This year, on the 21st of May, seventeen year old Molly Sterling will become the youngest Irish entry to the Eurovision since Dana. We do of course have to get through the dreaded semi finals but all going well she will take the stand on the 23rd. ‘Playing with Numbers is a haunting ballad, with depth not many would expect from a songwriter so young. Molly has received enthusiastic support as well as harsh criticism, making her an initiated Irish Eurovision entry
Although Ireland remains the country with the highest number of victories, with seven to date, the last ten years have rarely been kind. Donna and Joseph McCaul became the first Irish Eurovision act to enter a semi final in 2005 but did not qualify. Brian Kennedy upped the anti with tenth place in the final in 2006 after a breathtaking performance; basically surprising nobody. 2007 saw Dervish give a lively performance of ‘They Can’t Stop the Spring’ but the song did not appeal to voters and came in at 24th. Dustin did not get through the semi final in 2008 and the less said the better. Under a youtube video of 2009 entry, Et Cetera, the second comment reads ‘thank god that they didn’t have the turkey again!’
Et Cetera, performed by Sinéad Mulvey and Black Daisy just missed entry to the Eurovision final, finishing in eleventh place in the second qualifying round. Niamh Kavannagh’s performance of ‘It’s for you’ finished in 23rd place which was disappointing but did not prevent Jedward rocking Dusseldorf in 2011, taking the audience with them and coming in at 8th. Things went downhill in 2012 with Waterline ending in 19th place. There may be more of the duo in the future though, if their fans keep up the pressure.
No Jedward reading points for Ireland? THIS IS THE WORST NIGHT EVER. (courtesy of storify).
Ryan Dolan’s ‘Only Love Survives’ came in at 26th in the 2013 final in a surprising result and the run of bad luck continued into 2014 when the catchy ‘Heartbeat’ sung by Can-linn and Kasey Smith did not come out of the semi-finals.
Ireland’s victories, between 1970 and 1996 are well documented. For those in need of a reminder:
Johnny Logan captured the hearts of Eurovision viewers like none before or since but anyone I’ve spoken to agrees it’s a toss up between Rock and Roll Kids and The Voice for best Irish entry.
The eurovision has seen some fantastic acts over the years with both ABBA and Celine Dion first coming to the attention of the world through the contest. It has also seen some bizarre but unforgettable acts, with Lordy, 2005, taking the biscuit.
2015 will be one to watch. Germany, who set a high standard with their 2010 winner Lena Meyer Landrut have this year experienced difficulty finding a representative, according to The Telegraph; ‘The UK’s 2015 contestant will be revealed this Saturday (March 7). Germany’s selection (announced Friday) is perhaps the most fraught, with the winner of the national talent contest (rock singer Andreas Kummert) turning down his place on live TV to shocked presenter and booing audience. Runner up Ann Sophie will now represent Germany in May.’
2014 was a particularly interesting year with Concita Wurst taking first place singing ‘Rise like a Phoenix’. Wurst’s entry to the Eurovision had sparked conservative protests in Russia with some men shaving beards and posting photos to social media. Wurst received support from a number of high profile celebrities however, including Lady Gaga and Elton John and impressed viewers worldwide with her vocals.
Congratulations to this years winner of Eurovision @ConchitaWurst. She slayed with her beautiful vocals and message of freedom and equality.
11:38 PM – 10 May 2014 (Lady Gaga, courtesy of http://www.eurovision.tv).
As the BBC point out in their article, ‘The top ten song contest controversies’, the show is not new to disagreement.
‘The 1963 contest was held in the BBC TV Centre (things were a little more low-key in those days!) During the voting it was a tight race between Denmark and Switzerland. When it came to Norway’s turn to vote, the votes were disallowed since the spokesperson had not used the correct procedure for announcing the results. The legendary presenter, Katie Boyle, informed the jury in Oslo that their votes would be collected later. In the meantime the Norwegian jury altered their votes resulting in Denmark winning whereas Switzerland would have won had the original Norwegian votes been used. There was considerable consternation in the hall and questions remain to this day about the fairness of the incident. Today the results have to be sent into the EBU before they are announced on-screen meaning that such an incident cannot happen again. New voting rules in place for 2014 mean that the process will be even more transparent with the names of jurors and their individual votes made public for the first time.’
Eurovision humour is one of the best things about the competition, as proved by Marty Whelan. Getting into the spirit of the night, it’s worth listening to soundcloud podcast ‘Eurovision for Dummies.’
The Eurovision year after year attracts music lovers, fun lovers and those who just want to see how crazy the costumes and dance routines will be this year. Whatever your reason for watching, do watch and get behind Molly. It makes for a great night with family and friends. And in particular, readers from the UK; vote for us and we’ll vote for you.