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Sunday 17 December 2017

Niamh says It's For You as she aims to repeat Eurovision glory

WHAT'S another 17 years? The Eurovision has another comeback kid in the form of flame-haired songstress Niamh Kavanagh.

Nearly two decades after she brought us Euro glory with In Your Eyes, the Dubliner is hoping to do it all over again and this time It's For You.

As the original Eurovision comeback kid Johnny Logan looked on last night, Kavanagh (42) wowed the Late Late Show audience, the regional juries and the voting public.

In a clean sweep, she left Boyzone's Mikey Graham in a respectable second place alongside an international entry called Fashion Queen.

Only one man claimed to be embarking on an Elvis-like comeback last night but, thankfully for the nations of Europe, columnist-turned songwriter John Water is today licking his wounds after his entry limped home in second-last place.

Eurovision hasn't gone well for Ireland since Eimear Quinn claimed victory with the voice all the way back in 1996.

And after efforts that included Dustin, it seems the public were ready to go back to the original comfort zone with a power ballad.

Form

That combined with an old reliable like Kavanagh means that tipsters are already promoting our chances of getting through the semi-finals.

Former UK finalist Michael Ball declared last night that "Ireland is back on form".

The song by Niall Mooney, Lina Eriksson, Jonas Gladnikoff and Marten Eriksson has haunting similarities to In Your Eyes, which previously won the contest for Kavanagh.

And as far as the in-studio jury of Dana, Johnny Logan and Marty Whelan were concerned, it was the only song in town.

After the verdict was revealed, the clearly shocked singer said: "Winning in Millstreet in 1993 was such an overwhelming positive experience and I'd like to extend a huge thanks to everyone who voted for the song tonight.

"I'd also like to thank the song writers for writing such an amazing, powerful song that I am really looking forward to performing in Oslo in May."

Should history repeat itself and Kavanagh steal the show in Norway, then Ryan Tubridy has already put a marker down as Ireland's next host of the event. On his naffest Late Late Show, Tubridy got into the swing of things but regularly struggled to keep a straight face.

Tubridy also had to contend with Johnny Logan, who was intent on setting the record straight about why he has avoided another Eurovision return.

hnews@herald.ie

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