Category Archives: Ireland

Pulses race as Can-Linn & Kasey’s “Heartbeat” wins in Ireland

1956862_444793868986813_815800010_o Emotions ran high at RTÉ Studios on Friday night as the Irish public made their choice for Copenhagen.  Of course, the participating singers all had their hearts in throats waiting for their turn to charm the public, but there was just as much drama amongst the panel on “The Late Late Show” as there was for the performers.

Just as there has been since 2011, a mentorship system has been used for the Irish selection.  Mentors select the song, the singer, and help mold the performance at the National Final level.  Of course, as “LLS” is a talk show at heart, a panel of Eurovision pundits were on hand to discuss the entries as they were presented.  Putting those two entities together gave viewers more than they had bargained for… Read the rest of this entry

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Preview: Ireland’s “Eurosong 2014”

LateLate09_RTE-FullClr Ireland, despite holding the record for the most Eurovision wins (a whopping seven, including an unprecedented three-peat back in the 90’s), has had a spot of bumpy luck recently at the Contest.  In their last ten participations, the country has had two last-place finishes in the Final (2007 and 2013), three non-qualifiers (2005, 2008, & 2009), and only two Top Ten placements (10th in 2006 and 8th in 2011).  Can tonight’s Eurosong Final, a special presentation of the Late Late Show on RTÉ, give us a song that can bring the Emerald Isle back to its former glory? Read the rest of this entry

Ireland decides: “Only Love Survives”!

Tonight, on RTÉ’s flagship evening chat program “The Late Late Show”, five songs took to the stage in front of a live studio audience (and, oddly enough, Danny DeVito?) for the right to sing for their country in Malmö.  After a razor-thin margin separated the top two contenders after the regional juries had their say, it was up to the public vote to determine the winner. Read the rest of this entry

Preview: Ireland’s Eurosong 2013

This Friday evening, on RTÉ’s The Late Late Show, the next name in Eurovision 2013’s roster will be set in stone.  It will be a tough job to follow two years’ worth of Jedwardian goodness, but five acts, each under the guidance of an experienced mentor, are up for the challenge.  Who will go to Eurovision, and potentially bring home Ireland’s eighth title?

The winner will be selected via a 50/50 public televote/regional jury split.  This year’s contenders are: Read the rest of this entry

New Videos unveiled for France, Ireland, Israel, Turkey, Ukraine…

As the National Final season winds to a close, often times the biggest news to come from the delegations between their selection and Eurovision itself is the release of their Promotional Video.  They might be a simple edit of live performance footage, or they might pull out all the stops and put together something that would make people wish that MTV hadn’t replaced music videos with “Jersey Shore”.  (Or maybe that’s just me…)

Over the past few days, a number of countries have presented their preview clips, and you can expect many more to follow in the coming weeks.  Let’s take a quick look around Europe, shall we? Read the rest of this entry

Ireland has decided: Jedward returns!

In a win that surprised basically nobody, the dynamic duo of John and Edward Grimes, better known to the world as Jedward, won both the public televote as well as the regional juries to take a second consecutive victory in Ireland, making them the first act from that nation to perform in back-to-back Eurovisions.  Mentored by 1992 ESC-winner Linda Martin, here’s their winning song, “Waterline”: Read the rest of this entry

Five Songs Revealed in Ireland

We’ve seen the rumors, we’ve heard the whispers, we’ve fallen for some of the red herrings …and now we’ve finally heard the songs!  Irish broadcaster RTÉ has unveiled the quintet of songs in the running for the nation’s ticket to Baku.  The songs will be performed on “The Late Late Show” on February 24, and a 50/50 jury/televote split will determine the winner.

In their running order, the songs are:

Read the rest of this entry

More Details Revealed for Ireland

It appears that Irish Broadcaster RTÉ has unveiled more details for this month’s National Selection (“Eurosong 2012”), to be held on the February 24th episode of the Late Late Show.  Barring any early song leaks (like what happened last year with “Lipstick”), the songs themselves will be revealed on February 9.  Each act will be under the tutelage of a “mentor”, who will hopefully help guide them to their best possible performance…

Oh, let’s face it, we’re going to see Jedward again, aren’t we?  Well, for the sake of some semblance of fairness and unbiased coverage, let’s take a look at who we’ll see trying their hands at Eurosong! Read the rest of this entry

Eurovision 2011: The Best of the Rest (Part 4)

Ireland: Like them or not, you simply can not deny that Jedward were an unstoppable force at Eurovision.  Even if they didn’t take top honors this year with “Lipstick“, they were really the talk of the Press Center.  From their knee-high Converses to their now-iconic hair, you couldn’t resist this year’s Irish entry.  Even I fell victim to their charms:

But despite the Grimes Brothers’ popularity and infectious energy, they only made it to Düsseldorf by the slimmest of margins; only two points separated them from runner-up Nikki Kavanagh’s R&B ballad “Falling”:

Nikki sang backup for last year’s Irish entry, and “Falling” was written by a team that included Jonas Gladnikoff, who was the composer of “Et Cetera” and “It’s For You“, Ireland’s 2009 and 2010 Eurovision submissions.  Sadly, Jonas and Co. were unable to pull off the three-peat, but who knows what 2012 will bring?

