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The Luck Of The Irish….Or Not?

Posted by DINRIL on May 14, 2007

Well, we knew that it would only be a matter of time before the Western European countries started kicking up a fuss over the result of this year’s Eurovision – but so far, to our surprise, it’s been Ireland who have been among the most vocal. According to ESC Today Irish TV station RTE is seriously considering withdrawing from next year’s contest after Dervish came last in Helsinki with their flute-ridden whimsy They Can’t Stop The Spring. Only Albania (the same country who, coincidentally, saved Malta from nul points hell last year) thought the song was worthy of any points, with even closest allies the UK choosing to ignore it.

To which we say: well sorry Ireland, but someone has to come last and this year it happened to be your turn – and to be honest, you deserved it. While we have no doubt that Dervish are good at what they do, they were completely out of their depth on Saturday night and their performance was one of the weakest of the entire contest.

Given the generally poor showing of Western Europe this year, it is of course all too easy to blame neighbourly voting for this kind of failure, conveniently forgetting the fact that Ireland sailed through to the final only last year and scored a top ten placing (presumably that counts for nothing all of a sudden).

But being the most successful country in Eurovision history doesn’t automatically give you the right to do well every year, then throw your toys out of the pram when it doesn’t happen, and Ireland would do well to remember that. Had they come up with something of the standard of Brian Kennedy in 2006, they might well have been in with a chance of cracking the top ten again. But the fact that not even the UK – your nearest ally – gave you even a single point should suggest something, should it not?

The UK, of course, didn’t do particularly well either – but did Scooch get all huffy about it? No, they didn’t. As might have become obvious from previous postings, we absolutely hated Flying The Flag and were convinced it should never have gone to Helsinki in the first place – but fair play to the band, rather than sulk about it they have taken defeat gracefully – they went to the contest, they had a good time, they’ve now landed themselves a top five single in the charts and they’re remaining cheerful about the whole thing. And we say – good for them. Yes, you’re still rubbish, but in a nice way. We like that.

Ireland’s success last year proved that with the right song and performance, it is possible for an old school Eurovision country to do well – this year just wasn’t the right song and performance. Eurovision has moved on, and while that kind of thing might have swept to victory in 1996 it takes a bit more than that to win the contest these days. Maybe Ireland need to go back and think about how they can do better next year, rather than flouncing off in a huff. And besides, they should look on the bright side – they still scored more points than the Czech Republic.

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3 Responses to “The Luck Of The Irish….Or Not?”

  1. anon said

    Only the Albanian back-up jury saved Ireland from the biggest null points in history (you know the televoters there didn’t have it in their top ten). 🙂

    No doubt that the east sent better songs this year (and lack of interest from the west allows diaspora from the east to send all the points from the west to the east as well), but I still think some problem with the voting exists. I bet I could make a list right now of where the twelve points from each country will go next year (obviously before the selection of any of the songs), and get at least half of them right.

  2. Tinsie said

    Well, I can tell you one thing – they won’t go to Ireland if Ireland comes up with another twee song like this year’s. We couldn’t believe our eyes on Saturday night when they appeared on stage. We thought they were having a laff.

    I mean, really, what were they thinking?!

  3. Pervie said

    They probably fell for the same trap as quite a lot western european countries: sending songs whose “best before” -date had expired long time ago.

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