IT’S BEEN OVER nine months since the country was gripped by a fever that it hadn’t seen the likes of in years – as Jedward headed for Dusseldorf hoping to end a 15-year wait for Ireland’s eighth victory Eurovision Song Contest, in front of almost 1.2 million viewers.
Although Ireland is the most successful country in ESC history, it has indeed been 16 years now since Eimear Quinn’s ‘The Voice’ stole the show in Oslo – and with the now permanently-skewed telephone voting system, it’s harder than ever for an island nation on the edge of Europe to win it.
This year, in a slight change from the usual formula, RTÉ has unveiled the Eurosong entrants a few weeks in advance – the idea being that the voting public can consider the songs in advance, instead of hearing them for the first time on the night that voting takes place.
So, with the Eurosong-themed Late Late Show coming up this week, we thought it would be a good time to recap on the five entries – and ask for your thoughts on which one would get your vote for Ireland’s entry.
If you’re only looking for a quick taster of each tune, skip to the bottom – there’s a quick recap in the last video.
(All of the entries in full are available on the Ireland12pts YouTube channel.)
1. Celtic Whispers featuring Maria McCool – ‘Mistaken’
Mentored by Edele Barrett (née Lynch), formerly of B*Witched:
2. Donna McCaul – ‘Mercy’
Mentored by TV producer Bill Hughes – and yes, it is that Donna McCaul, of You’re A Star ‘Donna and Joe’ fame:
3. Andrew Mann – ‘Here I Am’
Mentored by Greg French of synth-pop band The Brilliant Things:
4. Una Gibney and David Shannon – ‘Language of Love’
Mentored by entertainment manager, producer and choreographer Julian Benson:
5. Jedward – ‘Waterline’
Mentored by Linda Martin of Eurovision 1992 fame, and looking for their second Eurovision attempt:
If you’re not looking for the full tune in each case, then South East Radio have come to your rescue: they’ve put together this selection with the chorus from each tune, helping you to pick at a glance.
The Irish entrant will be chosen by a combined jury and telephone vote on this Friday’s Late Late Show, and will perform in the first semi-final in Baku, Azerbaijan on Tuesday May 22. (The final itself is on May 26.)
Who should we send?
Additional reporting by Sinéad O’Carroll