Eurovision 2018: The Reviews – IRELAND

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Together (Ryan O’Shaughnessy)

BACKGROUND
It’s been mostly downhill since Ireland’s golden Eurovision time in the mid-1990s and especially so this decade. Ireland hasn’t made the finals since 2012 (and even then they came dead last). They’ve sent a solo male the past three years, which hasn’t been working, so this year they’ve decided to send…a solo male. Ireland’s placings haven’t always reflected the quality of their entries. Sure, Jedward managed to take them into the top 10 but both their entries were average at best. Meanwhile, voters totally ignored Gary in 2001, whose ballad was perhaps a little sedate but who deserved far more than 6 measly points. Last year Brendan Murray should have at least made the finals. But worst of all was the lack of love for 2015’s Molly Sterling. Playing With Numbers must be one of Eurovision’s most overlooked gems. Fun fact: Ryan’s uncle Gary represented Ireland in 2001, placing 21st. 

OFFICIAL VIDEO
It’s rare to see displays of male-male love on any screen (yes, homophobes, it’s still rare in comparison to the endless slog of heterosexualness sprayed at us from every direction) so this is both welcome and appreciated. Eurovision might be very gay but many Eurovision countries are still conservative so this took gumption. The question is: does this couple show up for the contest? The other question is: what will the Russian broadcaster do about it? My guess is an unexplainable technical difficulty that lasts exactly three minutes.

EUROTRASHTIC LYRICS

You said “Until death do us part”
And then you chose to break my heart
Remember, rock back to the start
We said we’d be together till we died

Hooray, Irish gays can now get married! So here’s a song about divorce!

REVIEW
I’m not sure why the Irish entries aren’t connecting with the audience. Maybe everyone thinks Ireland’s had enough success? Maybe the singers have BO? Who knows? But, like last year, this is a quietly powerful entry that deserves to be heard in the final.

RATING
A

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