Dancer controversy puts Ireland in with shot of Eurovision glory

Netta representing Israel celebrates her win in Lisbon Portugal Saturday during the Eurovision Song Contest grand final

Mango TV aired the first semi-final of the competition on Tuesday, but censored Ireland's entry which featured a love story between two male dancers.

A rainbow flag in the crowd, representing the LGBT community, was also blurred during the broadcast.

The EBU, the event's organising body, made the decision to axe Chinese coverage of tomorrow's final after the broadcaster opted to censor both Albania and Ireland's songs.

As a result the EBU confirmed on Friday the broadcast rights agreement with Mango TV had been terminated.

The depiction of a gay relationship falls foul of China's censorship rules, which classified homosexuality as "abnormal sexual behaviour" not fit for broadcasting back in 2016.

In January, Gao Changli, director of the publicity department of China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), said in a meeting that "television programmes should not feature entertainers with tattoos or depict hip-hop culture, sub-culture (non-mainstream culture) and dispirited culture (decadent culture)".


O'Shaughnessy (25), from Skerries in Co Dublin, said he welcomed the EBU's decision "because from the very start we have just said love is love".

Cyprus and Israel, trailed by France, are favourites to win the Eurovision Song Contest in Portugal on Saturday, bookmakers said on the eve of the final of the annual music spectacle known for its outrageous costumes and glitz.

Some 10 different languages will be heard during the final, including Albanian, Slovene and - for the first time since 2001 - Lithuanian.

'It doesn't matter whether it's between two guys and two girls or a guy and a girl.

The EBU, in return, barred Mango TV from broadcasting Thursday's second semifinal and the final, which involves acts from 26 countries.

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