This afternoon the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — took a trip to lovely Dublin. After chugging Guinness and eating our body weight in potatoes, we were feeling a little heavy so we decided to review Aimee Banks‘ Junior Eurovision 2015 track ‘Réalta na mara’ (Star of the Sea). Did the first ever Irish Junior Eurovision entry soothe us like the ocean…or just leave a salty and unpleasant taste in our mouths? Read on to find out…
IRELAND’S JUNIOR EUROVISION 2015 SONG
‘RÉALTA NA MARA’ REVIEWS – AIMEE BANKS
Angus: Ireland’s song is a beautiful little ode to the towering ballads of the 90s. Aimee has a lovely tone to her voice and keeping this traditional contrasts nicely with the electro-laden ballads making up the rest of the field. Opera stands out and it did Malta no harm last year.
Jason: To put it simply, I love this. I promise I’m not being biased as an Irishman: I just totally feel the magic of “Réalta na Mara”. Aimee’s vocals are enchanting, and the beautiful Irish language complements the mystical feel of the song. Why can’t our adult Eurovision entries be this classy?! TG4 has taken its JESC challenge seriously thus far, so I hope it delivers with staging in Sofia (please don’t ask RTE for advice). Aimee Banks – maith thú!
Deban: This folk number nods to Federica Falzon’s “Diamonds”. However, I find it equally disengaging. Full marks for Aimee’s crystal-clear vocals, and her commanding stage presence. But an entry shouldn’t just be all about vocal spectacle. I want to sing and dance along. Sadly, there are no hooks in this or a beat to keep me moving.
Robyn: Up against modern pop songs, it’s a bold move for Ireland to go with an older style of song. But it might just work — this is the sort of thing that Ireland did well with at ESC in the 1990s and it seems a good match for the style of JESC. Aimee has a lovely voice with an enjoyable classical precision. “Réalta na mara” will bring a moment of peace and calm to the JESC line-up.
William: Dublin may be a short flight from London, but this song takes us to another world. It’s one of Druid priests, Celtic Warriors and Eimear Quinn. The traditional sound has a new age Enya vibe that raises the bar for a children’s singing contest. Miss Banks will likely cash in on her vocals with the jury. But Ireland is an untested entity at JESC and this rather mature song may struggle with the sleepover set. In any event, please turn down the smoke machine! We want to focus on your song.
Luis: Ireland is bringing their trademark to JESC: good ol’ ballads with amazing vocals. Aimee’s voice is fantastic (am I the only one who hears Eimear Quinn here?) and it feels as if she was born on that stage. Federica Falzon proved that going classy can work. After listening to “Réalta na mara”, I’m almost sure classical is here to stay!
William C: Aimee Banks’ operatic voice makes me feel like I’m in heaven. I wasn’t moved at first, but since then her divine voice has become my favourite in Sofia. It has a Celtic vibe, which I am loving, and it is sung in the beautiful language of Irish (which we have not heard in Eurovision-type contests since 1972!). Opinion on this song is divided, but I love it!
Our jury consists of 21 people, but we only have room for 7 written reviews. Here are the remaining 14 scores.
The highest and lowest scores are dropped prior to calculating the average score. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 5 and a high of 9.5.