A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Friday, February 11, 2011

Will Jedward win in Ireland?

Tonight Ireland will make their selection for Düsseldorf and try to regain some of their lost power.

I hardly need to tell you that Ireland won four years out of five 1992 - 1996, which proved to be a bit more than most could take. When Eimear Quinn won in Oslo 1996, one Swedish evening newspaper headlined: "Make Ireland sing in Finnish from now on!"

Since then, Ireland has lost it altogether, and in the ten last contests the emerald isle managed to squeeze into top ten only once.

After last years semi-flop (Niamh Kavanagh made it to the final but scored poorly there) with a classic eurovision ballad (eurospeak for "ultra-conservative"), RTÉ has decided to push things forward and try to go more modern.

Five prominent people from Irish showbiz got to nominate one act each and tonight they will all battle it out between them. Huge media favourites are Jedward, the Dublin twins who shot to stardom after a memorable run on Britain's "X Factor".

They are bubbly, fun, outgoing, loud, have a peculiar look... in short, they have everything a successful pop act is made of. And, oh well, it would have been nice had they been able to carry a tune as well.

That doesn't necessarily have to be a problem if their songs is adapted according to their limited range. Dana International didn't exactly sing like Callas in Birmingham but won anyway.

A far greater problem is that Jedward are nowhere near as famous and popular around Europe as some British/Irish people around the net seem to believe. They won't get any points for free, they will have to be able to sell themselves and their song.

It is also hard to tell if their tiny violation of the rules will work to their advantage or the other way around.

An ultra short snippet of their song was published online earlier than it should have, when their record label placed a preview on a music store, after which RTÉ decided to change the rules. Now the juries will have a larger say in the final result, and the televotes will only count as a third of the grand total.

Maybe the upbeat twins would do better with the people than with a jury? Before the night is over, we will know.

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