Ireland’s search for its first ever Junior Eurovision representative came to an end tonight, with Aimee Banks winning the much coveted ticket to Sofia. During the hour-long Junior Eurovision Eire final, the panel of Niamh Kavanagh, Brian Kennedy and Stiofán Ó Fearail chose to send the 13-year-old and her song “Réalta Na Mara” (Star of the Sea).
She faced stiff competition from Zena Donnelly, who joined her in the final sing-off.
Aimee Banks “Réalta Na Mara” (Star of the Sea) Final performance
“Réalta na Mara” Studio Version
David Kennedy, Muireann Vaughan and the two wildcards – Lisa-Rose McMahon and Aislí Moran finished joint third.
So what do y’all think of the result? Is a historic debut Junior Eurovision victory on the cards? Let us know below.
Aimee was interviewed live in studio on last night’s ‘Two Tube’ on RTE about her win :
To add to that Eva, Zena Donnelly seems to have a load of different things going on in her career at the moment and the best of luck to her, so perhaps it’s no bad thing that the slightly more low profile Aimee Banks got the nod (Zena can always have another go at JESC Éire in future of course).
Jonas, Niall and Brendan have done a fine job of revamping the entry too. As a debut entry, it’s a decent one : excellent singer and a good song.
I totally agree with Ron on the complications of organizing 5 live shows, especially when the country is debuting. I also understand why they would still have a selection show even though people cannot vote. Obviously this allows them to gauge interest and set up a foundation for possible future shows when the public can vote. I watched the two performances and I like Aimee better. The music world is fairly small within a country and once you reach a certain level, most people know each other, had done concerts together, have songs written by the same song writer, have… Read more »
Top 17 !!:
14-Ireland (I don’t like opera….)
In their defence Eugene, live semi finals and the final being live would have been problematic. The shows need to be subtitled for the English speaking audience which would be hard to do live. Also, not all of the singers would be fluent in Irish, so I imagine they had to stop filming a few times and start again when interviewing them.
Perhaps they could have recorded semis next year and then a live final (or one slightly on delay to allow for the subtitling) with televoting.
@Ron Yep he did, although if Niamh had said Zena then it wouldn’t of gone to Stiofan, oh I feel like Billy lolz
Possibly a conflict of interest there alright, though in fairness Stiofan had the deciding vote and also went with Aimee.
Congrats to Aimee, although just saw that Niall Mooney and Jonas Gladnikoff helped write the song (the same writers as It’s for you, Ireland 2010), don’t know if Niamh knew who the writers were, but it’s a bit close to the wind that she picked Aimee, was she completely impartial?
Another thing that has me very sceptical, Padraig is that this sounds like a rather basic rehash of the mentor system which RTE kicked into touch for good a couple of years ago.
@ Sioda, I can believe many parts of your info but the bit about it taking place during two consecutive Late Late Shows has me scratching my head in puzzlement. RTE would surely never allow their flagship and iconic chat show be taken over by something like this for two weeks running, it would be unprecedented.
If you were saying this was a standalone concept away from the LLS, I could believe it in a flash. Unless the idea is for the ESC segment to only form part of the first show or something?
@Sioda Seriously! Okay that’s it [email protected]#k you RTE I’m Swedish now.
GUYS! Please do not take Sioda’s comments at face value. We can all start rumours and claim to have relatives working in RTÉ. Until there’s a confirmed source that comment should be considered as total fantasy.
