LIMERICK’s Leanne Moore will fly out to Azerbaijan this Saturday to take part in her second consecutive Eurovision Song Contest with pop stars Jedward.
The singer and journalist, currently a columnist with The Sunday Times, was the only backing singer invited back from last year’s eighth place finish in Düsseldorf, Ireland’s best in the competition for several years.
Leanne, a You’re A Star winner in 2008, said she was “honoured” to be invited back to perform with the duo, who will perform Waterline at this year’s contest in Baku.
“Linda Martin called me and asked if I would do it again and I was absolutely delighted,” explained Leanne this Wednesday from RTE, where she was busily rehearsing for a performance with the duo on Friday’s Late Late show.
“The only thing was that it is so far away and I am such a home bird – but I would never ever have said no! The first thing I did was take a map and look where it was – geography was never my forte – but it is really exciting,” she added.
Jedward nearly created a Eurovision upset at the contest last year having qualified from the second semi-final, bucking the trend of previous years that saw Ireland’s once glorious Eurovision record crumble.
This year the Irish entry will be in the second semi-final.
“We arrive on Saturday but our first rehearsal in the arena that they have built is on Monday,” explained Leanne.
“It is a little bit different because we are in the first semi-final, and we are performing last, but that it good because you are fresh in people’s minds.”
Leanne believes the song has got a “really good melody to it” and believes that Jedward will be better equipped to deal with the pressure of representing Ireland in the contest – watched regularly by 200 million people across Europe – given last year’s experience.
“I think it is a more mature sound for Jedward, which is good because they are a bit older,” she explained.
“I really do think they can improve on last year, they have put in so much ground work over the last year and have been all over Europe touring and have fans all over Europe that are getting behind them.
“I will be surprised if they don’t improve on last year.”