Update : May 11
Eurovision has decided to ban China from airing this year’s final following the country’s decision to censor LGBT+ content during the qualifiers.
Following the huge backlash to their controversial decision, China’s Mango TV was also blocked from airing the second semi-final last night.
A spokesperson for the European Broadcasting Union stated, “This is not in line with the EBU’s values of universality and inclusivity and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music. It is with regret that we will therefore immediately be terminating our partnership with the broadcaster and they will not be permitted to broadcast the second semi-final or the grand-final”
Ireland’s entrant, Ryan O’Shaughnessy was delighted with the decision. “‘From the very start we’ve said love is love – whether it’s between two guys, two girls or a guy and a girl so I think this is a really important decision. They haven’t taken this lightly and I think it’s a move in the right direction so I’m happy about it.”
On Tuesday, Ryan O’Shaughnessy broke Ireland’s 5-year curse of not making it through the semi-finals of Eurovision scooping up a place in Saturday’s final.
O’Shaughnessy explained that the song ‘Together’ intends to show that “love is just love” showing that “there’s no difference – whether it’s between a man and a woman, a woman and a woman or a man and a man.”
The song’s message was visually brought to life by interpretive dancers Kevin O’Dwyer and Alan McGrath who told a same-sex love story through dance in both the music video and live on stage during the semi-final performance.
Although the performance was extremely well received by the audience in Lisbon and the audiences across Europe who gave their vote to Ireland, the Chinese broadcaster of Eurovision made the decision to not air the entire performance.
Mango TV, China’s second-largest broadcaster has been streaming the Eurovision in China since 2015.
Mango TV who broadcast the semi-final live with a delay also crudely blurred out rainbow pride flags.
The streaming service also removed the entire Albanian performance due to a ban on tattoos in broadcasting regulations introduced earlier this year.
There were some early false reports that Russia would not broadcast the Irish performance, however, it was shown in full with the Russian commentator telling viewers the song was about “true male friendship”.
Ireland’s entry has shot up the bookie’s rankings as prospects of Ireland doing well this year escalate.
Dancing duo Alan McGrath and Kevin O’Dwyer, said they have been overwhelmed by the support they have received so far in Lisbon.
Speaking about his Lisbon experience, Alan said:
“It’s an incredible feeling. You can’t even remember it after you come off stage, it’s that breathtaking. The feeling is overwhelming, you just go into your own little world for the three minutes on stage.”
Kevin agreed, saying: “I don’t remember one second on the stage, it just was a blur, the feeling just from the whole arena was amazing.”
GCN’s very own Euro celebration – Eurovision Douze Points Party takes place this Saturday in The Sugar Club. So if you want to camp it up with the biggest song contest fans in Dublin at a live screening of the Eurovision final, there’s a handful of tickets still on sale available here. What are you waiting for?!
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