Ryan O'Shaughnessy has admitted he has a "mammoth task ahead" as he prepares to represent Ireland in the first Eurovision Song Contest semi-final on Tuesday, but says he thinks he's "on the right path" for success in the competition.
Speaking from Lisbon where he was gearing up for the first dress rehearsal on the Eurovision stage, the singer-songwriter said he's feeling "really good" about the jury vote later today."Thereís a big Irish flag on the wall, Iíve got my friends around me and Iíll be representing my country", he said.
"Itís only kind of dawned on me now in the last few days, the mammoth task ahead and how important it is for Irish to succeed this year in the Eurovision, but I think weíre on the right path."
The official opening ceremony for this year's contest took place on Monday evening which was attended by press from around the world and hoards of fans.
Veteran Eurovision commentator Marty Whelan also joined the Irish delegation at the event, and Ryan said it's been "great" having Marty around.
"Itís his 20 year anniversary of coming to the Eurovision, so he knows a lot of people. Heís been introducing me to a few heads and heís been giving me a few tips as well, of how to cope with the nerves and all that type of stuff.
"But to be honest with you, I donít really feel too nervous because Iíve got great people around me and weíre all feeling confident in our performance. Today is the juryís vote which is 50%, so today is as important if not more important than tomorrow.
"We were all good last night, we had early nights, good sleeps, so weíll be on top form!"
Ryan said it feels "energizing" and "emotional" to step out onto the Eurovision stage and that he is relishing the opportunity to represent Ireland on a world platform."Iím super honoured to be asked to perform for my country, itís not something that I take lightly and Iím going to go out with the energy and support of all my Irish brothers and sisters and do us proud", he said.
The Britain's Got Talent star added that his uncle Gary O'Shaughnessy, who represented Ireland in the song contest in 2001, is arriving on Monday evening to support him.
"My uncle Gary gets here today so I might see him tonight. I know thereís a lot of super fans from the Eurovision looking to see him too so heíll be a little celebrity walking around Lisbon", Ryan said.
Tune in to watch Ryan performing his track Together in the first Eurovision Song Contest semi-final on Tuesday May 8 at 8pm on RT… 2.
Eurovision Semi Final 2, Thursday, May 10, RT…2, 8pm.
Eurovision Grand Final, Saturday, May 12, RT… One, 8pm.