Dancer controversy puts Ireland in with shot of Eurovision glory

A general view of Sao Joao Castle and downtown Lisbon. – AFP

Irish singer Ryan O'Shaughnessy's song, which featured a romantic dance number with two men, was heavily censored.

He will perform at the final in Lisbon on Saturday with a song about the end of a relationship.

The country won't be hearing "Hello from Lisbon" after the EBU, the organisers of the global singing competition, chose to ban the state's Eurovision 2018 broadcaster following its censorship of LGBT elements during the first semi-final.

In the first semi-final of the contest, Albanian singer Eugent Bushpepa's performance was not shown due to China's ban on television performers displaying tattoos.

It also blurred out rainbow flags and removed Albania's entry from its broadcast because of the performers' visible tattoos. 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'.

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The EBU said the censorship was not in line with its values of diversity.

So it makes sense to spell this one out yet again, so we can all crack on with more important matters - such as who to bet on to win some money and which (responsibly undertaken) drinking games to deploy ahead of Saturday's final. According to French outlet AFP, Mango TV had exclusive rights to air the contest in China. At the same time record industry executive and BBC music director Hugh Goldsmith set up four songwriter camps, inviting songwriters from around the world to take part, in a bid to find the best six songs for Eurovision: You Decide.

"It doesn't matter whether it's between two guys and two girls or a guy and a girl", he told the BBC.

That in itself is perhaps the biggest of China's diplomatic blunders; while Eurovision fans famously embrace inclusion, they also revere few things as much as the competition's much-loved, if slightly antique, scoreboard.

Teen Vogue has reached out to Mango TV for comment.

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