout as he has a great voice and presence. It will score high with the juries. The dancers from the video could also be used. If it goes with the version with backing track it will fade into memory.

West
Guest
West

I love his song! I think it’s really underrated though – hopefully he’ll get into the final. Heck, he might as well bring Irelang its 8th victory 🙂

Deven O'Kearney
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Deven O'Kearney

Certainly not going to happen.

The song is pleasant but I can’t see it progressing to the final. Though that opinion could change when I see his rehearsals, but it definitely won’t win.

West
Guest
West

Yeah, you’re probably right – semi-final 1 is though. It’s still a great song and I’m going to vote for it.

Stephen Jenkins
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Stephen Jenkins

Experts everywhere
Laughed last year when this forum get it totally wrong
As usual

Gretta
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Gretta

He is lovely artist and has nice voice…though his song a bit bland, im afraid he will not be in finale

Ron
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Ron

Btw, Ryan premiered his entry in Lisbon this weekend at a fan event, opting for a stripped back acoustic version :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NA_JXtckogg

Xilophone
Guest
Xilophone

Thanks for the Link, I love his song

Tibor
Guest
Tibor

Perhaps he should go with this version, his singing seems strong enough to do this even at the big stage of Eurovision. I actually quite like the song and if it was up to me, it would absolutely qualify for the final.

Ron
Guest
Ron

No, I think the full music version with backing singers will suit him better. The original has a very nice arrangement and production, I wouldn’t be tempted to just go with an acoustic guitar

Pasadena
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Pasadena

I think he won me over with this acoustic version.

Aisling
Guest
Aisling

Wow, he’s amazing live. I can’t wait to see him perform on the stage live in Lisbon. Hon Ryan!