We’re watching EuroSong 2013—Ireland’s national selection—live right now. These Irish artists are throwing down and here’s what we’re seeing and hearing from the on-air panelists. We’ll update this after each act.

1. Inchequin with “Song Kez”

Their Eurosong mentor explained that “Song Kez” means “the last time” in Turkish, and suggested that this could help them bring it at Eurovision. It’s a fair point—not only because Turks vote like no other at ESC—but because the ethno-Turkish-Irish sound would go down a treat in the East and the West. “If you’re looking for ethnic oomff and feeding hunger then I’m your man,” the mentor said.

The group, which is made up of three Turkish and two Irish artists, can seriously sing. Good for them! I’m struggling to get over their Village People look though.

The on-air panelists said that children wouldn’t react well to it and that it could do well “on a few listens.” One judge said he preferred it live than he did on demo, and said “it’s got something…it’s got a really good hook.” (Note: Children are too young to own cell phones to vote, so let’s not worry about them!). They also called it “a spicy stew, not a boring Irish stew…a Turkish delight.”

I can’t stop laughing at the fact one of their mentors is wearing some hideous coat, which you can see below.

2. Aimee Fitzpatrick with “Crashing Down”

Mark McCabe, Aimee’s mentor, is a Eurovision virgin. He said he chose his ballad because it seriously stands out. “Eurovision has gone over the top in the last couple of years and I think it’s coming down the other side. I think this is a good year for a ballad, especially with Loreen having won last year with a dance track.” Aimee turned 18 today, and her songwriter is only 20.

Aimee’s make-up looked good—very even foundation—and she curled her hair for us. Awwww. That aside, this performance is unmemorable. A pretty girl singing a pretty dull song. The only thing I remember at this point is that she had on a seriously tacky/oversized belt. She says “when I hit the ground I will be something.” She’s not falling tonight, y’all….this does nothing for me.

Bill, one of the expert panelists, said she was “right on the money. The lyrics are Adele without the revenge or the anger. Here in the studio that sounded pitch perfect.” Another applauded her for coming out cold and singing as well as she did.

3. Zoe Alexis Bohorquez with “Fire”

Zoe’s mentor said he chose this song because “it stacked up as well if not better than the others. That’s rather vague. He also said that Zoe was the “Cinderella story of the evening” because she used to work in the RTE cafeteria serving cheese toasties. “Now she’s at the ball. She’s gone from the canteen to the Late Late Show.” Apparently Nials from One Direction has been endorsing Zoe. We suspect it’s because of her rockin’ body and not because of her vocal ability.

She had pitch problems at the start, and they continued throughout the act. It’s unclear if she’s to blame or if it’s her tone-deaf back-up singers. She’s a lovely girl and the only contestant thus far who seems to have consulted a style consultant (each of her fingernails resembles a flame). God, I hate to say it, but I think she should go back to serving cheese toasties…this song kind of dies towards the end.

The panelists said they could feel the heat and that it was a really warm song. (Probably because there were flames shooting off on stage). “I thought it was more than smoking hot…I thought it was great,” one juror said. “You could hear that in a club.” Another: “I thought that was hot, that was fiery. Everything was glam, everyone looked great, and it fit within the Eurovision brief. If there is a brief that hit it on the nose….if they come out of tonight they can build on that for Malmo… There’s an older generation who is not going to find that particularly attractive…” Ouch.

The female juror said she liked the lighting. (Not exactly a ringing endorsement). “I kept thinking we’ve come a long way from Johnny Logan’s white suit. She carried off that high glam look.” Sadly this is not a modeling contest.

4. Ryan Dolan with “Only Love Survives”

Apparently Ryan wrote this song all by himself. His mentor said he stood out vocally and that his song has the potential to be stage brilliantly.

As for the performance, Ryan started out real, real pitchy. But he quickly recovered and Wiwi could not stop shaking his thing to those big ole ethno drums with tribal marks and the men with tattoos beating them. This makes you move! As with Zoe the back-up vocalists kind of shrieked rather than blending, but they can sort that out before Malmo I’m sure. This is by far the most memorable song thus far.

All three jurors were dancing in their seats during his act. “I thought the drummers, the surrounding act was really strong,” the female juror said. “I thought it was a really good up tempo song. It made more of an impression on me tonight than it did on the radio.”

An older male juror enjoyed the visuals and called it “a really strong song.”

5. Kasey with “Kiss Me There”

“I wanted to choose a song that will go down in Europe,” her mentor said. “I wanted a cheeky, flirty song…it’s girly. I wanted to get a bit of girl power.”

The lyrics should let you know what kind of song this is. “Boy it ain’t no shame to really want to kiss me….your lips are gonna be in heaven if you kiss me…” Wiwi loves that she moves her hands towards her nether-regions every few seconds in an incredibly staged and completely un-sexy way. She’s a pretty girl, but this song is just so forgettable. Generic pop at its best (or worst) depending on what you’re in to. She could have a great future as a fitness model. I hope she chooses that rather than pop.

The oldest juror claimed that the song “would stand up anywhere, even in France.” Another juror called it euro-trash, euro-disco, bubble gum pop. He wanted more “oompa oompa oompa” in the track, and went on about “what a pretty, gorgeous girl” the singer was. (Again: can I remind you this is a singing contest?!?) The female juror said it was “fun and flirty and cheek” as the mentor promised, and loved that the first 20 seconds came like a blast.

Who do you want to win? Are the panelists off? Let us know!

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11 years ago

Son Kez “ethno-Turkish-Irish sound”
I did not feel any Turkish sound….The song was composed by Hugh O’Neill and Sinead Bradley…The video was shot in Turkey and they have Turkish guys in the band, but for me that’s the only Turkish aspect of the song. Not the sound…

Roy van der Merwe
Roy van der Merwe
11 years ago

I am glad Ryan has made it

11 years ago

Zoe’s promo video looked extremely suspect to me, so I’m not surprised if she had issues.

After everyone else has resisted commenting on the title, Kasey’s mentor says of “Kiss Me There”: “I wanted to choose a song that will go down in Europe.” And you say she’s providing directions too? 😮