IRELAND – Ryan O’Shaughnessy and the song Together will represent Ireland in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest after final confirmation today by the Irish national broadcaster.
Ryan O’Shaughnessy is an Irish singer-songwriter and former actor from Skerries, Dublin, known for reaching the final of the sixth series of Britain’s Got Talent in May 2012, finishing in fifth place, as well as appearing on the first series of The Voice of Ireland. On 31 January 2018 it was announced that O’Shaughnessy will represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 with the song “Together”.
The Voice of Ireland
O’Shaughnessy entered The Voice of Ireland in 2012. At his audition he sang “The Power of Love”, at which he defaulted to Brian Kennedy’s team. For the battle shows he was put up against Colin Hand. They performed “One” by U2. Kennedy decided to send Ryan through to the live shows.
Britain’s Got Talent
After the battle rounds but before the live shows of The Voice of Ireland, O’Shaughnessy auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent. He performed a self-written song called “No Name”. The inspiration behind the song was a girl he had a crush on. He received three yeses from Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams. The audition aired after his elimination from The Voice of Ireland. At that time, O’Shaughnessy was contracted to record company Universal Records. One week before the live shows of The Voice of Ireland, the Britain’s Got Talent call-backs were held. The judges were going to send O’Shaughnessy through to the live shows, but due to his place on the live shows on The Voice of Ireland and contract with Universal, he was disqualified. It was later announced that O’Shaughnessy would appear in the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent after being released from his contract with Universal. He performed in the last semi-final where he performed another original song entitled “First Kiss”. He received the most votes and was automatically sent through to the final. For the final, he performed “No Name” a second time and placed 5th in the competition, with 4.8% of the vote.
Post Britain’s Got Talent
On 19 May 2012, it was announced O’Shaughnessy had signed a record deal with Sony Music. His first single “No Name” was released on 5 August, and he released his debut mini-album Ryan O’Shaughnessy on 13 August 2012. The mini-album contains six songs which are all penned by O’Shaughnessy himself, which includes the song “First Kiss”, which he performed on Britain’s Got Talent. On 10 August 2012, he performed in his hometown, meeting the fans and signing copies of his mini-album. On 23 August, he performed No Name, his debut single, live on This Morning. On 30 August, he announced details of his first UK headline tour and played 11 dates throughout October 2012. In 2015, O’Shaughnessy released 2 singles from his hidden catalogue; Fingertips and Evergreen. In early 2016, O’Shaughnessy released another single; She won’t wait. O’Shaughnessy is currently working on his debut album, which was projected for release in July 2016.
In July 2013, it was announced that O’Shaughnessy would be one of the artists taking part in the new Irish songwriting competition The Hit, going against his former The Voice coach Brian Kennedy. The show, which aired on 2 August 2013, saw six songwriters pitching their songs to both artists. In the initial stage each artist had to choose two of these six songs. O’Shaughnessy chose a song called “Blush” by Gavin Doyle and “Who Do You Love?” by Mark Graham & Frances Mitchell. O’Shaughnessy chose to release “Who Do You Love?” to enter the chart battle against Kennedy. O’Shaughnessy won the chart battle with the single charting at No.3 in the Irish Singles Chart beating Kennedy’s song “Try” which charted at No.15. On 30 August 2013 O’Shaughnessy, along with the four other chart battle winners, returned to perform their song live in The O2 for the Grand Finale with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.
In 2015, O’Shaughnessy established Dublin based record label ‘Bayview Records’.