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On the Map Lesley Roy hopes Ireland will get up off the couch for Eurovision semi-final

The semi-final begins at 8pm on RTÉ2, the RTÉ Player and RTÉ Radio 1

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Ireland's Eurovision hopeful, Lesley Roy, has said she hopes the Ireland will get up off the couch tonight and enjoy the three-minute performance she has prepared for tonight’s semi-final. 

Speaking on RTE Radio this morning, the Dubliner said Team Ireland is feeling good ahead of her appearance at Rotterdam's Ahoy arena where she will sing the Irish entry ‘Maps’.

The semi-final begins at 8pm on RTÉ2, the RTÉ Player and RTÉ Radio 1. Roy will be the seventh act to perform tonight.

She told Morning Ireland that she wanted the song to be light, fun and entertaining and revealed how she got emotional about the 'Postcard' that will introduce her song.

"I think that's when it really hit home to me that this is happening," she said.

"I'll be honest, I was bawling, just so emotional watching it. I was thinking about Marty Whelan giving the commentary over it and people at home tuning in and I just got so teary - it caught me off guard.

"I will be watching it back, whatever way things go, and I just know I will be floored hearing Marty's voice giving the commentary. It's tradition, the child in me that watched it, I get emotional about it."

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The singer said that while everyone at the Eurovision is tested for Covid-19 every 48 hours and all countries are kept "very separate”, there is a great atmosphere.

On Monday, Roy said that representing her country at this year's contest had "started to hit home" and that it was "not some imaginary fairytale in my head".

The singer, who is from Balbriggan in North Dublin, was due to represent Ireland at the Eurovision last year with her song The Story of My Life, before the event was cancelled by Covid-19.

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The 34-year-old was chosen to return for this year’s contest after writing and producing her new song Maps with Eurovision producer Lukas Hallgren.

Earlier in the week, Roy's catchy track hit over 1 million views on YouTube and placed on the Irish Homegrown Chart Top Ten.

The Eurovision contest is being held in the Ahoy arena in Rotterdam, where a crowd of 3,500 people will cheer on Lesley and the other contestants.

The second semi-final will take place on Thursday ahead of the final on Saturday, May 22.

The performance is set to be a major spectacle with the singer set to perform her new track while running barefoot on a treadmill accompanied by dancers and hand-moved paper props.

Speaking backstage at a press conference in Rotterdam, Lesley said months of work has gone into her performance and she is excited to get on the stage.

“The song is one of the fastest songs in the show for a reason, I wanted to keep the pace within the stadium,” she said.

“I really listened to the Eurovision fans over the past year and what I heard from them is that they wanted something different so I tried to really make that.”

“I think people at home are either going to get this and love it or they won’t get it but I’m still going to bring something different on the night,” she told Independent.ie.

Lesley also revealed 1992 Eurovision winner Linda Martin sent her a message wishing her good luck.

And Eimear Quinn who won the Eurovision Song Contest 1996 with the song "The Voice" tweeted today: “Great memories! But today is Lesley’s day She’s going to be amazing, I can feel it! Bring it home ..25 years is way too long!!

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