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1 June 2016 Blog Radio Blaa Blaa

Let’s get one thing straight from the start. I have made bowel movements that sound better than most Eurovision songs. I could produce a better sound even if I use my nuts as a break on a rusty blade. My pattern of mid-morning snoring would be a better entrant then anything Romania have sent in the last 30 years.

In brief – the Eurovision Song Contest is pants.

Gone were the days of an actual well-constructed tune with hook, great chorus and even better lyrics , replaced by a six Russians grannies with a combined age of 792 “singing” on stage as the crowd roar like lunatics…and the operative word is ‘lunatic’ here folks.

These are people more likely to bring their glow sticks and questionable clothing to a Scooter gig (and when your entertainment is driven by your love of a hard core German dance act it’s disturbing)

Stop the world….I wanna get off.

The ironic thing about the Eurovision is that little old Ireland still hold the record for the most amount of wins.. Pretty little Dana sung ‘All Kinds of Everything’ in 1970 and captured the hearts of a nation. Ten years later Johnny Logan took Shay Healy’s ballad ‘What’s Another Year’ to victory in the Hague and score himself a top three hit in the UK and around the whole of Europe.

Johnny had it rough after that , despite being managed by an up-and-coming upstart called Louie Walsh. Bankruptcy beckoned and Logan slummed it in some dodgy pubs before coming out of nowhere to write, produce and win the 1987 Eurovision with ‘Hold Me Now’.

Then we had an unprecedented three-in-a-row in the early nineties. It started with Linda Martin (looking older than she does these days) and Logan’s penned ballad ‘Why Me?’

In 1993 Niamh Kavanagh , sticking to the tried and trust ballad route, won in Dublin with ‘In Your Eyes’, just pipping Uk’s Sonia with the voting going to the very last vote.

1994 proved to be the year of what happened between the interval.

On the stage Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan produced by far Ireland’s best tune …the wonderfully nostalgic ‘Rock & Roll Kids’ wrote by Bredan Graham who would go on to write ‘You Raise Me Up’ and which set a record for the most amount of maximum points and the fastest victory in the Eurovision’s history (It was won with 10 countries still to send in their votes,) whilst off it, some guy called Micheal Flately pounced around, rather beautifully, with Jean Butler and a host of Irish dancers for ‘Riverdance’ in a ‘where were you when it happened’ moments.

Dermot Graham recalled how he had pitched the idea of ‘Riverdance’ to host Gerry Ryan before the interval show, as he needed sponsors, Ryan would just laugh at him and the idea that the world would go crazy for Irish dancing.

Our last victory to date came (rather surprising in my eyes) with 1996’s best “The Voice” sung by student Eimear Quinn. I say surprising because it seemed way to traditional to win over juries from Britain to Bulgaria…but it did.

And that’s about as good as it got for us. But there were also near misses. Mr Eurovision Johnny Logan may have penned ‘Why Me’ to success in ’92 but Linda Martin also sung his 1984 composition ‘Terminal 3’ to second place in a very tight race with Sweden’s infuriatingly catchy ‘Diggy-loo-Digg-ely.


One of the classist entries we ever produced came from Bagatelle front-man Liam Reilly in 1990 when his tune ‘Somewhere In Europe’ brought Italian entry Toto Cunugo right down to the very last set of votes . Eight votes from Cyprus would have won for Reilly. Alas they gave us none, while awarding the maximum twelve to a man who sounded like he’s eaten a bucket of coal and what still chewing on it.

I will never set foot in their country…until I somehow become a multi billionaire, buy the entire country, saw around its borders and let it drift off into the Mediterranean sea.

The turn of a new century has seen a gradual decline in decent songs, replaced by more and more outrageous tune. 2016 proved no different, the Belarussian act of a near naked man and wolf boarded on beastiality – even that’s a new first for the Eurovision! We also came across a new country in Europe called Australia. I’m looking forward to Ryanair giving low budget flights to that country any time now.

The question is, why do million upon millions watch it every May? Personally I think it’s a freak show that produces car crash TV and everybody wants a front row set. Nicky Byrne’s entry wasn’t great, but it still sounded good enough to make it to finals night, a night we haven’t been part of now for the last three years.

I’m all for not sending an entry to the Eurosong ever again but our pride and our record at the event will probably mean we’ll see another effort fail in 2017. The obvious thing would probably to roll out Johnny Logan to roll back the years next. Not only is his link to the contest very strong, but he still tours in Europe and packs them in to venues as tight as the trousers around his slightly expanded waist.

Either that or give me a time machine, transport me back to Craggy Island in the late nineties and get two priests up on stage to sing ‘My Lovely Horse’.

What fun we would have had!



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