Brian's own composition 'Every Song Is A Cry For Love'
qualified for the final of this year's Eurovision Song
Contest and made a piece of Eurovision history by being
the 1000th act to perform in the competition at the
Lordi representing Finland were the winners on the night,
with Ireland claiming tenth position
5 DAYS IN ATHENS. EUROVISION ATHENS 2006.
THE STAR – BRIAN KENNEDY!!
Well here I am sitting typing on my bed…..shattered! Just
back from the most fabulous…funny….entertaining….memorable….five
days…ever! WHERE?…..Athens. WHY?……..The
Eurovision. HOW COME?……Why Brian Kennedy
of course!! Need you ask?….Ha ha!!
I was always raging when BK did Riverdance in New York
that I didn’t go. So when it came up that
he was doing the Eurovision, I said, what the heck!
I’m going!! Lads…...I’ve never
laughed so much. We had a ball. “We”,
being, myself, my Mam (Margaret) and my Auntie Sue.
Thanks for coming guys, but I don’t think they
found it too much of a hardship!
via London….Terry Wogan was on our flight over
from London to Athens! Darn, never thought of
asking for a photo. Apparently I heard he said
BK was the best singer in the competition by a mile.
Not wrong there Mr Wogan!! We arrived in Athens
on the Wednesday evening and just chilled and relaxed.
The sun was still splitting the trees and we had left
a cold Dublin behind! The Semi-Final was the next
day, on the Thursday evening, and I felt myself getting
more & more nervous all day, you think I was singing
the song myself, I was SICK by the time the evening
came!! God only knows how poor BK was feeling!
a taxi to the Olympic Indoor Stadium (2004 Olympics).
What a fabulous venue. Beautiful. In hindsight…I
think I actually enjoyed the Semi-Final more.
We met sooooo many Irish, and every other European you
could imagine, and everyone was in great form.
A lot of Irish people told us that they couldn’t
get tickets to the Final itself and were flying home
or watching the Final in some pub in Athens. May
I say, I’ve NEVER seen so many Handsome MEN in
the one venue! Bloody Hell!! We 3 girls
were certainly “Blessed Amongst Men”!
Met some lovely couples, lads who’ve been going
to Eurovision for years. The style…everyone
in their colours! The drama! Everyone was
in flying form. Us three were all geared up in
our Green White & Orange feather boa’s, and
waving our “Go Ireland Go Brian” flags,
and were asked so many times for our photo. We
almost felt famous ourselves at one stage. Photos
of the 3 of us have gone back to so many households
in Europe! Funny! Never laughed so much.
And everyone we met just LURVED BK!! And I mean
EVERYONE. If the voting had been inside the Stadium
only BK would have won it hands down. Everyone
kept coming up to us to say how much they loved him,
and how wonderful the song was…..”We Love
Your Brian”……and those who diddn’t
have strong English…..they knew one line at least
“Every Song Is a Cry for Love” was said
to us so many times….and then they were off again
into the sea of flags. Hi to all the lovely people
we met. We met a lovely Finnish couple, and both
lads had been to many Eurovision’s and both said
that although they would be happy to win (little did
they know!), and that they didn’t like their own
countries entry….but just loved our Brian!
I’d say if even a fraction of the comments filtered
back to BK…he’d have the head the size of
a small country!! Everyone absolutely LOVED him.
BKs performance on the night was AMAZING, I cant wait
to watch it back on DVD. Sick to stomach while
waiting for no.8 to take centre stage! As soon
as we saw him in the darkness getting ready, the shouts
& screams began. The green backdrop was fab,
suited them all. I thought he stood out as CLASS
in a room of sheer madness! I
loved the bended knee…and the cheeky wink.
There were about 4 huge screens, so we saw it very clearly!
Everyone in the Stadium loved him too. Mind you,
with all the screaming & jumping up and down we
did…the whole performance was over in a flash…and
onto the next singer. And then when the results
started being read out, only 10 places for the Final,
and when we saw WHAT was getting though….I was
so nervous!! But when the Hostess said….”A
country who’ve been here many times before”….I
just knew. Well the cheers and the excitement
in the Stadium was just electric. You’d
think he’d won it. The screams & shouts
of everyone. When we left feeling elated…we
were congratulated about 100 times on the way out of
the Stadium. You’d think we’d sang
it ourselves (God forbid!). What a brilliant brilliant
the next few days relaxing, shopping and drinking lovely
wine in lovely Greece. The “Plaka”
area seems to be the place to go to mingle, some lovely
squares and side streets, filled with shops & restaurants.
