Review: Ryan O’Shaughnessy- ‘Together’ (Ireland)

Artist: Ryan O’Shaughnessy

Song: Together

Country: Ireland

Rating: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

Ranking: 28th

Betting Odds: 201/1

‘We were drifting like two icebergs out on the ocean’ is the opening line from Ryan O’Shaughnessy’s 2018 Eurovision song ‘Together’. The line refers to a relationship that is on its way out which is elaborated on further as the song progresses, but could just as easily act as a metaphor for Ireland’s relationship with Eurovision. Ireland have increasingly become less and less relevant at Eurovision, failing to qualify in the last four years for the final of the Contest. Fans got their hopes up when it about national broadcaster RTE had started to reflect on their failure and address it through a Eurovision forum, and a revised internal selection process. This apparent new tact looked like it would result in the selection of a fresh new artist, the band the Heathers, but when they turned down the opportunity as a result of not being allowed to write their own song, RTE turned old hat and selected a male performer with a ballad.

As a Eurovision fan from Ireland this annoys me beyond belief. I don’t mean to be unfair to Ryan O’Shaughnessy. He and his song deserve merits: his song is well written, avoids cliches and is genuinely a lovely ballad, he executes the vocal well, he has been putting the effort in to promote the show at the pre-Contest events and he has even thought carefully about the story he tells in his music video which sees a same sex couple dance a beautifully choreographed routine in the streets of Dublin. My anger is more directed at RTE and how at face value this song is much of the same that Ireland have given us in the past two years. How is what Ryan is doing any different to the attempts in 2016 by Nicky Byrne and Brendan Murray? It’s not. Why can’t RTE learn? Why can’t they see that this hasn’t worked for them in the past? Why are they persisting with the same formula?

I was further exasperated when Ryan took to his twitter account and appeared to reveal something about the staging:

So not content with regurgitating the types of singer they choose, RTE it seems have also been lazy when it comes to the staging. They are going to rehash Brendan Murray’s hot air balloon showcase from 2017.

Given that Ireland have been drawn into the more difficult of the two semi finals (Semi Final 1) and that there is one extra performer in this semi final, I would say that Ireland’s chances of qualifying are slim. That would mean a fifth year in a row without a place in the final. I hope I’m wrong.

For more information on the artist here is 10 Things About…Ryan O’Shaughnessy!

The full lyrics to the song are here and check out the video below!

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