Leanne Moore’s dream Eurovision-run continues

Alan Owens


Alan Owens

Ireland, featuring Leanne and Ryan Dolan (centre), celebrated semi-final success this week. Seen here on the red carpet are: Colm Farrell, Alison Vard Miller, Ryan Dolan, Leanne Moore, Alan McGrath, Nicky Bailey. Picture: Lisa Wikstrand
DUSSELDORF, Baku and now Malmö - Limerick’s Leanne Moore is seeing the world through a Eurovision prism.

DUSSELDORF, Baku and now Malmö - Limerick’s Leanne Moore is seeing the world through a Eurovision prism.

The singer is appearing at her third successive Eurovision Song Contest this week as part of Ireland’s entry Only Love Survives, which has made it through to Saturday’s final in Sweden.

The Irish delegation, led by Strabane man Ryan Dolan, performed close to the end of Tuesday’s semi-final and spurred on by an enthusiastic crowd and a horde of semi-naked bodhran-dancers, they stormed into the final.

There was little time for rest for Leanne, who was invited to perform with Dolan by choreographer Stuart O’Connor - who devised Jedward’s performance of Waterline at last years’ Eurovision of which the Corbally lass was a backing singer in Baku, and also in Dusseldorf in 2011.

“I’m absolutely shattered. It wasn’t too late a night, but we were back in for rehearsals this morning,” said Leanne, speaking to the Limerick Leader this Wednesday morning from her hotel room in Malmö.

The former You’re A Star winner said there was “huge excitement” and also relief at Tuesday’s result.

“It is half the battle because there is a thing about qualifying, so a big sigh of relief was the immediate reaction,” she said.

“Last year and the year before people were saying ‘oh you will get through’ and this year was no different, everybody was saying it but you just don’t know what to believe or think and the tension is really high.”

Leanne, who has been working for TV3’s Expose in recent months, described Only Love Survives as “a modern song with an Irish vibe that will appeal to audiences across Europe” and it certainly seems to have done that, helped in part no doubt by the glamorous backing singers and aforementioned male bodhran players.

“We are definitely going to leave the guys topless, which is causing a bit of a stir, and there will be lots more body paint,” she laughed of Saturday’s final, which will be watched by hundreds of millions of Eurovision fans across the continent.

“The song is getting a really good reception, people seem to be genuinely into it,” she explained, adding: “Last year there was a clear favourite, but this year there is no standout song, there is a lot of talk about a lot of songs and Ryan’s is definitely in there, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see it fare well on Saturday.”

Online bookmakers Paddy Power have the Irish song installed at odds of 25/1, ninth favourite, with Denmark currently leading the betting. Leanne has high hopes, but is taking nothing for granted.

“The key is to do a really strong jury vote performance on Friday night and the rest of it will fall into place. There will be pressure on Friday and that vote is very important,” she said.

“Position-wise, I really think the song is going to do well, I have a gut feeling and I think we will come home on Sunday and everybody will be raving about Eurovision again.

“When you get through to the final people want you to go top ten at least but we won’t bank on anything, but definitely I think the song has legs to make it at least that far.”

Leanne is unquestionably a Eurovision expert by now, and says the semi-final experience is a great steadying influence ahead of the final. While she described all three Eurovision appearances as “amazing”, she said that she “loves Malmö”.

This is likely - surely - her last Eurovision experience, and she is cherishing every minute.

“It is just so bonkers and people are tweeting and texting me saying ‘watch out for Leanne Moore, appearing in Eurovision 2042’,” she laughed.

“I think it is very funny though and I have said it before, if they want me to come over and unpack suitcases, carry bags, whatever it is, I will do it, because I am a Eurovision fan and I am just happy to be part of it all.”