A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Monday, April 8, 2013

Semi 1: 13 Ireland

It isn't unusual that a song is almost invisible in the preview speculations and then does really well in the end. In 2013, it wouldn't surprise me if that very song turned out to be Ireland.

Ryan Dolan - Only Love Survives (Ireland 2013)

I don't know why, but at first this song failed to impress. I thought it was the best one in the Irish final, but the performance and production in that RTÉ studio felt a bit lacklustre and at least I was left with the feeling that these people tried to make their own Euphoria without really knowing how.

Then at some point this song starting growing on me. There is something very suggestive and appealing about the arrangement and build-up, and the verse works as a terrific teaser for an effective chorus.

And Ryan Dolan is a very likeable singer too, with a vulnerable and dramatic tone in his voice. If the Malmö Arena inspires him in a way the RTÉ studio failed to do and young Dolan manages to sing his heart out without over-acting his song, then Ireland could stand out as one of the best pop acts on the night.

Yes, unless somebody totally manages to wreck the stage presentation this one should easily convince the audience at this point in the running order.

My grade: 4/5


  1. I share the same thoughts - weak live at the NF but I really like the studio version. For me this is a better song than Euphoria (yes I'm probably one of very few to think so).

  2. To me the Irish song suffers from the same problem as many other entries this year. Good basic idea and some nice gimmicks, but overall too little essence to fill three minutes. I think that the song is over in 1,5 minutes, the rest is repeating what you have heard before without any major, or even minor, development. So if you are bored even before the song ends, several hearings make it a nuisance.