Saturday, 4 May 2019

We said until death do us part and then you chose to break my heart

Sarah McTernan

"I was born in a distant 1980. The year of the Irish Johnny Logan war"

Take one or two authentic Irish folk/soul singers, add some lyrics about the countryside and shamrocks, and stir in an arrangement that sounds like a tourist video for the country shown in the breaks on CNN. Add some step dancing, to be sure. For well over 200 years, the powers that be at RTE in Dublin entered exactly the same song- and every year it won. I almost brought a house in Ireland to save on airfares.

But then in Belgrade in 2007, disaster struck- Ireland did what they ha always done (only in a spectacularly lazy way) and deservedly came last (and we were just pleased that Scooch beat them). The usual factors (the Balkans, the USSR etc) were blamed, but the country then appeared to to descend into wild panic, as an ashen Louis Walsh and Dana both warned the Irish public in the 2008 live final against selecting a ranting spitting image turkey. Which won, and then didn't even make the final.

Since then we've had real blind cobbler’s thumb of a decade. We've sat through Transvision Vamp's little sisters (they didn't make the final either), someone who'd won for Ireland in 1993 singing Titantic-lite (beating only us- who came last), Ghostbusters Malfoy Sperm Twins Jedward for two years, Ryan "once supported Tinchy Stryder" Dolon, and "Can-Linn" (she couldn't) who beat off Egg Nogg Quigg off of X Factor from years ago in a weird National Final that featured this fabulously unpleasant bun fight between Louis Walsh, Linda Martin and some drunk conspiracy theorist music manager in the audience. 
Sarah McTernan
In 2015 we got Molly "I have a donkey at home in Tipp who’s 50 years old. Mick the donkey. That’s pretty impressive, I guess" Sterling with a dull piano ballad, in 2016 they took a Westlife (one of the ones you knew was there but wouldn't have missed if he was off sick) and gave him something Gary Barlow would write on a napkin, in 2017 Louis Walsh raided his replacement boyband Hometown and picked a boy called Brendan doing a boring X Factor winner's single about going to the toilet and then last year we got a knock off version of this which everyone thought might win for five minutes because they fancied his dancers only it then came sixteenth.

So is 2019 the year of the Irish turnaround? An uplifting and accessible song? No. An engaging and relatable singer? Noooo. A catchy melody with build and strong ending? Jesus no it sounds like something off the Radio 2 c-list."22 was purposefully written for the Eurovision Song Contest" says RTE's media pack. The problem is, it sounds like it was purposefully written to come 22nd in the Eurovision Song Contest and is sung by a woman with one of those "distinctive voices" that sounds like everyone else's distinctive voice.

"It is not Ireland's fault it is rigged for Europop bakalakaka crap these days" says keyboard warrier Puca Power. No Puca- but given how dreadful the contest got in the 90s, it may well be your responsibility.