Ireland chose its entrant for the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest last night. Although I left Ireland’s shores some 11 years ago, I still retain a keen interest in the acts the Irish public sends off to (possible) Eurovision glory. My interest was sparked by Linda Martin’s win back in 1992, which began a chain of Irish wins at Eurovision unmatched by any other participating country.
Thankfully, although based in London, I was able to watch the selection show on the net – kudos to RTE for making the show available to everyone, regardless of geographic location. The Irish diaspora being cared for by the mandarins at Montrose.
The show itself was a little frustrating. I was interested in seeing the acts, then seeing how people voted for them. Instead, I had to listen to Eurovision luminaries Dana and Johnny Logan spout tripe for interminable periods, soon to be ably assisted by the (is he still alive?) experienced Eurovision commentator Marty Whelan and the toe-curling Michael Ball.
However, it was clear once all acts had left the stage that there was just one performer in the running. Niamh Kavanagh, a previous winner for Ireland in 1993, was back for more. The song itself was head and shoulders above the competition and Kavanagh herself exuded confidence and ability. I won’t dwell on the styling, but suffice to say it was a gothic/S&M mash-up that left poor Niamh looking like a Victorian prostitute. I’m sure they’ll sort that out in time for the competition in May.
Here’s Niamh performing last night, followed by her winning song at Eurovision ’93. Fingers crossed she makes it through to the Eurovision final this year – which should happen if audiences actually care about the quality of the song, as opposed to any inevitable onstage gimmicks.
The ever-splendid Thoroughly Good has an excellent take on last night’s show. Well worth a read.