independent

Monday 1 September 2014

Taking the referendum approach in Baku

SHEA TOMKINS

Published 29/05/2012 | 08:54

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MOMENTS BEFORE Jedward took to the Eurovision stage in Baku on Saturday night, a woman who was sitting next to me in a hotel bar remarked that Ireland seemed to have taken the 'referendum approach' to the competition this year. In other words, she explained, the jury voted no last year so the boys were sent back again, in the hope that they would earn a yes-vote the second time around.

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Sending Jedward to sing on behalf of the country two years in a row was a strange move, especially when last year's effort that finished in eighth position was pretty phenomenal, and would surely take some beating. You would imagine that the first thing the organisers would have done was ensure that the song was an improvement on Lipstick; it wasn't. Waterline had a catchy chorus in the Blink 182-style, but after that it was a case of the boys trying to puff the words out in time, as they hopped and cart-wheeled their way through their latest few minutes in the Euro spotlight.

Sharon Corr spoke out over the weekend about how she would prefer to see some of the outstanding Irish musical talent that is the heartbeat of our culture going forward to represent us in future. Brian Kennedy was asked in a recent interview why one of our better singer/songwriters wasn't given a chance this year, and he asked if they are putting themselves forward? If they are not, then it needs to be determined why.

Maybe they have been submitting entries, but the selection panel is pushing them to one side. You would hate to think that there is another song to match the the standard of Rock 'n' Roll Kids out there, that the television audience is being kept from hearing. Ray D'arcy and his radio show team should be approached and asked to find the Irish entry for next year. Have a listen to the quality of the music they select for airplay on a daily basis and you'll soon understand why; they have their fingers on the pulse when it comes to recognising what a younger and cosmopolitan audience wants.

Jedward appear to be nice guys. They are great entertainment for kids, and they did their country proud, twice. They have also made a lot of money from their effervescent act and have given my own young lad many moments of happiness, but it speaks volumes when last year he watched replays of their performance well into midsummer, copying the dance moves and pretending that he and the younger lad were the Brothers Grimes heading off on various adventures. On Sunday morning last, he woke up and said his favourite part was when they jumped into the shower at the end, before asking to watch the Lady and The Tramp. We look forward to seeing next year's plan of attack.

ANY DRINK WILL DO

Tonsillitis has bullied its way into our home in the past week alongside an army of angry ants, disgruntled over the good woman's decision to hack away at the overgrown shrubbery which was hindering the glorious sunshine from illuminating our front garden. If someone demolished my home, I'd probably put it upon them to let me move in with them too, at least until I could make alternative arrangements. Before his diagnosis, we tried the young lad with an old wives' remedy to ease his sore throat, and made an attempt to get him to sup some flat 7UP. As soon as the once bubbly liquid crashed against his lips, he refused. He won't suffer fizzy drinks, which is not a bad thing. However, with our backs turned for a moment, the younger lad made his way over to the glass and whisk, it was gone. Not yet two years of age, it was his first contact with a soft drink, and upon swallowing, his eyebrows shot up towards the ceiling. After gasping for a few seconds, he smiled and asked for more. Since then we have watched him make light work of a cup of his granny's tea, and the good woman's coffee. With such a thirst on him, we have decided it's time to keep the wine bottles on a height.

KATHY STEALS NORTON SHOW

Quote of the week goes to Kathy Burke during her weekend appearance on Bafta-winner Graham Norton's chat show. She relayed to her host that a taxi driver once said to her, 'Don't take this the wrong way love, but you look a bit like Kathy Burke.' Priceless.

Fellow guests, Cameron Diaz and David Attenborough, may have been too busy fawning over each other to notice, and who could blame them really, but every time Kathy opened her mouth she stole the show. Burke is a true and talented comedian, and we welcome the news that she has decided to return to our screens, having penned a TV show based on her 1970's childhood.

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