Review: Ireland- Molly Sterling ‘Playing With Numbers’

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Eurovision 2015 Ireland Molly Sterling

Ireland’s Eurovision fortunes have really taken a turn for the worse ever since their hey days of the late 80s/early 90s when they won a record breaking seven times. While still unbeaten to this day, Ireland haven’t even come close in recent years. They failed to qualify in 2014 with Cann Linn and Kasey Smith. They came in 26th place of 26 in the Final in 2013 with Ryan Dolan. It took Jedward’s ‘Lipstick’ in 2011 to seeĀ Ireland with any decent chance of doing well. Read on to see what we make of their chances in 2015.

17 year old singer songwriter Molly Sterling was chosen in February to represent Ireland on their Late Late Show Eurosong special. The youngster beat off stiff competition from Swedish singer Erika Selin, Ireland’s own Nikki Kavanagh, rapper Alex Saint and my personal favourite ‘Anybody Got a Shoulder’ penned by former Eurovision winner Charlie McGettigan and sung by Kat Mahon. Molly Sterling delivered the best vocal on the night and her song ‘Playing with Numbers’ would take her to Vienna.

The song is a pop ballad which Sterling performs flawlessly accompanied by her own piano. So iconic is her piano that recent merchandise has surfaced with the Irish singer and her piano on t-shirts and mugs. The love song’s lyrics take inspiration from accountancy of all things with metaphors about ‘debts to be paid’ ‘owing something’ and of course ‘playing with numbers’. I can’t help but feel that the imagery here could have been taken further in the song to really develop the theme.

The video for the song is pretty lack lustre with just a straight performance of the song behind her ever present piano.

The song is definitely a grower. I wasn’t a huge fan when I first heard it, but the more I listen to it the more I like it. Unfortunately, Molly doesn’t seem to have been able to do much promotion for the song in advance of the contest, not appearing at any of the pre-Eurovision concerts or doing any press for it. Add to this that most Eurovision viewers will watch the songs only once on the night, and couple this fact with Ireland’s poor placing, performing second (a slot that no one has ever qualified from) then you would have to say that their chances of qualifying are slim. What do you make of Ireland’s entry? If it’s one of your favourites, you can vote for it in our poll.

4 thoughts on “Review: Ireland- Molly Sterling ‘Playing With Numbers’

  1. Noone has ever qualified from 2nd? ahem, Estonia 2013,Iceland 2012,Macedonia 2012,Austria 2011,Russia 2010,Armenia 2010,Israel 2008,Sweden 2008. And Cake to Bake ‘Which was awful’ qualified on the tele vote… and if you notice form above you will see that no ballad has failed to qualify from 2nd so you claim of no song qualifying from 2nd is completely inaccurate.


    1. Apologies I’ve mixed up my trivia. No song that performed in the second slot has ever gone on to win the competition. Thanks for keeping me honest. šŸ™‚


  2. As Cathan mentions, no ballad has ever *failed* to qualify from #2, so it is far from a nightmare slot (probably the influence of the juries coming into play). I think we’ll see Molly in the final, given the 50-50 nature of the voting


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