Brooke Scullion simply had to wear shocking pink to get the party started, although the hundreds of people who turned up in her home village of Bellaghy to bid her farewell to Italy for the Eurovision Song Contest didn’t need much of an excuse for a celebration yesterday afternoon.
The singer took center stage at the packed Taphouse Bar as family, friends and well-wishers gathered for a farewell party before the 23-year-old flew to Turin today to hoist the flag for Ireland.
Brooke’s big date is May 12, when she sings in the second semi-final of the competition and performs That’s Rich, which she wrote herself.
She admitted it was a big step up, even after the performances that saw her reach the final of ITV’s The Voice last year.
“Everyone came out and showed their pride and excitement and that got me even more excited,” Brooke said while taking a breather after signing autographs and posing for photos with kids.
“It’s so cute. I’m sorry but I hug everyone.
“I was so nervous packing my suitcase. As soon as I go, that’s it – I’m gone.
“My mom gave me a little card to open when I get there. I know it’s going to be another flow of tears – and there have been many tears already.”
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Since winning election to represent Ireland, Brooke has been kidnapped touring Europe and performing her track to thousands of people.
“I’ve been to London, Tel Aviv, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Madrid singing to thousands of people,” she told the Belfast Telegraph.
“I never thought I’d get an opportunity like this. It’s been a crazy few weeks.”
Brooke said the Eurovision experience came at the perfect time because her success on The Voice made her thinking about next steps.
“I came home from this thinking the phone would never stop, but the phone never rang,” she added.
“I had no idea what to do with myself.
“I work nine to five, four days a week, at a real estate agent. I took every Wednesday off and spent the time writing music and that’s how this song came about.
“I have a lot of ready music, but this is the first to come out. It’s just so perfect for Eurovision. It is fun. In three minutes you can forget everything else, have fun and dance a little.”
If Brooke sings in the second semi-final, 10 will advance to the final.
“I just hope everyone in Ireland, north and south, picks up the phone and votes,” she said.
She admitted being a celebrity on her own doorstep for a day was weird.
“All the kids here went to my old elementary school in St. Mary’s. They all come up to me like I’m their hero and that’s so weird,” she said.
One of the proudest people at the party was Brooke’s grandmother Peggy McLarnon, 87, who along with her grandmother Sheila Scullion has made a name for herself as her granddaughter’s biggest fan.
“She’s amazing. We’re so proud of her,” Brooke said.
“Your grandfather played for the Derry team in the 1958 All Ireland final against Dublin.
“He always did better in front of an audience. I think that’s where she got it from.”
Both grannies will fly to Turin on May 12 to support Brooke and, if voting permits, in the final itself on May 14.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/i-never-dreamed-id-get-this-chance-brooke-scullion-cant-wait-to-fly-flag-for-ireland-at-eurovision-41606809.html “I never dreamed I would get this chance” – Brooke Scullion can’t wait to fly the flag for Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest