Monty’s Eurovision Countdown 2023 Part 18 – Ireland

We Are One by Wild Youth.

Ireland’s selection process gained the most attention it’s had for years, but not because of who won it. Wild Youth’s victory seemed almost casually discarded once Sex Pistol John Lydon had been dumped out of the running. Such a big – and entirely unlikely – name inevitably courted the headlines, but in the end, it wasn’t just the terrible setting of the Late Late Show studio that did Johnny rotten, but his own vocal performance. His entry was so moving in theory, less so in reality.

Despite the relative invisibility of the winning act I wasn’t expecting RTE, their record label, or whoever in Linda Martin’s holy name thought it was a good idea, to put sequined bags over their heads in the video to render them even less visible in the song’s official presentation to the world. What the feck were yous thinking, lads?

The song’s OK. It’s not a smash hit 8th winner for Ireland, who may well lose sole custody of the crown for most wins this year. It’s uplifting, anthemic, and should sound great in the hall in May. But it has to connect to viewers at home and at the first hurdle the fence has been heightened by the riders themselves. We’ve no chance to engage with the band, or become familiar with them, and they’re having to work doubly hard to build the engagement their eyes and faces can’t do. The head coverings are a bizarre, almost inexcusable creative decision.

Despite this the Irish final did feel like at least a judder in a better direction. Until it decouples from a stale-ish Friday night TV show (and doesn’t shove another turkey at it) Ireland’s record is easily going to be surpassed.

My marks: 6 points

 

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