Wednesday 24 April 2019

Eurovision – From Johnny to Jedward the top 12 best and worst Irish entries ever

Euro star: Johnny Logan celebrates his second Eurovision win with 'Hold Me Now' in 1987
Euro star: Johnny Logan celebrates his second Eurovision win with 'Hold Me Now' in 1987
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Without enduring the bad, you can't appreciate the good, so let's kick off with some of the weirdest, wackiest and just plain terrible Irish Eurovision entries...

1977 The Swarbriggs Plus Two - It’s Nice to Be In Love Again

Tommy and Jimmy Swarbrigg represented Ireland in 1975 with That's What Friends are For (the song parodied by Father Ted with My Lovely Horse), and returned two years later with two ladies - Nicola Kerr and Alma Carroll - in tow (the plus two of the imaginative title). ABBA had won in 1977 with Waterloo so perhaps they wanted to jump on the quartet bandwagon. They came ninth, however, the same position they had achieved in 1975.


1995 Eddie Friel - Dreamin’

The 90s were our decade when it came to Eurovision.  We had Linda Martin, Niamh Kavanagh, Charlie McGettigan and Paul Harrington and Eimear Quinn.  You may also remember Eddie Friel?  No?  Here's a reminder...


2000 Millennium of Love - Eamonn Toal

Apart from the horrendous song title, there was the anachronistic mullet to contend with.  Eamonn's vocals were spot on but it's a pity he had to wrestle with lyrics including, "Celebrate the new millennium of love/Where our footprints leave a harvest for the children".  Candles were projected on the big screens behind him. Let's make sure we don't bleedin win this year lads. Sorted.


2007 - The Dervish - They Can't Stop the Spring

This was the year a woman dressed as a milkmaid sang lyrics including 'The curtain has been raised, the wall no longer stands / And from Lisadell to Latvia we're singing as one clan'.  There was a fiddle, a bodhran and an accordian thrown in for good measure.


2008 – Dustin the Turkey Irlande Douze Point

The year we sent a turkey.


2012 - Jedward, Waterline

Perhaps encouraged by the respectable eight place achieved by the Grimes lads in 2011 with their single Lipstick, we sent them back again the following year.  Waterline wasn't to be quite the hit that Lipstick had been although it got them through the semi-finals and into the final where it limped home in 19th place.


And now for the not so bad...

Ireland has won Eurovision seven times, no less, and we chart the best of the wins here.  We've spared you Dana's All Kinds of Everything.  Just because...

1980 - Johnny Logan, What's Another Year

One of the few genuine heartthrobs this country has ever produced, Johnny won the hearts of viewers across Europe... He won the competition purely on the merits of the song, however.  And what a song it was, full of longing and melancholy and the pain of lost love...


1987 - Johnny Logan, Hold Me Now

Seven years later he was back with a funkier hairdo and THAT white suit, singing, "Touch, touch me the way you used to do, I know tonight could be all I'll have with you".  Swoon.

"For the last time...."


1992 - Linda Martin, Why Me

Linda Martin, who came second in 1984 with the Johnny (there he is again) Logan-penned Terminal 3, was back, this time with another song penned by Logan.  The perfect power ballad for an early 90s win.  G'wan Linda.


1993 - Niamh Kavanagh, In Your Eyes

Linda won in 1992 with flaming red hair and a power ballad. The following year, a flame-haired Niamh Kavanagh won once again with another power ballad.  Hey, if it ain't broke...


1994 - Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan, Rock n Roll kids

Forget all the bells and whistles and elaborate staging, this win was proof that all you need is a damn good song.  A deserving win.


1996 - Eimear Quinn, The Voice

The Voice was written and composed by Brendan Graham,the man who had also written and composed Rock N Roll Kids, our 1994 winner.  Again, minimal staging, a great song, a beautiful voice = winner.  Graham had originally intended it to be performed by Dervish but saw Eimear singing with Anuna and the rest is history...

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