We kept in touch with home & with BK friends cause
we were dying to know what everyone was saying about
BK and how he was doing. No sightings of BK I’m
afraid for us in Greece (although eyes were peeled!)……he
was a busy man with rehearsals I’m sure!
to get tickets for the Final off a ticket tout.
Don’t normally like to do that, but had no choice,
Final tickets were like Gold Dust. Didn’t know
if I was getting the tickets for sure, but when I got
them into my wee hands I knew they were genuine.
And judging by my Mam & Aunties response when I
told them…the two wusses cried!…they went
down well…ha ha!! The Final on the Saturday
night was a full house for sure, packed to capacity.
About 18 thousand people I think. Not so many Irish
there this time. And again, lots of well-wishers,
and huge Brian support. Again I say….they
LURVED him!! The place was just a sea of hundreds
and hundreds of flags. A lot of Greeks flags too obviously.
The atmosphere was even more Electric. It was
jam-packed and buzzing. We got talking to an English
reporter (nice guy) who was over covering the UK entry
Baz. He was saying that if this had been a Soccer
match, the crowds would be divided with Police and the
tension and possible fighting would be unreal.
And here we all were standing having a beer and chatting
to every nationality all just out to have a ball.
He was so right. Again well wishers and people
asking for photos of the “3 Irish Girls”…..funny!
Everyone was very positive about BKs song…and
we were a little hopeful for sure. Figured Greece
was in with a good shot and Sweden too. Didn’t
quite predict the outcome so!!
show itself was brilliant. The Greeks certainly
did themselves proud. Well, we weren’t too
keen on the presenters…slightly painful!
Will & Grace they were not! But maybe its
not an easy gig. We watched each act waiting for BK.
We loved the girl from the Ukraine, she was just so
cute. And again Sweden & Greece were excellent.
The Bosnia & Herzegovina was also a gorgeous song.
Its just personal taste really isn’t it.
We weren’t too keen on the Finnish one…but
hey what did we know!! And then no.21……getting
ready in the darkness again, and the screams began!!
BKs performance was even better than the Semis.
He was so cool, calm & collected. He looked
amazing. The backing singers (Paula, Una & Fran)
looked and sounded amazing too (loved the dresses girls)….well
done to them all for such a brilliant performance, and
of course the amazing Callum too, loved the guitar opening.
What a performance. We went mental again after
it! Ha ha!! You’d be amazed by how
many of the crowd knew every word of the song…and
I mean EVERY word!
But then the voting. Everyone sussed who was running
away with it early on. They’re going to
have to do something in the future with the voting system…
seriously! I don’t know if Ireland should
bother entering ….we wont have a hope of winning
it again for a long time. But sure isn’t it “the
taking part” that counts…yeah right!!
The blatant voting for neighbours…I mean they
were actually saying “And for our wonderful Neighbour…..douze
points” it was ridiculous!! Hope I don’t
sound begrudging….but a fairer voting system is
definitely needed. Having said all that, BK got
consistently marked by most countries. If he enters
it again…he’ll win it. I swear!
I’d say he’s made so many new fans across
Europe. He’ll win it if he enters again…I’m
telling you! Have I mentioned before that they
the night BK of course did us proud with 10th place.
Next years entry automatically qualifies and doesn’t
have to endure the semi-final nerves. He was simply
brilliant, just brilliant. He must be so proud
of himself. And anyone in Europe who might not
have heard his wonderful voice before….well…they
know who he is now! You only have to look at the
well wishes on the website to see that.
Congrats to Brian…and the team…..Paula,
Fran, Una….and of course the ever so talented
Calum. What a fantastic representative team they
the words of the Great Tina……You’re
Simply the Best. Hitting the sack now! Had the
best time, five days I’m never likely for forget.
Still smiling. AISLING xxx