Last night saw Ireland choose Molly Sterling and her song ‘Playing with Numbers’ to represent Ireland at Eurovision 2015. The 16 year old was chosen over Kat Mahon who’s Charlie McGettigan penned ‘Anybody Got a Shoulder?’ finished in second place. Third place went to Swedish singer Erika Selin and in fourth was early favourite to win Nikki Kavanagh with her song ‘Memories’. Finishing bottom of the pack was Alex Saint’s ‘She’s So Fine’.
RTE have come under fire recently for choosing not only dated, boring and predictable songs to compete in the Late Late Eurosong special but also for the format itself. The studio is too small to accommodate any intricate staging and choreography and pails in comparison to major production value from other countries like Sweden who’s Melodifestivalen sees acts compete over a number of weeks in arenas around the country. Recently two time former winner Johnny Logan commented on how the Irish Selection process needs a major shake up.
The Late Late Show seem to have the same guests on each year, with Linda Martin appearing as a regular feature. The panel’s opinions also seem dated with petty discussion about block voting and seeming not to take the Eurovision all that seriously. The panel can also be quite cutting with their feedback, most notably when discussing Nikki Kavanagh’s vocal, citing it as being ‘screechy’. In addition to this the panel debated the merits of having Swedish born singer Erika Selin represent Ireland, as neither performer nor songwriter were from Ireland. This is a ridiculous notion when the selection process was opened to anyone regardless of their nationality.
The voting system also seems quite bizarre in that unlike many other countries who have national juries made up of experts from other countries in Europe, Ireland’s jury vote came from regional areas within the country itself (Sligo, Limerick, Cork, Galway and Dublin). The idea behind having an international jury is to get an sense of what kinds of songs the other voting countries at Eurovision like and therefore will more likely do well.
Having said that the votes were extremely close with Molly being victorious over Kat with a margin of just 4 points. You can listen to the winning song below. Did Ireland make the right choice?