Ireland is in the Eurovision final tonight for the first time in five years and the odds for our entry are improving, even if China’s not our biggest fan!

The Eurovision 2018 final is here, streaming worldwide from Lisbon, Portugal, from 4pm (EST). The Irish have a very, very special relationship with the Eurovision from Dana to Riverdance and even though many of us laugh of the competition or claim that its nothing but political voting these days, you can guarantee that much of the country will be tuning in, firing up on all cylinders to comment about the different entries on Twitter or even hosting Eurovision parties.

Read more: 24 years ago today, Riverdance changed Irish dance forever

For our American readers, let us fill you in on what all the craic is about:

What is the Eurovision?

The Eurovision Song Contest is a musical highlight (or lowlight, depending on your point of view) of the year in Europe, that has had fans glued to their TV screens since it first started in 1956.

Each participating country submits an original song to be performed on live television and radio and then casts votes for the other countries' songs to determine the competition's winning entry.

With just three minutes to impress the rest of the continent, as you can imagine, each act more than pushes the boat out to impress whichever way they can.

Has Ireland ever won the Eurovision?

YES! Ireland is the absolute Eurovision champion having won the song contest more times than any other country. (Are you surprised? We are a very musical lot.)

Here’s a rundown of Ireland’s Eurovision wins:

  • 1970 - "All Kinds of Everything" - Dana
  • 1980 - "What's Another Year" - Johnny Logan
  • 1987 - "Hold Me Now" - Johnny Logan
  • 1992 - "Why Me?" - Linda Martin
  • 1993 - "In Your Eyes" - Niamh Kavanagh
  • 1994 - "Rock 'n' Roll Kids" - Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan
  • 1996 - "The Voice" - Eimear Quinn. 

Who is Ireland’s 2018 Eurovision entry?

Ireland’s 2018 entry is singer Ryan O’Shaughnessy with his entry “Together” written by Mark Caplice, Laura Elizabeth Hughes and O’Shaughnessy himself.

EUROVISION HEART FAILURE

SHARE SHARE: THIS MAN NEARLY HAS A HEART ATTACK WHEN IRELAND GETS THROUGH TO THE EUROVISION FINAL! 😂🇮🇪😂 Video credit: RTÉ's Derek Mooney

Posted by Colm Flynn on Dé Máirt, 8 Bealtaine 2018

He was the first Irish entry to make it through the semi-finals in five years, much to the delight of the Irish population.

Why was China not happy with Ireland’s 2018 Eurovision entry?

Ireland's performance in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest was removed from the broadcast in China because Ryan O'Shaughnessy's backup dancers portray a gay romance. O'Shaughnessy has responded with a #LoveisLove social media campaign.

"Love is Love" @Ryan_Acoustic reacts to the news that the EBU have terminated China's Mango TV from broadcasting #Eurovision. For censoring #Ireland's performance due to LGBT content. pic.twitter.com/gNlvJeFJti

— BBC Eurovision🇬🇧 (@bbceurovision) May 10, 2018

In light of the censorship, Eurovision has terminated its contract with Mango TV in China.

Who is favorite to win the 2018 Eurovision?

Cyprus or Israel are the ones to beat according to Paddy Power, at 5/4 and 10/3 respectively, but Ireland’s odds are certainly improving as the far draws ever closer. (No such thing as bad publicity huh, China? Joking, “Together” deserves to win on its own merit!)

Ireland currently stands at 9/1 and we’re more than happy to play the underdog for the evening.

Amusingly, the UK has not done extremely well in the last few years, even before Brexit threatened to completely alienate them from the rest of Europe and so Paddy Power is currently showing a one in four chance that they’ll finish in 21st place or lower.

Where is the Eurovision held?

The location of the Eurovision changes from year to year. If your country wins, you have the pleasure (and the enormous expense) of hosting the next year.

What is the Riverdance connection with Eurovision?

In 1994, the Eurovision Song Contest introduced a global phenomenon, Riverdance, starring Michael Flatley and Jean Butler to the world.

Ireland was hosting the Eurovision as the reigning champs but who was to know that the interval act was to steal the show and end up still touring as a worldwide hit some 24 years later.  

What do you reckon Ireland's chances are tonight? Do you like the song? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section, below. 

Ireland's 2018 Eurovision entry Ryan O'Shaughnessy. RollingNews.ie