Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal
Cohesiveness of Package
I fully expect Ireland to follow a near identical path as Denmark 2009
Ireland have just confirmed the recent rumour that Nicky Byrne will represent the nation in Stockholm with the song, Sunlight.
With the selection process snatched from the incompetent hands of The Late Late Show, Sunlight signals a positive, clean break for Ireland. I can’t believe it took them this long to realise that the annual bickering from Louis Walsh and Linda Martin, as well as claims of backstage meddling, was having a damaging effect on Ireland’s Eurovision future. What recognised names would want to get involved with that rabble?
Teaming up with former Westlife writer, Wayne Hector, Nicky has delivered a fairly contemporary pop-rock sound usually heard at Danish Melodi Grand Prix: think of Brian Rice and Niels Brinck – the latter competed at Eurovision 2009, finishing 13th with 74 points. Better news for Ireland is that Brinck qualified from a 19-strong semi-final lineup with only a few friends. With more countries returning to Eurovision, this year’s Contest will see larger, more ruthless semi-finals, as well as better odds for and against qualification. Ireland will need a Western-leaning semi, but the presence of Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands would see their qualification odds contract, especially if the UK were thrown in too. Odds of 2.2 were available for a brief time on the day of release, which were quickly backed into sub-evens. I think that already confirms the level of confidence in the song.
It’s worth bearing in mind that Nicky does have the reputation of being the weaker singer from Westlife. Although in 2009, Brinck was far from perfect, so juries are forgiving if the song has authentic ingredients.
The Believe Again comparison is solid and I fully expect Ireland to follow a near identical path as Denmark 2009. Both songs have similar pacing and both feature an uplifting melody. If I had to be critical, I would point out that Sunlight has the weaker middle-eight and close, but this is easily rectified with staging and lighting.
Ireland should qualify this year and once in the final, the left hand side of the scoreboard looks well within reach.
Can Nick salvage Ireland’s recent record, or even prevent Sweden overtaking their win record?