This year 43 countries will be present at this years Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Lisbon in May. With around two weeks to go until all of Europe descends on Portugal's capital. Eurovoxx will introduce you to each country that will be participating.
Who is Ryan?
Ryan O'Shaughnessy is a 25 year old singer-songwritter from Skerries, Dublin. Alongside singing, he also plays the guitar, piano and saxaphone and has dabbled in acting, having starred in Irish soap opera Fair City from 2001-2010.
In 2012, Ryan auditioned for The Voice of Ireland and subsequently joined Team Brian Kennedy (Ireland 2006), who eventually put him through to the live shows.
During his time on The Voice, he also auditioned for Britain's Got Talent with his self-composed song, "No Name", getting a yes from all of the judges. He eventually made it to the final where he finished in 5th place.
He has since signed to Sony Music, where he released his debut mini-album "Ryan O'Shaughnessy" in 2012, followed by his debut album "Back To Square One" in 2016.
FUN FACT: Ryan's Uncle, Gary O'Shaughnessy sang for Ireland in Eurovision 2001 with his song "Without Your Love", finishing in 21st place with only 6 points.
Listen to Ryan's Eurovision song below:
How was Ryan chosen?
In August 2017, Irish Broadcaster RTÉ invited singers and songwriters to submit potential Eurovision songs to them, with over 300 songs being submitted.
There was a panel of music industry professionals who listened to and judged all of the songs, with "Together" winning the ticket to Eurovision.
Ryan officially released his song and the accompanying music video in March 2018.
Check out our reaction video to Ryan's song, Together:
Ireland at Eurovision
1965 was the first year that Ireland participated at the Eurovision song contest. Since then the small island nation has certainly packed a punch when it comes to the contest. They have participated on 51 occasions, and are known as one of the most successful countries at Eurovision, having won the crown on seven occasions. Dana brought them their first ever win in 1970, with, "All Kinds Of Everything". They had to wait a further ten years before their next win. 1980 was the year that Johnny Logan was introduced to the contest. He won with his song, "What's Another Year". He then became the only person to win the competition twice, when in 1984 he won with the song, "Hold Me Now".
His influence on the competition did not end there, as he was the song writer for Linda Martin's winning Eurovision entry, "Why Me?" in 1992. This was to be the start of the most successful decade that the emerald isle had. They were to win a further three times. 1993 Niamh Kavanagh won with "In Your Eye's" to be followed next year in 1994 where Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan won with, "Rock 'N' Roll Kids". Their final victory was to come two years later when Eimear Quinn won with her song, "The Voice" in 1996.
Since then Ireland have faired less well. Since 2000 they have made the top 10 on only three occasions. They have also come last on two occasions in 2007 and 2013. Since the introduction of the semi finals the country has only qualified seven times. Regardless of their recent performance, the late Terry Wogan always said, "You can never rule out Ireland".
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