Leanne Moore's Eurovision Diary9th May 13 | Entertainment News
EUROVISION 2013.... THE JOURNEY SO FAR.
This week saw Strabane man Ryan Dolan and "Team Ireland" jet off to Malmo to begin the 2013 Eurovision campaign. As one of Ryan's backing singers I am living the Eurovision experience for the third time having previously performed alongside Jedward in Dusseldorf in 2012 and last year in Azerbaijan. Preparations are now in full swing here in Malmo and with five days to go to Tuesday's semi-final we are all enjoying the Swedish Eurovision madness.
Team Ireland left Dublin airport on Monday to fly into Copenhagen where we met our guides for our time at Eurovision Linn and Anna. From there we made the 20 minute journey from Denmark across the Oresund Bridge into Sweden. After a day of preparations and travelling, it was straight to the local Irish bar - Fagan's - for a bit of grub before opting for an early night at our hotel in Malmo.
Tuesday brought our first rehearsal at Malmo Arena, the venue for next weeks live shows. The whole day is done to a strict time format which involves arrival and a security check-in (much the same as airport security), a sound check with engineers to sort levels of the in-ear pieces we'll wear on stage, hair and makeup consultations for the big night and of course the on-stage rehearsal itself. The venue was incredible and for the first time at Eurovison, a section of the 11,000 strong crowd will be standing which will give the night next Tuesday (14th) an added burst of energy. It was also a chance for Eurovision fans to see our on-stage outfits which were the result of a collaboration by stylist Joanne Costello and Turkish designer Umit Kutluk. Ryan is kitted out in a dark grey/silver leather suit whilst the other boys go topless sporting body paint. The girls get to wear black leather boob-tube dresses with a
draping sheer fabric and crystal encrusted shoes. Ryan and the team which includes Alison Vard Miller and myself on backing vocals, dancers Alan McGrath and Colm Farrell and drummer Nick Bailey, will be performing 13th of 16 acts in Tuesday's semi-final. A good place to be. Our mentor Stuart O'Connor was happy with how the first rehearsal went. There are some little changes to be made and they'll all be done over the coming days but overall it was a thumbs up and a little sigh of relief!
When the work was done it was onto Euroclub for a series of press interviews. All the international press gather for a conference and then have the opportunity to speak to Ryan and the team individually. We all took part in a live web chat and a had interviews with media from as far afield as the US and Australia who were all in Malmo for the contest.
Yesterday (Thursday) brought plenty of craic with the Irish Delegation party. Basically each country has the opportunity to throw a party and invite representatives and press from the other countries to come along. Failte Ireland hosted the bash at Fagan's putting on a spread of nibbles and Irish coffee's complete with Irish dancers and musicians from Taylor's Irish Night in Dublin. Ryan was on the dance floor putting his Irish dance skills to the test and he didn't fare too badly!
Tomorrow sees us back at Malmo Arena for the second day of rehearsals. There'll be a little more pressure with the big day edging closer but we're more than ready for the challenge.