Sadly, once again Ireland has flopped at Eurovision and we ended up with the lowest number of votes of any country in the two semi-finals.
In fairness to Sarah McTernan, she performed well and wasn’t fazed by the big occasion but the song was weak and she couldn’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
In case I am accused of sour grapes, I have to say that I entered a song this year but, in truth, it wasn’t a winner either so I am most definitely NOT saying it should have been my song instead of ‘22’ that was written by a Dutch trio of writers.
However, I cannot believe that there weren’t better songs submitted by Irish writers. Really, it all boils down to the method of selection but, other than being told that a panel of experts is involved, we don’t really know the nuts and bolts of the song selection process.
There have been unsubstantiated media reports that a lot of songs were almost instantly rejected because, in the opinion of the expert listening, the recording quality of the demo wasn’t good enough. If that is true, it would have been a big mistake because a ‘diamond in the rough’ could have been missed.
As Eurovision stands, I am convinced that only a knock-out song, one likely to be a hit in any event, delivered by a singer suitable to that song is the way to go. The Netherlands did well on a couple of recent occasions with country songs but, as far as I can recall, we have never tried that route. As far as presentation is concerned, we are getting to a point in Eurovision where less is more. Outrageousness has become boring and annoying.
Incidentally, selecting a song by public voting in this country (it didn’t happen this year) is unworkable because it’s not what it used to be when people took up the phone and voted for the song of their choice.
These days, it’s like an inter-county competition with people voting for their candidate regardless of the merits of the song. Also, when entire schools full of tech-savvy youngsters get involved the whole thing becomes twisted beyond repair.
It would cost money but I believe the best way forward is to change the selection process and then revert to a National Song Contest with weighted juries in centres around the country. It worked before.