Wednesday 13 December 2017

Five things we learned from the Eurovision Song Contest 2014

Conchita Wurst, representing Austria, performs the song
Conchita Wurst, representing Austria, performs the song "Rise Like a Phoenix" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

Let’s be honest with ourselves.

We’ll joke about and laugh all we want at the Eurovision, but when it comes down to it, the votes are clocked up and the results are in, we really do take it personally that we didn’t make it.

Ireland’s act Can-linn featuring Kasey Smith failed to make it to the final last night at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest’s second semi-final.

Judging by the Twitter reaction, we did take it personally, but we also acknowledged the fact that our performance just wasn’t strong enough.

If we’re to relive the Eurovision glory days, which we can, there are a few things that need to be fixed.

Here are only some of them, no doubt you have more...

1. Quit the paddy-whackery

They know we’re Irish, there is no need to adorn our performance with things that are ‘typically Irish’. We don’t need a fiddle, flute or an Irish dancer, Europe knows who we are and they will vote when they see something good.

Let’s stop trying to endear them with our ‘Hey, we’re Irish, we’re a great bunch of lads, remember us?’ performances.

2. Anything goes

Let’s not hold back.

Watching the show last night, it seemed anything goes. Polish maids in traditional costume, albeit with a lot more cleavage, washing clothes – well, why not? An infinite piano that didn’t even play music? Well, it got people talking.

Next year, let’s have the show that people won’t leave the room for, no matter how many cans of fizzy drink they’ve consumed in the past hour.

3. Become independent

Even more Irish fans have mentioned how we need to become independent from the national broadcaster in our Eurovision bid. RTE control how the Eurovision entry is selected and how it is presented on stage.

The Eurosong Contest hosted on the Late Late Show does not help the matter in attempting to appeal to a young Eurovision-enthusiastic audience. We know RTE were there in the glory days but times have changed.

4. What works in the market?

Think about what works in the market today.

A One Direction-like band called ‘Softengine’ performed for Finland last night. None of them had particular amazing voices, but the package as a whole looked good, quite like One Direction themselves.

Can-Linn, representing Ireland, perform the song
Can-Linn, representing Ireland, perform the song "Heartbeat" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Can-Linn (featuring Kasey Smith) representing Ireland perform the song 'Heartbeat' during the second semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest in the B&W Halls in Copenhagen, Denmark, Thursday, May 8, 2014.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Carl Espen, representing Norway, performs the song "Silent Storm" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Vilija Mataciunaite, representing Lithunia, perform the song "Attention" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
People wave flags during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, May 8, 2014. The competition's two semi-finals will take place on May 6 and May 8, while the grand final will be held on May 10. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz (DENMARK - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Firelight, representing Malta, performs the song "Coming Home" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Firelight, representing Malta, performs the song "Coming Home" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Mei Finegold, representing Israel, performs the song "Same Heart" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
The Shin and Mariko, representing Georgia, performs the song "Three Minutes to Earth" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, May 8, 2014. The competition's two semi-finals will take place on May 6 and May 8, while the grand final will be held on May 10. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz (DENMARK - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Donatan & Cleo, representing Poland, perform the song "My Slowianie- We Are Slavic" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
The band Shin and Mariko representing Georgia perform the song 'Three Minutes to Earth' during the second semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest in the B&W Halls in Copenhagen, Denmark
Mei Finegold representing Israel performs the song 'Same Heart' during the second semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest in the B&W Halls in Copenhagen
Donatan & Cleo, representing Poland, perform the song "My Slowianie- We Are Slavic" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Conchita Wurst, representing Austria, performs the song "Rise Like a Phoenix" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Conchita Wurst, representing Austria, performs the song "Rise Like a Phoenix" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Sebalter representing Switzerland performs the song "Hunter of Stars" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Sebalter representing Switzerland performs the song "Hunter of Stars" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Sebalter representing Switzerland performs the song "Hunter of Stars" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Sebalter representing Switzerland performs the song "Hunter of Stars" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Softengine, representing Finland, perform the song "Something Better" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Can-Linn, representing Ireland, perform the song "Heartbeat" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Teo, representing Belarus, performs the song "Cheescake" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Teo, representing Belarus, performs the song "Cheescake" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Tijana, representing Macedonia, performs the song "To the Sky" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Tijana representing Macedonia performs the song "To the Sky" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Sebalter representing Switzerland performs the son "Hunter of Stars" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Sebalter representing Switzerland performs the song 'Hunter of Stars' during the second semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest in the B&W Halls in Copenhagen, Denmark
Paula Seling & OVI representing Romania perform the song "Miracle" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Tinkara Kovac representing Slovenia performs the song "Round and round" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Freaky Fortune representing Greece performs the song "Rise Up" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Freaky Fortune representing Greece performs the song "Rise Up" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Tinkara Kovac representing Slovenia performs the song "Round and round" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Donatan & Cleo representing Poland perform the song "My Slowianie- We Are Slavic" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Donatan & Cleo representing Poland perform the song "My Slowianie- We Are Slavic" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Paula Seling & OVI representing Romania perform the song "Miracle" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Conchita Wurst representing Austria performs the song "Rise Like a Phoenix" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
Mei Finegold representing Israel performs the song "Same Heart" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen
The Shin and Mariko representing Georgia performs the song "Three Minutes to Earth" during the second semi-final at the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen

Malta presented a Mumford & Sons-like band called Firelight that had a strong following on social media. Yes, we were quick to mention they sounded like Mumford & Sons, but the song was good and an easy listen.

5. Stop the history lesson

Finally, a lot of Eurovision fans both last night and this morning were quick to mention it looks like Ireland tries to copy years gone by.

Everybody saw the massive commercial and Eurovision success of Sweden’s Euphoria in 2012, it’s highly unlikely another dance tune will beat that in the next few years.

Let’s break the mould, why should we be a carbon copy of past performances? Let’s take a risk.

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