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It's all kinds of everything but mammy Dana still cries 'fowl'

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Dustin the Turkey on stage during the Eurosong 2008 contest in Limerick for the right to represent Ireland at the Eurovision in May

Dustin the Turkey on stage during the Eurosong 2008 contest in Limerick for the right to represent Ireland at the Eurovision in May

Leona Daly showed there were no hard feelings by congratulating the bird-puppet after it beat her to the top spot

Leona Daly showed there were no hard feelings by congratulating the bird-puppet after it beat her to the top spot

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Dustin the Turkey on stage during the Eurosong 2008 contest in Limerick for the right to represent Ireland at the Eurovision in May

We've already had 'Pop Idol' and 'X Factor'. But the show to pick our Eurovision entry could just as easily have been called the 'Z Factor'.

Panellists Dana, Louis Walsh and last year's Eurovision winner Maria struggled with the various entrants, criticising a few for not being "Eurovision" songs -- that's a bad song to lay people like you and I.

In then end, it didn't really matter as the inevitable came to pass and Dustin was duly sent to the Eurovision in Belgrade with the dreadful parody, 'Irelande Douze Points'.

Paddy Power yesterday was offering odds of 5-1 that a puppet-turkey being wheeled around the stage on a blinged-up shopping trolley will bring home the prize this summer.

The panels' favourite, the closest entry to having the 'Z Factor', seemed to be Donal Skehan's 'Double Cross My Heart'.

And, to be fair, it did have all the elements of a song that could have our European friends reaching to the phone to give Ireland their "douze points".

A backing track that sounds like the autopilot tune on the old Casio keyboard Santa brought you years ago, a singer in a seductively silver pair of pants with matching waistcoat, banal lyrics ("I could take you to the moon, I could take you to the stars ... Instead of taking you to space, I'll promise you the world"), and a euro-pop dance routine all add up to a song that has the shelf-life of a carton of already opened milk -- a guaranteed smash, in Eurovision terms.

Leona Daly, whose 'Not Crazy After All' was easily the best song of the night, found herself the subject of Mammy Dana's scorn.

Ireland's first Eurovision winner advised the young upstart to "wear a lower pair of heels and put an inch on your dress".

Booed

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She restrained herself from licking a handkerchief and wiping Leona's dirty cheeks as she walked off stage.

When the voting public did the expected and sent Dustin, by then christened a duck by Maria, to the May semi-finals in Serbia, Mammy Dana wasn't best pleased.

She described it as a "fowl decision" and insisted we would be better off pulling out of the competition than sending Dustin.

Some of the crowd in the University of Limerick's Concert Hall booed, probably aware that a bad joke in Ireland will be lost in translation across Europe. Mammy Dana, meanwhile, kept scowling. And we all know that mammies are almost always proved right.


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