Ireland: the most successful country in Eurovision history with seven wins, but not much to sing about in recent years. With wins in 1970 (Dana), 1980 (Johnny Logan), 1987 (Johnny Logan), 1992 (Linda Martin), 1993 (Niamh Kavanagh), 1994 (Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan) and 1996 (Eimear Quinn), Ireland still holds the record for most wins at Eurovision. However, Ireland haven’t fared so well in the last 15 years, with only two top ten finishes and failing to qualify for the final on five occasions including 2015 and 2014. Sweden are hot on their heels with six wins and have performed particularly well in the past five years with two wins and two third places. Ireland, it would seem, has to step it up a notch…
Typically Ireland choose their artist and song for Eurovision through RTE’s Late Late Show Special, dedicated specifically to Eurovision that night usually in mid-late February. Customarily this sees five acts compete for the public vote, with the winner going on to represent Ireland.
This year however that all changed! The selection show is out and instead RTE have opted for internal selection. Ireland announced earlier this week that their choice for 2016 will be former Westlife star and RTE 2FM radio DJ, Nicky Byrne! Instead of waiting to February, Ireland are only the second country so far to unveil their song this year (after Albania), announcing that Byrne will sing song ‘Sunlight’ in Stockholm.
Will this change of tact work for Ireland? At the minute we’re not convinced. The last time Ireland chose their act internally was in 2007 when they chose Dervish to compete with ‘They Can’t Stop the Spring’. The live version of the song was atrocious and in the end they finished in last place. However, having said that, Nicky Byrne is a seasoned performer with years of experience performing live on a big stage with his other band mates as part of multi-million selling group Westlife. Not only that but at first listen the song is quite solid. It will be interesting to see what way they decide to stage it.
To be honest, I think I’m just annoyed we’re being deprived of a Late Late Eursong selection show! What do you make of Ireland’s choice? Let us know by commenting below and voting in our poll!