Former Westlife boyband member and Leeds United Goal Keeper Nicky Byrne was, somewhat surprisingly, internally selected by Irish broadcaster RTE in a break from its traditional public contest to choose the Irish participant.
This Eurovision powerhouse has been scratching its head of late and, in an effort to rectify some of their recent poor showings, the Irish are hoping a change up in selection tactic will assist them in getting a hand on the glittery prize.
Byrne’s uplifting pop song “Sunlight” is a step in the right direction but he’s facing a year in where the contest is littered with contemporary male soloists and it may not be the winning goal they’re desperately searching for.
Byrne’s profile and popularity should see Ireland back in the Grand Final but he may not trouble the scoreboard too much on the big night.
Watch Nicky Byrne's official video for 'Sunlight':
Four Questions with Nicky Byrne
What are the three most interesting aspects about your entry?
- Sunlight is essentially a love song and its message is one of positivity. The message is clear "Tomorrow is a new day and the sunlight shining on your face at the start of any new day should make you smile be fresh and to begin again"
- When I co-wrote the song I was picturing myself walking up a mountain to reach the summit, breaking through the clouds to see the new morning sunlight.
- I have performed in the Globe Arena with Westlife before and I can't wait to return, it really is one if the best arenas in the world.
What are the three most impressive facts about Nicky Byrne?
- He was in Westlife for 14 years and had 14 UK number 1 hit singles he also also duetted with Mariah Carey and Diana Ross
- He was a goalkeeper with Leeds United Football Club for two years.
- He was also a goalkeeper football for the Republic of Ireland Under 15's, 16's and 18's teams.
Do you have a lucky routine before going on stage?
My lucky routine is always to tap my wedding ring on the plane door before I fly anywhere and to call my Dad's voicemail (he passed away in 2009) just before I go on stage.
Why is the Eurovision Song Contest important to you?
The Eurovision was massive in our household when I was growing up and I have kept up the tradition with my entire family sitting down to watch it together.
I was very fortunate to live through some of the Irish glory years of the 1980's and 1990's when Ireland won so many times.
My aim going to Stockholm is to do my family and my country proud. It would be incredible to qualify for the final and I will do my very best to make that happen.