Israel: Speaking of return performances, Dana International was one of five lead artists coming back to Eurovision this year (the others being Dino Merlin, Lena, Zdob si Zdub, and Gunnar Ólasson).  Sadly, she was also the only one of those five to not qualify for the Finals.  “Ding Dong” might have not have been the triumphant return Dana might have been hoping for…

For me, there were two other true standouts in this year’s Kdam.  The first was Chen Aharoni’s “Or (Light)”, which may have had everything but the kitchen sink thrown into it:

Pretty face?  Check.  Slow, moving opening?  Check.  Tempo change?  Check.  Panflute?  Check.  Costume change by an unnecessary dancer?  Check.  A highly entertaining three minutes?  Check!

My other favorite from that night had to be Michael and Shimrit Greylsummer’s sunny French-Hebrew folk jam “Tu Du Du”:

My knowledge of French is pretty rusty, and my Hebrew is even worse (even though I’m pretty sure I hear the words “bottle of rum” and “Bob Dylan” somewhere in there…), but this song never fails to make me smile.  It’s this perfect blend of Middle Eastern tonal structure, danceable club beats, Rybak violins, and Woodstock joy!

Italy: Ok, so any devoted reader of mine probably knows by now that Raphael Gualazzi’s “Madness of Love” claimed the top spot on my own personal 2011 scoreboard, as well as a soft spot in the cockles of my heart.  If you haven’t read my post-Eurovision interview with Raph yet, by all means, check it out!  It’s ok, I’ll wait.

Raphael was chosen by an internal jury during the San Remo Festival to carry the Tricolore for Italy’s return to Eurovision, so we can’t really say who would have gone in his place had he refused.  That being said, San Remo 2011 was full of fantastic songs that would not have seemed out of place for Eurovision.  For example, there was Emma Marrone’s stirring collaboration with the rock group Modà, “Arriverá (It Will Come)”:

I was also a big fan of Anna Tatangelo’s “Bastardo (Bastard)“, Nathalie Giannitrapani’s “Vivo Sospesa (I Live Suspended)“, and Giusi Ferreri’s “Il Mare Immenso (The Immense Sea)“.  I don’t know what it is about these dramatic, female-led numbers, but Italy seems to have cornered the market on them.  Knowing the quality of the entries at San Remo, and seeing the high benchmark set by Raphael this year, I really can’t wait to see what RAI sends us in 2012 (assuming they don’t wait another thirteen years…).

Latvia: Hmmm.  Compared to the National Finals from Italy and Israel, Latvia doesn’t stick out to me as much.  It’s not that it was a bad preselection by any stretch, it’s just that the songs didn’t grab me by the heartstrings and eardrums in the same way that the Kdam and San Remo did.  That being said, Musiqq’s “Angel in Disguise” was a fun number, and possibly my favorite Latvian song since 2005’s “The War is Not Over“.

Speaking of “The War is not Over”, songwriter Mārtiņš Freimanis submitted an entry for this year’s National Selection, but passed away about a month before “Hop” could be performed.  Unlike Iceland’s Sjónni Brink, Freimanis was not going to be performing the song itself (rather, deferring to the group Blitze), but it was still a sudden and tragic loss to the Latvian music community.

“Angel in Disguise” was not the odds-on favorite to go to Düsseldorf; most people were betting on Lauris Reiniks’s “Banjo Laura”:

“Banjo Laura” is definitely enjoyable, but I do have to say that the line “La-la-la-la-Laura the banjo girl/ Who was she? What did she play?” bothers me to no end.  Lauris, you just answered your own question.  She’s Laura, and she plays the banjo.  ‘Nuff said, end of story.

In our next installment, I’ll pick out the best from Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, and Moldova…stay tuned!

Follow Up Single Time, Part 3

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a whole bunch of new and recent releases from all over the Eurovision world.  Let’s see what we’ve got…

One of the more highly-anticipated songs from the post-Düsseldorf boom comes, of course, from the irrepressible Jedward.  The Irish twins, who are planning on releasing their new album, “Victory”, in August, have already gone to the top of the Irish Charts with their new single, “Bad Behaviour”.  Featuring Hollywood blogger Perez Hilton (who, incidentally, happens to be the namesake of the Grimes Brothers’ parrot…), both the song and accompanying video keeps the high-energy, frenetic pop vibe of “Lipstick” going strong.  The pair are currently touring the UK, Ireland, and Germany.


Jedward – Bad Behaviour (Official Music Video) HQ from xeaaasy on Vimeo.

San Marino’s Senit has also released her next track, entitled “Through the Rain”.  At this point, however, it is only available through the Italian version of iTunes.  This upbeat, danceable track seems to be more in line with Senit’s previous releases than the sweet, subtle “Stand By”, and it even clocks in at less than the Eurovision-standard three minute mark.  Could this have been the mysterious other track that SMRTV had considered sending to Eurovision?

Following “Rusinka”, (FYR) Macedonia’s Vlatko Ilievski has just released his next video, for “Moja Tamna Rijeko”.  Call me crazy, but I prefer this softer side of Vlatko over the man we saw in Germany.  It might not be as catchy as “Rusinka”, but at least we can hear him singing this time around!  What are your thoughts?

Last, but certainly not least, Finland’s Paradise Oskar (Axel Ehnström) has released his second single, “Sunday Everyday”. 

Axel took home the Marcel Bezençon Press Award from the accredited journalists in Düsseldorf after his performance of “Da Da Dam”, and if you were a fan of his sweet, introspective, acoustic-driven style, his album “Sunday Songs” might be just your speed.  It’s hit the Top Five in the Finnish charts, and he’s touring actively throughout the summer.