Nicky Byrne will sing “Sunlight” for Ireland at Eurovision 2016. After a week of rumours, RTÉ officially confirmed the ex-Westlife star’s participation on Wednesday. The internal selection is a move away from the Eurosong process of recent years, and it’s the first time ever that Ireland has chosen both its performer and song behind closed doors. While the Irish are often to quick to poo poo the contest, their seven victories mean that everyone has an opinion. Its reputation also results in an increased interest from other countries. We’ve already shared our initial thoughts on the entry, but what does the mainstream media think?
Nicky Byrne “Sunlight” – Our reaction
The country’s biggest-selling newspaper was mostly positive.
Nicky Byrne’s up-tempo single “Sunlight” is certainly the most credible Eurovision entry we’ve had in years. I mean, who can forget Donna and Joe or Dustin the Turkey – and, let’s face it, we’ve tried. You might say “Sunlight” offers a ray of hope. It’s tightly packaged pop: polished, upbeat and filled with lots of meaningful sentiments. OK, it’s not exactly Lennon and McCartney, but Eurovision songs aren’t known for their lyrical qualities.
However, the paper did warn that “Sunlight” was a “bit too similar to last year’s winning entry” and that this could prove to be a disadvantage.
The Irish Times
Ireland’s number one “quality” broadsheet was less enthusiastic. Under the headline “Nicky Byrne hopes to end dismal Irish Eurovision run”, they included the subheading “Expectations low as ex-Westlife man steps up with ‘radio-friendly’ pop song ‘Sunlight’”. On a slightly brighter note, they branded the entry “irritatingly catchy”.
While delivering a mixed-to-positive verdict of “Sunlight”, the British newspaper argued that the UK needs to select a “proper pop star too”.
It’s a catchy, up-tempo pop-rock confection that at least rocks a little harder than the soporific ballads on which his former group made their name. Assuming his years of stage experience translate to a confident live show, it should be enough to bring Ireland back into the finals, though it lacks the uplifting spark of recent winners.
The broadcaster’s youth orientated Newsbeat described Byrne’s decision to enter Eurovision as “significant”. But they questioned whether the “strong, catchy pop song” would be enough to beat the likes of Sweden and Russia.
The Huffington Post
We’ll let you decide whether the British edition of the online news outlet was being cynical or simply over excited.
Guitar-pop sound? Check. Cheesy beat? Tick. Even cheesier lyrics? He could win this, you know.
As with the Irish media, this year’s host broadcaster was quick to highlight Ireland’s recent spate of poor results. The Emerald Isle currently holds the record for most Eurovision wins but the Swedes are catching up and need just one more victory to match them.
Whatever about the media, Nicky certainly wasn’t short of support from his showbiz pals. Numerous stars from the world of Eurovision and further afield sent their congratulations.
Received a brilliant Supportive text from none other than Irish Legend Johnny Logan today, about me in @Eurovision 2016 in Sweden. ????????????
— Nicky Byrne (@NickyByrne) January 14, 2016
Best of luck @NickyByrne on #ESC2016 rock it buddy!! ????????????#Sunlight ????
— Ryan Dolan (@ryandolanmusic) January 13, 2016
@NickyByrne Best of luck Nicky ,song sounds great video looks fantastic! Songs with Sun in the title make me want to smile! #FtheBgrdgrs
— Paul Harrington (@paulharro) January 13, 2016
Best of luck to Nicky at #Eurovision2016! https://t.co/6g6P8mQHvS
— Can-linn (@can_linn) January 13, 2016
@NickyByrne #Sunlight = catchy pop goodness. ?? it. My Irish roots are happy. https://t.co/RvEsbHyVeA
— Tamar Kaprelian (@TamarKaprelian) January 14, 2016
Could be worse Nicky, You could be bringing the rest of Westlife with ya. Go on ya good sing! #NickyByrne #Eurovision
— Dustin The Turkey (@DustinOfficial) January 13, 2016
Good luck to my old friend @NickyByrne as he represents Ireland in the Eurovision.
— Ronan Keating (@ronanofficial) January 13, 2016
Irelande douze points!! ???????????? best of luck bud.. Give it socks!! https://t.co/OTO0bgfkn9
— Shane Filan (@ShaneFilan) January 13, 2016
Your country is calling @NickyByrne https://t.co/BPBx2cvgxP
— MarkusFeehily (@MarkusFeehily) January 13, 2016
A massive congrats to @NickyByrne as he will represent Ireland in this years Eurovision. Excellent song #nickytowin https://t.co/1S9rC4Zrb7
— Kian Egan (@KianEganWL) January 13, 2016
Whoop whoop!!! ???????????????????? https://t.co/2yw6eM2zeo
— Cecelia Ahern (@Cecelia_Ahern) January 13, 2016
What do y’all think of Nicky Byrne and “Sunlight”? It’s currently winning our “Who’s your favourite Eurovision 2016 act so far?” poll. Could it win in Stockholm? Let us know below.
2016 should see an improvement Anis, first time since 2011 that outside producers are choreographing and staging the act..
The problem with the Irish entries are the staging…2013 and 2014 were two great songs but the staging was SO bad…especially 2014…
@mocosuburbian, Byrne will be using outside producers for the staging ie. Tim Byrne of Syco Music and TV producer Lee Lodge.
I have the feeling it will be like Blue. Good-ish pop song by a reputable artist after a string of bad results and people predicting a good result, then heading mid table or worse. I hope Ireland do well, but my Celtic (Scottish) roots want it, not my opinion musically.
*into the finals
my point still stands
it’s formulaic af
it’s not going out of the finals guys
it’s just not
not while RTE is overseeing the staging
Deserves to do well.
I don’t get how this is a copy of Heroes, people are essentially saying its a copy because Nicky has a penis…
It sounds like a typical Ronan Keating song to me, Heroes was more along the lines of David Guetta.
I don’t see the similarities at all besides the lyric font choice. They are a different pace and sound like….
@Roelof, Sunlight was written in 2014 so isn’t a copy of Heroes but the entrant and concept itself may be influenced somewhat by it.
I have a de-ja vu (or how you spell it). In 2012 songs where copied of the Swedish winner (Germany 2013, Estonia 2014) and now copies from The Swedish winner (Ireland 2016) are strating to come. I like this song, though.
I’ve changed my mind. It’s quite a nice tune, actually, I’ve been listening to it a couple of times and it grew on me. And what a hunk he is (wonderful teeth).
I love Ireland’s “The Eurovision” thing.
I don’t love the song; the chorus is OK but the rest is just mindless drivel, and not particularly good at being mindless drivel… it uses words that people with limited English should be able to understand, which is smart but honestly I have been trying and trying to understand the story of the song, and it’s impossible; there’s genuinely no coherence to the lyrics. With that said, he should bring a good, fun show to Stockholm, and that’s always welcome.
prediction- will make it out of the semis- mid table in final