Wiwi Jury: Ireland’s Ryan Dolan with “Only Love Survives”

This morning the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of music unprofessionals—caught a ferry to Ireland to review Ryan Dolan’s Eurovision song “Only Love Survives”. Did we want to eat him up like an Irish man wanted to eat during the potato famine? Or were we praying that the U.K. could drift a bit further from the Emerald Isle? Read on to find out…

Vebooboo:  Baku had Tooji, Malmö will have Ryan Dolan. Ryan and Tooji would be best friends – they could talk about their utter lack of vocal talent, and their love of a wide variety of women’s skincare products. Then they could get in bed together and talk about a whole lotta other things if you know what I mean. But while they would connect off-stage, Eurovision viewers will sadly not connect with the live version of this song.  Throw in Ivi Adamou, and we’ve got a wild party of great songs delivered woefully off-potential by atrocious vocals. I absolutely love the potential this song has…it’s the delivery I have a problem with.  The saving grace for Ryan is that Tooji and Ivi both made it to the Finals…the bad news is that they came in last and 16th, respectively.

Score: 6.5 /10

Ireland, Ryan Dolan, 2Deban: Ireland has won Eurovision seven times, more than any other country, including an unprecedented three consecutive victories in 1992, 1993 and 1994 – the most consecutive wins accumulated by a country to date. The decade also saw yet another victory in 1996 and two second place finishes in 1990, 1997 which gives Ireland the best overall performance by any country in the history of the Contest. When Ireland performs poorly like in 2012, they still pitch stars like Jedward who have a stable of hits in countries as far as Sweden, Russia and Korea. With that in mind, this year’s Eurosong is befitting for a country with a short history like San Marino. The entries were very weak, and it was clear from the start that Ryan Dolan was peddling in a one-man race.

Only Love Survives is pure brilliance! Sounds like Darren Hayes doing a throw back to the Ibiza days, this is bound to get the club floors packed across the Emerald Isle.. The lyrics have an anthemic feel to it, whilst the music arrangement belts a current vibe. If you liked it the first time, you’d love it on repeat listens.

Score: 8 /10

HK Dick: Ireland had a good final this year with all five songs having potential. When I watched the winning song, I was too distracted by the drummers to pay too much attention to Ryan. So I listened again and just don’t get what the hype is about. Sure, it’s a decent enough pop tune but distinctly average and needs some serious oomph if Ireland want to do well.

Score: 6/10

Bogdan: Yes! This is what a winning Eurovision song sounds like. It is uplifting, it is complex, and superbly performed. It’s also very current, a club song that will look very good on the ESC stage, dominated this year by a bunch of wailing divas. Speaking of, the fact that a guy performs it is a plus. I wouldn’t give it 12 points for the lyrics, which are a bit nonsensical (“If it’s the end of time love will remain”? I don’t think, so honey), but nonetheless, it’s not a poem contest. And it’s a good tune.

Score: 9/10

Ireland, Ryan Dolan, 3Alexander: After two years of Jedward, Ireland has delivered once again with Ryan Dolan’s “Only Love Survives”. While it’s a bit generic musically for a pop song (as a lot of this year’s entries are), and Ryan’s live performance could be improved, it’s overall still a great entry. It’s catchy, upbeat, and danceable. The superb lyrics are also deeper than a typical pop song, which distinguishes it from others. The message conveyed is cute, powerful, and positive all at the same time! 🙂

Score: 8/10

Mr Häggkvist: Well, i’m not very sure about this, the good thing is that the boy can sing, his voice is really good, but the song itself is a mix of a lot of different things that I would not associate, I think he’s trying to make an anthem, but to me in this case “Less is More”… Good but not great.

Score: 5 /10

Wiwi: Ryan entreats us “to be love.” But if love sounds like this, Ima have to turn into hate or envy or greed or some other emotion that doesn’t require ear plugs. Ryan is great digitally re-mastered, but his live performance really lets him down. That’s a shame. This song has so much potential. I love the tribal drumming — very Emmelie de Forest. And unlike Slovenia’s entry, this dance number doesn’t feel that repetitive. Ireland should sail through to the final, but I don’t see many douze points coming Ryan’s way.

Score: 5.5/10

The Wiwi Jury Verdict: 6.85/10

You can see the latest reviews and standings on the Wiwi Jury pageYou can also listen to all 39 entries on our contestants page.