Strabane’s Ryan Dolan may be disappointed with his Eurovision result but still has international stardom to celebrate.
The 27 year-old’s Eurovision entry ‘Only Love Survives’ has stormed into the charts in 17 countries despite gaining just five points in Sweden on Saturday night.
After finishing last in the competition in Malmo, Ryan - who flew back to Dublin after the show with his team - said he had no regrets about taking part.
“Of course I’m disappointed with the result, but that’s Eurovision, you just never know how it’s going to go on the night.
“I felt we put in a really strong performance, but unfortunately luck just wasn’t on our side. I’d do it all again in a heartbeat, I’ve enjoyed every single minute of it and it’s opened so many doors to me internationally.”
Ryan’s performance was a big hit with Irish viewers. Viewership peaked while Ryan was on stage performing and figures rocketed to 1,079,700.
“The Eurovision has really raised my profile in Ireland and across Europe and it is a great opportunity especially for someone who is up and coming - it gives you a great platform just to get out there,” he said.
“I think we should keep doing it. In spite of the votes I have got so many new fans from Europe and today ‘Only Love Survives’ is charting in 17 different countries.”
Ryan said he couldn’t “figure out” how his vociferous support in recent weeks didn’t translate to votes.
“Over the past few weeks the song has been getting great praise from all the press over here. They predicted we would be eighth. It has been in the Swedish charts for four weeks.
“I don’t know if it is because the audiences watching the Eurovision aren’t the ones buying music or what the reason is.
“I really don’t understand it but I am glad the song is doing well.”
Offers of record deals have also been flooding in.
“I released my album Frequency last Monday and there are lots of offers of gigs coming in from all over the place. This is going to be a busy year for me now. There is some interest from record companies as well - Universal in Russia are keen to release the album over there in 11 countries around that area.”
Bookies Paddy Power have offered to refund money to anyone who had bet on Ryan.
The head of RTE’s Eurovision delegation, Michael Kelly, said Ryan had done the country proud.
“He performed superbly on the night and while the result was disappointing he can be proud of his performance and take comfort in the fact that the Irish public think it was undeserved to be placed last.
“Ryan is a star already and I have no doubt that he has a successful career ahead of him.”
“OK so it didn’t go so well for us last night but bear in mind 13 other countries went home between Wednesday and Friday that didn’t get a chance to compete in the final.”