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.

FOR MORE JUNIOR EUROVISION NEWS CLICK HERE.

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Ron
Guest
Ron

Aimee was interviewed live in studio on last night’s ‘Two Tube’ on RTE about her win :

http://www.rte.ie/player/ie/show/two-tube-30002037/10490456/

Ron
Guest
Ron

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.

Eva
Guest
Eva

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 »

ESC 4ever
Guest
ESC 4ever

Top 17 !!:
1-Australia
2-Albania
3-Malta
4-Slovenia
5-Armenia
6-The Netherlands
7-Serbia
8-Italy
9-Russia
10-Ukraine
11-San-Marino
12-FYR Macedonia
13-Belarus
14-Ireland (I don’t like opera….)
15-Bulgaria
16-Montenegro
17-Georgia

Ron
Guest
Ron

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.

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

What a farce!! Only 3 people decide which song wins and Niamh Kavanagh knows the writers of Aimee’s song!!!!!

Yes Jonas Gladnikoff is a Swede and he co-wrote “It’s for you” with Niall Mooney as another co-writer for Niamh Kavanagh (2010), co-wrote “Falling” by Nikki Kavanagh (2009) and he also co-wrote “Heartbeat” by Can-linn (2014) and now he co-writes Aimee’s song. Fishy Fishy!! When you link that with the fact that Ireland had a National Final where the Nation did not vote, you have to smile!!

ESC_Button
Guest
ESC_Button

@Ron Yep he did, although if Niamh had said Zena then it wouldn’t of gone to Stiofan, oh I feel like Billy lolz

Ron
Guest
Ron

Possibly a conflict of interest there alright, though in fairness Stiofan had the deciding vote and also went with Aimee.

ESC_Button
Guest
ESC_Button

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?

Ron
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Ron

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.

Ron
Guest
Ron

@ 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?

cathal
Guest
cathal

@Sioda Seriously! Okay that’s it [email protected]#k you RTE I’m Swedish now.

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Sadly two things I hoped would not be associated with Ireland’s Eurovision ever again :-
1) Linda Martin
2) The Late Late show

Nothing seems to change!! Ireland really needs to reinvent themselves, but I can’t see them making a difference if they don’t make a change.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Sioda R: If this is true, RTÉ are going to be cutting it very fine with deadlines. Either the submission deadline is before Christmas and only gives entrants a couple of weeks to create their entry, or it’s after the holiday break and RTÉ will only have a few weeks to select the five songs and put together the show/s.

Also – is your auntie going to get fired for leaking this?

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

My top now:

1. Australia
2. Slovenia
3. The Netherlands- my country
4. Ukraine
5. Malta
6. San Marino
7. Albania
8. Bulgaria
9. F.Y.R. Macedonia
10. IRELAND: not so good, her voice sounds less screamy then Malta lat year though.
11. Russia
12. Belarus
13. Serbia
14. Montenegro
15. Georgia
16. Armenia
17. Italy

Dar
Guest
Dar

@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…

Sioda R
Guest
Sioda R

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 »

Eva
Guest
Eva

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!

Ron
Guest
Ron

Yes, the new orchestral arrangement adds a lot to it. The one used on the show was rather basic.

Steven
Guest
Steven

Full studio version is haunting <3

Steven
Guest
Steven

At least it will stand out..

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

I’d be unhappy if Ireland entered a song like this in ESC (unless they’d invented a time machine and were planning to enter in 1995). But as a JESC entry in 2015? It works really well. Aimee is going to stand out against all the pop and her pure tones will surely be a jury pleaser.

beccaboo1212
Guest

Yikes! I thought Zena would represent Ireland! Well…I must admit that Amiee also has a good voice.

Marcus (day one)
Guest
Marcus (day one)

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.

Peyton
Guest
Peyton

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.

Erin
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Erin

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.

William Lee Adams
Admin

Lovely song, but babes: turn down the smoke machine!!!

PP
Guest
PP

1.Armenia
2.Georgia
3.Australia
4.Serbia
5.Albania
6.The Netherlands
7.Belarus
8.Slovenia
9.Ireland
10.Ukraine
11.F.Y.R Macedonia
12.Malta
13.Bulgaria
14.Russia
15.Montenegro
16.San Marino
17.Italy

Cathal
Guest
Cathal

How was Malta last year better? She was basically like Amber and screaming into the mic.

Deven O'Kearney
Guest
Deven O'Kearney

So like Robin Stjernberg in Eurovision 2013? Top 3 with juries but closer to the bottom with the televote.

PP
Guest
PP

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 .

Cathal
Guest
Cathal

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!

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Guest
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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

Foxreyna
Guest
Foxreyna

@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.

D
Guest
D

Was really hoping for Zena or at the very least Lisa-Rose. And with this, Ireland moves to the bottom of my list.

Deven O'Kearney
Guest
Deven O'Kearney

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.

Ben Rafter
Guest
Ben Rafter

I preferred Zena, but happy for Aimee.

Foxreyna
Guest
Foxreyna

Forgot to add, this song grew on me and now it’s my 2nd place in the entire contest.

Alison
Guest
Alison

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.

@EugeneESCUK
Guest

Well the rumours were true then. It’s very disappointing. I felt only Zena’s song had a chance of doing well, but you never know in the JESC it’s a weird animal? Aimee has a good voice obviously, but the song is not contemporary and basically not a wow and that classical style of hers may not connect with the public, but could be a hit with the jury? It’s going to be a bit like “Marmite”; you will either love it or hate it. It’s not my cup of tea and could be the toilet break for many. Being their… Read more »

Cathal
Guest
Cathal

If I’m honest I preferred Zena but I think this song has a better chance of doing well.

Ian
Guest
Ian

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.

Foxreyna
Guest
Foxreyna

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.

Edd Keith
Editor

The right song won 🙂 So I guess this is the first complete JESC top 17 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwkrZZW2rp4

Sparrow
Guest
Sparrow

Brilliant. She was head and shoulders above the rest

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

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