Watching the Eurovision Song Contest is like the World Cup, so much better when you have a team in it

Michael Daly


Michael Daly


Watching the Eurovision Song Contest is like the World Cup, so much better when you have a team in it

Eurovision singer Ryan O’Shaughnessy, who finished 16th in the Song Contest, has declared that he "couldn’t be prouder to be Irish" after the support he received from fans, friends and family in Ireland.

Watching him perform last night you'd have to say we couldn't be prouder of him too but it really is difficult to know what audiences will go for - it's a very different sort of 'All Kinds of Everything' music world now.

Israel won with pop star Netta Barzilai’s quirky entry Toy. Accepting her prize in the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Netta told the Eurovision hosts: “I’m so happy, thanks for choosing difference, thank you for celebrating diversity.”

Fans and many of the presenters for various countries giving their votes were taken by the “chicken dance” moves of the choreography.  It would appear the birdie song lives on.

Speaking after Israel was declared the winner O’Shaughnessy said: "Tonight felt amazing. I felt like I had everyone in Ireland behind me. It was really special for the whole team.

As always the brilliant and wonderfully caustic comments from Marty Whelan was a highlight and we're told Graham Norton was in rare form too, but we stuck with RTÉ.

And there was no expense spared by the hosts for this, the 63rd Eurovision Song Contest. Apart from all the production costs, they gave us not one or two but four hosts - what will Israel do next year?

For the record Ireland received a total 136 points – 62 from the public and 74 from the jury vote. Israel were awarded a huge 529 points (317 public, 212 jury) while Cyprus, who came in second, received 436 (253 public, 183 jury).

It was a bit like the World Cup, so much more fun when you have a team playing. The public voting section brings some real drama back into it and you have to love the way geography still plays a huge part in determining where some countries give their 12 points.

So, to next year and Israel hosting it with eight presenters . . . (at least).