My top now:
3. The Netherlands- my country
6. San Marino
9. F.Y.R. Macedonia
10. IRELAND: not so good, her voice sounds less screamy then Malta lat year though.
@sioda if that is true i might be rather angry . also i would rather see lisa hannigan sing for Ireland at eurovision than be mentor in its selection show…
RTE is NOT going internal for Ireland’s ESC 2016 entry. This year the mentor system is being reinstated, BUT with a twist. All 5 mentors will work together in choosing 5 acts. The show will again appear as a side on The Late Late show. But,again with a twist. It will take place over Two Friday nights. Mentors are: Lisa Hannigan (Singer,song writer and musician) Brian Mcfadden (Former member of boyband Westlife & TV personality) Brian Sheil (Music Producer) Panti Bliss (Drag queen/Entertainer) Linda Martin ( Singer and Eurovision veteran) Calls for songs will be last week of this month.… Read more »
I personally love it and it definitely has an epic, other-worldly feeling to it and stands out from the rest of the songs in a good way. Vocally this is very beautiful and I think (and hope) that JESC is moving towards rewarding good vocals, and not staging and catchy music.
This is in my top five. I am very happy with Ireland’s choice, the originality of the song, the choice of singing in Irish and the Irish feel of the song. I hope all this risk taking will be rewarded.
This will be best JESC ever!
Yes, the new orchestral arrangement adds a lot to it. The one used on the show was rather basic.
Full studio version is haunting <3
At least it will stand out..
Yikes! I thought Zena would represent Ireland! Well…I must admit that Amiee also has a good voice.
What a meh song
Malta last year had a better singer with a stronger song and came 4th
I feel like this will come between 7th-13th on the night. Maybe 4th-8th with the juries and maybe 11th-15th in the televote.
My 8th favorite right now. She has a fantastic voice, but the song is very slow. I don’t think it’ll win, but it should get in the top 10 considering what other songs Ireland is up against.
This isn’t a question of right or wrong song: When I listen to it, it feels either like a song suitable for a memorial ceremony for the fallen, a requiem for war heroes who died in battle or an epic movie soundtrack . Aimee’s voice is angelic and full of emotion and her operatic singing vocals are pitch accurate, but the background and setting are very conservative. If the staging in Sofia manages to capture the epic nature of the song, it could stand out, but I honestly can’t see it winning.
How was Malta last year better? She was basically like Amber and screaming into the mic.
So like Robin Stjernberg in Eurovision 2013? Top 3 with juries but closer to the bottom with the televote.
Ireland try to copy song from Malta last year but their song is much better than Ireland song. I see this song in TOP 5 with juries, but with televote wili be in last 5 .
The haters of this song better look at the bigger picture, If this song does well then it might convince RTE to use this method for the adult version. So haters with that you better hop aboard the Irish bandwagon unless you want to see Ireland continue to do badly and embarrass themselves!
I really liked this song, it’s got that Musical euphoria feeling in it. Maybe a winner, but at least top 5!
xoxo from Finland
@Devan I was actually thinking maybe the could have a huge tsunami wave in the distance with a boat in it’s way, then when Aimee starts singing the wave slowly dies down and then the sun comes out.
Was really hoping for Zena or at the very least Lisa-Rose. And with this, Ireland moves to the bottom of my list.
Very good choice.
I have an idea for the staging though. Have a night sky in the backdrop with some of the constellations and have an old, rusted ship on stage. This is what I would do, obviously.
I preferred Zena, but happy for Aimee.
Forgot to add, this song grew on me and now it’s my 2nd place in the entire contest.
A very talented girl and I reckon she’ll do well with juries, but not so sure about the voters at home. 13th in my ranking.
If I’m honest I preferred Zena but I think this song has a better chance of doing well.
I think this will do well with the Jury because it is a mature song and she can sing it. I still think Zena should have won.
She was awesome! My two favorites were in the sing-off, but Aimee is a better singer than Zena, Zena couldn’t control her breath during the sing off, and as soon as she started singing, I knew Zena wasn’t going to win. Other than that, Brian gave me a heart attack when he said “Zena” and I had to take like 7 drinks of coke to stop my heart from beating so much.
The right song won 🙂 So I guess this is the first complete JESC top 17 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwkrZZW2rp4
Brilliant. She was head and shoulders above the rest
Have to say I did not wach any semi-final or listened to any song yet when it was on tonight Aimee stood out by a mile as a clearly good song.
Feeling happy to see this as Ireland’s first entry for Junior Eurovision